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NEWS: Carnival Cruise Line celebrates 25 years of sailing from Tampa

Carnival Cruise Line celebrated 25 years of sailing from Tampa on November 10th, 2019. The milestone was commemorated with a plaque from Carnival President Christine Duffy to Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson.

Carnival President Christine Duffy and Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson
 Left to right – Port Tampa Bay President and CEO Paul Anderson, Captain Allen Thompson – president of Tampa harbor pilots association, Carnival President Christine Duffy, Carnival’s Director of Port Operations Carlos Estrada, and Port Tampa Bay’s Senior Director of Business Development Greg Lovelace

The service first launched in 1994 and currently services 294,000 passengers a year from Tampa, nearly 9 times the original load. Tampa is an important part of Carnival’s “close-to-home ship deployment strategy in which the line positions ships near large U.S. population centers along the East and West Coasts and the Gulf of Mexico.”

“Tampa is a convenient, centrally located homeport – not to mention a popular vacation destination – and the growth that we’ve experienced at this port is a testament to the wonderful partnership with the Port we’ve enjoyed for the past 25 years,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. 

Carnival Legend

The 25th anniversary celebration was held aboard Carnival Legend, which arrived in Tampa last month, providing a new choice from this market. The ship features a variety of onboard innovations, including Green Thunder, a drop-down slide that’s one of the fastest and steepest at sea, along with food and beverage choices, such as the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, Bonsai Sushi serving Asian delicacies, Guy’s Burger Joint developed in tandem with Food Network star Guy Fieri, and a classic American steakhouse. The ship features hundreds of balcony staterooms as well a luxurious health and wellness facility.

Carnival Legend will operate a seasonal schedule of six-, seven-and eight-day cruises featuring top destinations in the western Caribbean, including Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize, Mahogany Bay, Costa Rica, the Panama Canal and Grand Cayman.

The ship will also offer a 13-day Carnival Journeys cruise from Tampa to New York May 3-16, 2020, featuring a partial transit of the Panama Canal, along with visits to Aruba, Cozumel, Limon (Costa Rica), Cartagena (Colombia) and Grand Turk.

To learn more about Carnival Cruise Line, visit them online at Carnival.com

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Articles Hotels News

NEWS: Universal Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites opens March 17th 2020 in Orlando

Universal Orlando Resort will open their 8th resort, Universal Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites, on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

The new hotel adds 2,050 guests rooms to the Universal Orlando hotel portfolio with standard rooms and 2-bedroom suites that can accommodate up to 6 people. It will join sister property, Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, Surfside Inn and Suites, which opened in June 2019.

Dockside Suites and Standard Model Room Shoot Endless Summer Resort Hotels
Dockside Suites and Standard Model Room Shoot Endless Summer Resort Hotels

Rates start at $85 per night and aims to be an affordable options for visitors to the Orlando area and theme parks. Hotel guests will receive early admission to Universal theme parks, complimentary transportation to and from theme parks, and other amenities.

Dockside Inn and Suites is the 8th Universal Orlando partnership with Loews Hotels & Co.

Some attractions guests can enjoy at Universal include The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Despicable Me Minion Mayhem, Jurassic Park River Adventure, TRANSFORMERS: The Ride-3D, and The Bourne Stuntacular – which makes its debut at Universal Studios Florida in spring 2020.

Universal is also hard at work on a new theme park, Epic Universe, which will be the 4th theme park that Universal opens joining Universal Studios, Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, and Universal’s Volcano Bay. The theme park is slated to open in 2023.

More information can be found on their website at universalorlando.com/web/en/us/places-to-stay/universals-endless-summer-resort-dockside-inn-and-suites

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Articles News Restaurant News

NEWS: LPCX Latin Cafe Bakery closing doors on November 9th in Tampa

LPCX announced today on Instagram that they will close their doors starting end of the day Saturday, November 9th until further notice as they work out what is next for their business.

The cafe has been known to serve great coffee drinks and beautiful latte art so it is certainly a loss for Tampa’s coffee community.

They were recently featured on That’s So Tampa’s 3 hidden coffee shops you need to visit. Unfortunately – it may have been too late to change the trajectory for the LCPX Cafe. Make sure you stop by for a last cup of joe if you have a chance.

La Pequeña Colombia ​will remain open across the street.

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News Restaurant News

NEWS: Someone has died over the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich in Maryland

Fox 5 DC is reporting that someone has been stabbed to death over the Popeye’s Chicken Sandwich in Maryland. The chicken sandwich returned to stores this past Sunday. Police are investigating the incident. The victim was 28 years old.

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Articles Events News Restaurant News

NEWS: 10th Annual Shopapalooza coming November 30th and December 1st to St. Pete

More than 225 local businesses are taking over Vinoy Park in Downtown St. Petersburg for LocalShops1’s 10th Annual Shopapalooza Festival on Saturday, November 30th and Sunday, December 1st. The family-friendly event features local art, local music, and the local vibe that makes St. Pete what it is.

Admission is free and open to the public. Guests who register before will be entered in a chance to win a $500 shopping spree. The event will benefit Chart 411 and Earth Day St. Pete.

“Shopapalooza Festival celebrates and spotlights the great independent businesses that make Tampa Bay such an amazing place. It gives consumers the opportunity to kick off the holiday shopping season by shopping locally!” says Ester Venouziou, LocalShops1 founder.

Venouziou has made it a mission to support local businesses for over a decade.

Kids being entertained at Shopapalooza.
Vendors at Shopapalooza

Vendor options include gourmet food products, home decor, handcrafted jewelry, clothing and accessories, health and beauty products, fair trade goods, vintage finds, pet treats and toys, books, candles and much more.

Food vendor at Shopapalooza.

The events will have “food hall” that features the following options in one spot:

  • Amy’s Spot
  • Buddy Brew Coffee
  • Callaloo
  • Churrolicious
  • Hot Pursuit Catering BBQ
  • Main Street Boys Empanadas
  • Mookie’s Kettle Korn
  • Pipo’s Cuban Cafe
  • Pop Goes the Waffle
  • Softee the King
  • Tasty Dogz
  • The Best Thai Food
  • The Fishin Chicken
  • The Tea Jug

Food options around the event include:

  • Emmy & J Roasted Nuts
  • Gateau OChocolat
  • iPop Gourmet Popcorn
  • JB’s Sweet Addiction
  • Lynn’s Ice Cream & Belgian Waffles
  • Melonhead Melonade
  • Skoops Italian Ice
  • Sunny Culture
  • Sweet Life Cupcakes
  • The Tea Jug (2nd location)
  • You Are the Hamster

The event is sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg. It’s sure to be a great time so make sure to go out and shop local.

For more information visit Shopapalooza online at shopapaloozafestival.com.

Event Name: 10th Annual Shoapalooza

Neighborhood: Downtown St. Petersburg

Venue: Vinoy Park

Address: 701 Bayshore Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Date & Time: Saturday, November 30th, 10AM-5PM, Sunday, December 1st, 10AM-5PM

Cost: Free to attend, Register early for a chance to win a $500 shopping spree

Registration: http://www.shopapaloozafestival.com/win-500.html

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Articles Beer Food Trucks News Restaurant News

NEWS: Red, White, and Brew this Saturday, November 9th at WestShore Plaza

Celebrate Veteran’s Day weekend at WestShore Plaza this Saturday, November 9th, 2019 from 3PM-8PM. Food trucks will be present including Vanchetta Food Truck, Jazzybgrille, and Mr. C’s Grilled Cheese. The event is free to attend and family-friendly.

Craft beer samples will be served from Coppertail Brewing Co. and 3 Daughters Brewing. Live music will be provided by The Petty Hearts & Fast4Ward on the Morgan Exteriors Stage.

Parents can enjoy a free kids area presented by Mathnasium.

Proceeds will benefit The Stano Foundation. The mission of The Stano Foundation is “to support our Armed Forces and Veterans through project based initiatives focused on enhancing their comfort and quality of life with a piece of home.”

Event Name: Red, White, & Brew

Venue: WestShore Plaza

Address: 250 Westshore Plaza, Tampa, FL 33609

Date & Time: Saturday, November 9th, 2019, 3PM-8PM

Cost: Free to attend

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/434775030415032/

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Articles Events News Restaurant News

NEWS: Whiskey Foxtrot this weekend at Epicurean Hotel Tampa – SOLD OUT!

The third annual Whiskey Foxtrot Tasting is this weekend at the Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa. Events are running most of week starting on Wednesday, November 6th. This year’s event is a celebration of women in whiskey.

Featured women include:

  • Nicole Austin, George Dickel Master Distiller
  • Erin Yesser, Edrington Ambassador
  • Natalia Cardenas, Woodford Reserve Ambassador
  • Jill Boyd, Compass Box Whisky Maker
  • Ingrid Rodriguez, WhistlePig Regional Manager and Steward of the Brand
  • Andrea Wilson, Michter’s Master of Maturation
  • Shayna Kaufman, Brown-Forman Brand Ambassador

Guests will sample more than 200 whiskeys and bites presented by some of Tampa’s top restaurants including Bern’s Steak House, Elevage, Big Ray’s Fish Camp, Nebraska Mini-Mart, Forbici, and more.

If you love whiskey, this event is one of the best ones I have ever had the chance to attend and highly recommend fans to watch.

Tickets are SOLD OUT. General Admission tickets are $95 per person and VIP is $175 per person. VIP includes an hour of early access and access to exclusive bottles, as well as a VIP cocktail lounge located at the EDGE rooftop bar with music, a cigar rolling station, and new this year – a Whiskey & Chocolate Lounge in the Epicurean Theatre.

Themed dinners from whiskey partners are also sold out. If you missed your chance to get tickets this year, make sure you grab them next year.

Event proceeds and opportunities to win will benefit Operation First ResponseJackson In Action 83 Foundation, and Southeastern Guide Dogs through the Laxer Family Foundation.

More information is available at whiskeytampafoxtrot.com

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Articles News Restaurant News

NEWS: Locale Market and FarmTable Cucina exiting Sundial St. Pete, Armature Works entering

After years of working to bring a mixed food concept to Downtown St. Pete, Celebrity Chef Michael Mina has sold Locale Market and FarmTable Cucina in the Sundial to Tampa-based Armature Works group BE-1 Concepts, which plans to change the space and surrounding businesses into a food hall with plans to open by late 2020.

Chef Michael Mina shared, “With so many other projects and opportunities in front of me, I felt now was the right time to pass the torch. I am beyond excited to see what Chas and his team have cooked up for this community.”

Chef Michael Mina is thought to be a powerhouse restaurateur with over 40 restaurants opened worldwide in large metropolitan cities such as San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Chef Michael Mina and Chef Don Pintabona at Locale Market.
Chef Michael Mina and Chef Don Pintabona.
Photo Credit: Locale Market

Locale Market was founded by Chef Michael Mina and Chef Don Pintabona and opened in December 2014. The concept will close five years later at the end of the holiday season in December 2019.

Former Tampa Bay Times Food Critic, Laura Reiley, reported back in 2015 that Chef Pintabona left St. Petersburg back to New York as soon as his one-year contract expired. Pintabona’s pedigree at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill was considered to be a big deal when Locale opened, but the concept never really seemed to take off despite many campaigns and changes. The team admitted to struggles between being a restaurant concept and a gourmet, locally-sourced market.

The biggest loss will be FarmTable Cucina upstairs that was recently finding ground with a new chef. Executive Chef, James Kirby, has worked hard to make the menu truly local in recent months as a former farmer himself.

BE-1 Concepts is also taking control of Jackie Z Style Co., Wellness Center at Sundial, D-Gallerie Fine Arts and additional vacant spaces on the lower level.

Armature Works in Tampa.

BE-1 Concepts owns numerous concepts in Tampa Bay and around Florida including Boca, Ciro’s Speakeasy, Atlanta Beer & Oyster, and Sea Critters Cafe. They also own Steelbach, BAR at Armature Works, Butcher N Barbeque, M.Bird, Cress and Stones Throw inside The Heights District.

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Articles News

NEWS: Sulphur Springs River Tower Festival coming November 16th

The Sulphur Springs River Tower Festival is coming Saturday, November 16th, 2019 with a mission of restoring and preserving Sulphur Springs Water Tower (originally built in 1927) and improvements to the surrounding River Tower Park located at 401 East Bird Street, Tampa, FL 33604 .

Sulphur Springs was once an important landmark in Tampa that was quite the attraction. After the spring was damaged and people moved to other parts of town the area was mostly abandoned although efforts to restore the area have been done over they ears.

Recent development in Seminole Heights has draw attention back to the area though and the Sulphur Springs Water Tower.

The event will feature 10 live bands, 7 DJs, a fire show, magician, balloon artist, drum circle for kids, food trucks, art vendors, beer and wine. Gates will open at 11AM and close at 10PM.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event (if available). Kids ages 10 and under are FREE.

Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets comfort on the lawn. No outside coolers, food, or drinks will be allowed.

Purchase tickets: http://www.preserveourtower.com/tickets/

Learn more at preserveourtower.com.

Categories
Events Food Events News

NEWS: SouthShore Seafood and Arts Festival coming November 2nd and 3rd

The SouthShore Seafood and Arts festival is coming this November 2nd and 3rd to E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. Over 15,000 people attended the festival in 2018. Organizers are offering a group rate of $3 for 20 admission tickets. The festival is kid and pet-friendly (pets must be on leashes).

There will be a wide-variety of seafood available at the festival including stone crabs and a variety of other seafood dishes from the Gulf and beyond.

The event is organized by the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce.

Photo via SouthShore Seafood & Arts Fesitval

There will be boats and RVs, arts and crafts, educational displays, commercial exhibits, and tons of interactive kids entertainment for families to enjoy. Over 150 vendors will be present at the event.

Food trucks and vendors attending include:

Event Name: SouthShore Seafood and Arts Festival

Date & Time: Saturday, November 2nd, 10AM-5PM, Sunday, November 3rd, 10AM-5PM

Venue: E.G. Simmons Park

Address: 2401 19th Avenue, N.W., Ruskin, FL 33570

Cost: $5 adults, Kids 12 & under FREE, Active Military FREE with ID, $2 parking per car to enter park, parking is free afterwards.

Website: https://www.ruskinseafoodfestival.org/

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/516486122476272/