Photo via Kuba Cocina/WebsiteHalloween is around the corner, and the Tampa Bay food scene is serving up a few tricks alongside a handful of treats. Now, before you get freaked out, the damage isn’t too intense. We had to say goodbye to Mitchell’s Fish Market (which is now getting slapped with a lawsuit) and the Cuban Sandwich Festival got a COVID makeover. Okay, now for the treats. Asian fare food truck, Anju, launched a storefront, there’s a new specialty grocery store in the ‘Burg and an affordable produce market is opening next month in Tampa. Big things are coming, foodies.
Anju This week, Anju’s restaurant made its debut for takeout service. Anju is known for slinging Korean fried chicken alongside a slew of Asian fare offerings out of its food truck. The brick-and-mortar location will soon host an expanded menu as well as brews on tap before the year is out. Until then, the joint is serving up its signature menu offerings. 2827 16th St. N., St. Petersburg. @anjustpete on Facebook.
Born Free Pub & Grill A new biker bar is in town and it’s hosting a daily happy hour, weekly Ladies Night and cold brews on tap. You don’t need to own a hog to get into Born Free, but it would be a quick way to make friends with the regulars. 110 E. Waters Ave., Tampa. @bornfreepubandgrill on Facebook.
Chill Bros. The Ybor City scoop shop has expanded with a new location. For now, you can stop by Sun.-Thurs. from noon-9 p.m. and Fri.-Sat. from noon-11 p.m. Chill Bros. delivers via UberEats, Postmates, and DoorDash (look out for the new location to be listed on these sites in the next couple weeks). 3302 W. Bay to Bay Blvd., Tampa. chillbros.com
Yummy Europe European grocery store and deli is now serving up made-in-house sausages as well as a lineup of other international goods. The products are from a stretch of European countries that include Romania, Hungary, Russia, Italy, Greece, Germany, Poland, Croatia and more. 1320 34th St. N., St. Petersburg. @yummyeurope on Facebook.
Chuck Lager American Tavern Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani is taking another stab at the Tampa Bay food scene. After the falling out with Nocturnal Hospitality Group and closing down his three restaurants (and wiping out two concepts that were nearing opening), the chef is flying solo to bring Chick Lager to The Shops at Wiregrass. Expect made from scratch dishes, and lots of booze. 28211 Paseo Dr., Wesley Chapel. chucklager.com
Hiccups & Churroholics After much anticipation, it looks like Hiccups & Churroholics is finally opening in next month. Expect that hodge-podge of Asian- and Spanish-inspired foods including Pad Thai, several varieties of churros and other sweet treats, tofu, and cold drinks. The menu ranges from $1.50 for a soda to $14 for garlic noodles with shaken beef. 13030 N. Dale Mabry Hwy., Tampa. hiccupsteahouse.com
Kuba Cocina The Armature Works resident is launching a brick-and-mortar on St. Pete Beach next month. The restaurant’s devotion to “Cuban classics with a soul food spin” still makes up the menu. A “friends and family day” is scheduled for Oct. 29 from 6 p.m-8 p.m., but the rest of us can get in on the action on opening day, Monday, Nov. 2. 7525 Blind Pass Rd., St. Pete Beach. kubacocina.com
Thyme + Bloom Next month, the affordable produce market and fresh juice bar will be open to the public. Thyme + Bloom will provide pantry items, wellness products, an indoor herb garden, an outdoor community garden, and mobile food pantry. The soft opening for the market is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7 from 1 p.m-4 p.m., followed by the grand opening Tuesday, Nov. 10. 4202 W. Waters Ave., Tampa. @thymeandbloomtpa on Instagram.
Mitchell’s Fish Market According to Tampa Bay Business Journal, the ownership of Westshore Plaza has sued Mitchell’s Fish Market; the lawsuit seeks unpaid rent for the remainder of its lease term (which ends in January 2021) and alleges the restaurant abandoned its storefront at the mall. Mitchell’s closed its doors when the state ordered restaurants to shut down due to the pandemic, and did not return.
9th Annual Cuban Sandwich Festival This year, the festival will look much different. Rather than the streets being crowded with Cuban sando fans, social distancing will be enforced, masks will be required and sanitation stations will be aplenty. Just a heads up, to make sure the body count doesn’t get too high, attendees will have to register for free tickets as this event is limited capacity. So don’t sleep on getting yours. Nov. 8. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Centro Asturiano de Tampa, 1913 N. Nebraska Ave., Ybor City. eventbrite.com
Rising Hope IPA For the fourth year in a row, Rising Hope, a specialty collaborative IPA made by Brew Bus (4101 N. Florida Ave, Tampa) and Cigar City (3924 W. Spruce St., Tampa). The tangerine and passion fruit IPA is now on tap at both breweries and have six-packs up for grabs. Evert cent of the proceeds from Rising Hope brew sales are donated to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation as part of the Brewing Funds the Cure fundraising initiative. nationalpcf.org
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