NEW: H20℃ Boba Shop & Thai-Rolled Ice Cream opens near USF

USF has no shortage of dessert shops and cafes. There has to be over 10 cafes and shops near the USF campus.

Last year Ice Smile was one of the shops in Tampa to popularize Thai-Rolled Ice Cream and people went nuts for it. We’re talking over an hour wait for Thai-Rolled Ice Cream. Now a new shop has emerged on Fletcher Avenue just minutes from USF.

H20℃ opened in August on Fletcher by the USF – Tampa Campus and is serving Thai-Rolled Ice Cream and bubble tea at 13520 University Plaza Street. The bubble tea is served in light bulbs which has been a popular fad on the west coast for over a year now.

Got Tea was one of the first shops in Tampa to serve light bulb boba last year.

For more info on H20℃ visit them on social media:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/H2OCicecream/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/h2oc_tampa/

It is open daily from Monday to Sunday from 12PM-11PM.

You can reach them at (813) 559-1645.

 

Grand Opening! Thai Inspired Roll Ice Cream in Tampa.

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Hurricane Maria: Tampa Bay Helps Puerto Rico Recover

Update 9/28: 

ViVa Tampa Bay Hispanic Heritage Festival will take donations for Course of Action PR on Sunday, October 1st in Centennial Park. More details on this post.


Hurricane Maria smashed through Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm yesterday and wrecked much of the island. It is the first Category 4 Hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since 1932 according to ABC. The entire country lost power and it could take weeks to months for the power grid to recover after already being hit by Hurricane Irma.

That means over 2 million people have no power in the United States commonwealth.

Puerto Rico is already in a delicate state and filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. This kind of infrastructure damage will no doubt complicate things for the people who live there. The minimum wage in Puerto Rico was reduced from $7.25 to $4.25 an hour as a part of this bankruptcy crisis due to a U.S. plan called PROMESA in 2016.

This will certainly impact the ability of people to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Maria.

The Puerto Rican communities around Florida have mobilized to get supplies to send to the people in Puerto Rico impacted by the storm. Shipments of supplies are already being accepted in Puerto Rico starting today. Here is where you can donate supplies around Tampa Bay:

The Prestige Barbershop of Tampa Bay
(Monday to Saturday from 11AM to 7PM)
105 US-301 #109
Tampa, FL

Los Gorditos Bar & Grill
(Tuesday to Saturday from 12PM to 9PM)
6110 Causeway Blvd.
Tampa, FL

Los Gorditos Food Truck
3125 W. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, Fl

La Fondita de Leo in Clearwater 
(Monday to Sunday from 11AM to 9PM)
528 Cleveland Street
Clearwater, FL

El Rico Frappé Latino
(Monday to Sunday – Hours vary)
122 Pierce Christie Dr
33594 Valrico

Course of Action PR
(Monday to Saturday – 11AM-7PM)
4916 S Lois Avenue
Tampa, FL

Suggested donations:

• Water
• Canned milk (UHT or Carnation) or box milk
• Canned food
• Flash lights
• Candles
• Batteries (C,D,DD)
• Dog and Cat food (small bag)
• First-Aid items
• Mosquito repeal sprays (ex. OFF)
• Wipes
• Diaper
• Formula
• Baby food
• Bottles
• Cleaning items
• New underwear for men and women
• Blanket
• Towels
• Baby onesies

Local food truck The Cake Girl has setup a fund as well for people to donate to at: http://www.youcaring.com/hurricanevictimsinpuertorico-956986

Any tips on other places to donate? Shoot me an e-mail at carloseats[at]gmail[dot]com.

Guide: Top 8 Local Bars in Tampa

Drinking in Tampa is a mixed bag. Lots of bars close early and many overcharge for drinks that contain almost no alcohol or have downright terrible service. City officials and bar owners are also regularly working against each other. There was even an incident in 2013 where the city once tried to change the closing hours for bars to midnight?!

At the same time, Tampa is home to one of the largest United States Bartenders Guild chapters in the country and holds an excellent Repeal Party in December every year. Tampa has a booming craft beer industry and plenty of wine dives around town as well as liquor distilleries on the horizon.

Ybor City and South Tampa have been had their moments in the sunshine for nightlife and over time both have waned as Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, and Downtown Tampa become the center of town. Only time will tell.

Here are my Top 8 Bars in Tampa. This is a personal list and you may not agree with my choices and that is okay.

#8 – Ybor City Wine Bar

#winetasting #ybor 🍷

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Ybor City Wine Bar is a great place to catch up with a friend or go on a date. The shop is quaint and all the bartenders I have encountered there have been friendly. You can sit inside or outside depending on the type of night you are looking for – both are enjoyable. The owner holds a wine class every Wednesday and has also expanded over into Seminole Heights. The wine selection is solid and I have enjoyed a few great evenings there.

1600 E 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605. (813) 999-4966. http://www.yborcitywinebar.com/

 

#7 – First Chance, Last Chance Bar

The #emonight 2 year anniversary at @firstchancelastchance has been amazing

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Want a hipster dive bar? First Chance, Last Chance Bar in Ybor City is exactly that. If you’re spending $10 or less be sure to bring cash. Lots of shot specials and plenty of spirits. A nice outdoor courtyard with a DJ spinning regularly as well. Drinks prices are nice and cheap and the happy hour is great.

1707 N 16th St, Tampa, FL 33605. (813) 248-5555. https://www.firstchancelastchance.com/

#6 – Mr. Dunderbaks

My kind of pub!

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You like craft beer? What about German beer and food? Oktoberfest? Mr. Dunderbaks has an impressive beer list and now has installed their own brewery into the mix. Stepping into the restaurant makes you feel like you departed Tampa into a German pub. The best place to be during the World Cup. The food is pretty good too.

14929 Bruce B Downs Blvd, Tampa, FL 33613. (813) 977-4104. http://dunderbaks.ieasysite.com/

#5 –  C. 1949

Seminole Heights is the mecca of hipster bars and C. 1949 provides a huge list of craft beer to visitors for great prices  – many of them recently released. Events are held regularly including Taco Tuesday and a Monday night farmer’s market. The interior is modern and cool and the outside deck is perfect for autumn or winter weather. Live music is regularly put on as well.

6905 N Orleans Ave, Tampa, FL 33604. (813) 990-8883. http://c1949.com/

#4 – Lowry Parcade

Parcade Barcade 🎮✌🍷🍻

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Finally a place for nerds. Lowry Parcade fuses craft beer enthusiasts with video game nerds into one building. The outcome is a great local neighborhood bar in Seminole Heights that allows both crowds to indulge in their passions. We need more of this in Tampa.

1213 W Waters Ave, Tampa, FL 33604. (813) 915-9180. http://lowryparcade.com/

#3 – Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club

It was a #punchbowl #cocktail #speakeasy kind of #Monday. Win.

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When you’re talking high-quality cocktails, Ciro’s delivers an experience you will not forget. They regularly host cocktail dinners and any night there is an experience that will take you back to the 1920s. The drinks are delicious although quite pricey. It’s a perfect place to celebrate a special night with friends or a date.

2109 Bayshore Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 251-0022. http://www.cirostampa.com/

#2 – Hotel Bar

Refined cocktails from hotels around the world. Hotel Bar has an elegant interior and the staff is excellent every time I visit. I only wish Hotel Bar had a larger location, but maybe that is one of the things to appreciate about it as well. Drink prices are what you would expect from a place called Hotel Bar. Not overly expensive and not cheap.

200 N. Tampa St, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 533-2650. http://hotelbartampa.com/

#1 – Anise Global Gastrobar

Somewhere in Thyme 🖤 #anise #tampa #tampabay #love #gastropub #nightlife #love #cocktails

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The best in town. Anise Gastrobar has consistently remained the best place to drink in Tampa since it opened a few years back. The cocktail menu is constantly evolving with the building – they regularly hold events and interact with the industry around them. The space inside is beautiful and it is right across the street from Curtis Hixon Park. The prices have always been fair and the happy hour is excellent. Anise is the best place to drink in Tampa – hands down.

777 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 225-4272. https://www.aniseglobal.com/


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S Bar in Brandon now permanently closed

S Bar in Brandon has permanently closed for business. The restaurant combined sushi, southern bistro cuisine, and prohibition era cocktails. It is the former location of The Rack in Brandon and had an impressive re-design.

The owners decided to move and help family out of state and ultimately decided they could no longer keep the business going.

Here is a statement from the restaurant:

Here’s hoping something new will open in this space in the future.

Inaugural Whiskey Tampa Foxtrot on October 14th

Bern’s Steak House and Epicurean Hotel are having their inaugural Whiskey Tampa Foxtrot on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 at the Epicurean Hotel located at 1207 South Howard Avenue.

cold-light-alcohol-glass.jpg

The event will feature over 200 handcrafted whiskeys and artisan foods from local restaurant to complement the tasting. Educational seminars will also be held by industry experts. The event is for ages 21+.

Whiskey List: http://whiskeytampafoxtrot.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/WHICKEY-LIST3.pdf

Restaurant partners include: Bern’s Steak House, Haven Tampa, Elevage, Locale Market, Parkshore Grill, and Rooster and The Till.

Tickets are now on-sale. VIP Admission is $150, General Admission (GA) is $95 and seminars cost $20. VIP includes early admission and exclusive bottle tastings and a special Markers Mark VIP Lounge.

Buy GA: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/whiskey-tampa-foxtrot-general-admission-tickets-37734171924

Buy VIP: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/whiskey-tampa-foxtrot-vip-tickets-37734384560

Buy Seminar Tickets: http://whiskeytampafoxtrot.com/#Seminars

Proceeds will benefit Operation First Response. The mission of Operation First Response is to serve all branches of our nation’s Wounded Heroes/Disabled Veterans and their families with personal and financial needs.

8th Annual Oktoberfest Tampa coming October 13-15

The 8th Annual Oktoberfest Tampa will take place from Friday, October 13th, 2017 to Sunday, October 15th, 2017 at Curtis Hixon Park in Downtown Tampa. The event is sponsored by Goose Island and Tampa Bay Audi Dealers.

Get tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-oktoberfest-tampa-2017-ga-tickets-36273577246

Oktoberfest games will be FREE to play at the event and there will be German food, live alphorn performances, oompah music, Schuplattler dancers, and a German DJ – DJ Jay Kay. There will be a beard and mustache showdown as well.

Beer will cost $5 for a half-liter (16 oz.) and $10 for a liter (32 oz.) at the festival. You must have a commemorative Stein in order to purchase the liter size. Wine will cost $7 a glass.

Beer list:

  • Goose Island Oktoberfest
  • Blue Point Brewery Oktoberfest
  • Victory Brewing Company Festbier
  • Beck’s Brewery Pilsner
  • Oktoberfest Tampa Dunkel by Coppertail Brewing
  • Coppertail Brewing Co – Wheat Stroke
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Company – Craft Firkins (daily)
  • O’Douls Non-Alcoholic Cans

Wine list:

  • Riesling (Chateau St. Michelle)
  • Gewürztraminer (Chateau St. Michelle)
  • Merlot (Clos du Bois)

Tickets are on-sale and cost $10 for GA for guests ages 21 years or older at the door. Weekend GA passes are available for $25.

VIP tickets are available and come with several perks including complimentary drink refills, a commemorative Oktoberfest stein, table side food service, air-conditioned restrooms, VIP shade tent with a private bar, and more.

Buy tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/8th-annual-oktoberfest-tampa-2017-ga-tickets-36273577246

The event is family-friendly and children ages 12 and under are FREE with a parent or guardian. There will be a Kids Zone with kid-friendly games during the event.

FREE ENTRY for any Military members (active or retired) and Tampa First Responders (TPD, TFD, EMS) and their significant other – simply show proper ID at the front gate.

Cash or Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) will be accepted on-site with ATMs available as well.

HIRING: Seminole Hard Rock seeks over 50 new team members for new fine dining restaurant

Seminole Hard Rock & Casino Tampa located at 5223 Orient Road will be opening a new fine dining restaurant later this year with a projected opening date of December 2017 and is now searching for applicants for over 50 new positions.

Available positions include Managers, Servers, Bartenders, Barbacks, Bussers, Food Runners, Cooks, Hosts, and Hostesses. Training for positions would begin in early November.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have “exceptional guest service and communication skills”, and “at least one year of guest service experience”.

Interested applicants can inquire at http://www.gotoworkhappy.com.

Franklin Manor celebrates first anniversary this week

Franklin Manor will celebrate its first anniversary this week with a number of events starting on Wednesday, September 20th through Sunday, September 24th.

During the last year, Franklin Manor has been a major hotspot for people heading to Downtown Tampa to party and to brunch. The area around it is set to grow quite rapidly with a new condominium finishing work in the near future and a number of other projects in development.

#frosé all day 🍾

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Here is what Franklin Manor has planned for the week:

  • Wednesday, September 204pm to 1am – Hospitality Night Launch w/ Special Guest Jonas Blue: Franklin Manor kicks-off its one-year anniversary week and new Hospitality Night with special guest, British DJ Jonas Blue.  The night will also debut a special $8.00 hospitality food menu, and 50% discounts on select drinks for all guests who work in the hospitality industry. Happy Hour specials from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Thursday, September 214pm to 1am – Throwback Thursday Night: Franklin Manor’s weekly Throwback Thursday night will feature complimentary Stoli vodka cocktails and Corona beers, as well as complimentary sliders for all guests from 8pm to 9pm.  DJ Jaime Ferreira will spin the iconic hits and classics from the ‘80s, ‘90s and 2000s.  Happy Hour specials from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Friday, September 224pm to 3am – Special Guest DJ Irie: Popular Miami music artist and icon DJ Irie returns for a special DJ set.  Happy Hour specials from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Saturday, September 234pm to 3am – Special Guest DJ Jason Smith: The “celebrities’ choice DJ” Jason Smith will headline the patio stage.  Happy Hour specials from 4pm to 8pm.
  • Sunday, September 2411am to 6pm – Happy Bday Frose’ Day: A birthday party commemorating Tampa’s original Frose’, a delicious frozen rose’ wine cocktail will coincide with Franklin Manor’s weekly brunch.  Guests who wear the color pink will be treated to complimentary Frose’ samples and dessert.  DJ Jaime Ferreira and Goofy White Kid with 93.3 FLZ will provide the sounds for the celebration.

For more information, contact Franklin Manor at (813) 487-9990 or stop by at 912 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602.

Guide: Top 8 Local Coffee Shops in Tampa

This list has been overdue. Tampa has a blossoming coffee scene, you would be hard pressed to find a local coffee shop 5-10 years ago. Recently local coffee shops have been showing up all over town. Here are my current top 8 coffee shops in Tampa.

The factors used to rate the cafes are quality of coffee, affordability, consistency, atmosphere, and customer service. This is a personal list and your list may differ from my own and that’s alright.

Here we go:

#1 – The Lab Tampa – Coffee Shop

Dialing in the good stuff on this fine morning! ☀️☕️

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Most baristas around town I’ve talked to and local business people mention The Lab. Local coffee has a community that has built around Zeal Coffee Roasters and The Lab was started as a partnership between Blind Tiger Coffee and Zeal Coffee Roasters. It’s obvious that these two ambitious local businesses joining forces would create a great product.

I only recently visited The Lab for the first time, but the coffee, conversations, and customer service has been top notch. The interior is being renovated and worked on, but to be honest – the coffee I have had here makes up for anything in the atmosphere. The friendliness of all the people who stop in also is something to appreciate.

Of all the coffee shops I have visited and constantly visit, The Lab has impressed me the most. It may not have a beautiful courtyard or baristas with bowties, but it captures the essence of what makes a good coffee shop and that makes it the best in my book.

1703 W State St.,Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 451-6662. http://www.zealcoffeeroasters.com/location/

#2 – Buddy Brew Coffee – Hyde Park Village

A study in #composition. Our last stop in #tampa. #coldbrew #breakfast #buddybrew #hydepark

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If we’re talking atmosphere – Buddy Brew Coffee in Hyde Park Village is a beautiful shop that I love to visit. Hopefully one day the rest of the construction in Hyde Park Village will subside and match this shop. The baristas at BBC are friendly, but not quite as friendly as some other shops. The coffee I ordered on various visits has been enjoyable.

The selection is also a little limited – but to me the atmosphere here makes up for that. Plus there is plenty of parking with the Hyde Park Village garages nearby which can be an issue at numerous shops around town. Buddy Brew has numerous locations around Tampa, but this one is my favorite.

1605 W Snow Ave, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 575-2739. http://www.buddybrew.com/locations/hydepark/

#3 – Caffeine – Kennedy

most of my daydreams involve coffee ✨

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I enjoyed the Caffeine location in Downtown Tampa in the past, although parking is an issue both in Downtown and also at their new shop on Kennedy. I love the atmosphere inside the new Caffeine on Kennedy. The coffee here is good though not the best in town, but I do enjoy stopping by for a cup and the shop is incredibly accommodating to people who work on laptops.

The baristas are also super friendly and the poached egg and avocado toast is excellent. Nothing wrong with a coffee shop that actually has a great food selection.

2420 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33609. (813) 644-7245. http://www.caffeineusa.com/

#4 Spaddy’s Coffee Co. – Seminole Heights

I met Greg Spaddy last year at the Seminole Heights Japan Fest. The man has always been a friendly neighborhood guy that anyone can converse with. When he opened shop in Seminole Heights this year in the courtyard next to Red Star Rock Bar, lines of customers were ready for him.

The coffee and tea selection has always been excellent at Spaddy’s and prices are fair. Coffee is sourced from Zeal Coffee Roasters. One of the best things at Spaddy’s Coffee Co. is watching the locals stop by and chat about what is happening in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. That’s what community is all about and Spaddy is a community player.

The only downside to Spaddy’s is that this location is outdoors and prone to the hot Florida weather and rain. Little by little, changes have been made to address this by adding shade and power outdoors. Don’t miss the First Friday events at the truck that bring in other local food trucks and live music to the neighborhood.

5206 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33603. (954) 829-2111. http://www.spaddyscoffee.com/

#5 Ginger Beard Coffee

Ginger Beard Coffee is known as one of the first shops to sell nitro brew coffee in Tampa. Their audience is niche and mainly drawn from locals in Channelside, but I’ve always enjoyed my experiences at their shop at Grand Central on Kennedy.

The shop regularly partners with other local players such as Bake’n Babes and TeBella and keeps releasing fresh ideas. Plus I love the red ginger beards the owners have. I’d recommend giving Ginger Beard a look – it won’t be for everyone, but I love it personally.

1208 E Kennedy Blvd #112, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 434-0795. http://www.gingerbeardcoffee.com/

#6 Foundation Coffee – Tampa Heights

Foundation Coffee was one of the early players in Tampa Heights which is now starting to boom. Originally from Riverview, Foundation is often not afraid to take risks and enter untested markets which is commendable.

The coffee at Foundation can be best described as good, but not the best I’ve had. The baristas are friendly, but not in a memorable way.

The atmosphere at Foundation in Tampa Heights cannot be beat. The outside courtyard is truly relaxing and makes you wonder why more people do not utilize the outdoors in this fashion.

Also – personally the Wi-Fi at Foundation is terrible and disconnects frequently making it a difficult shop to get any work done at. On the plus side there are plenty of plugs to charge your devices.

1607 N Franklin St, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 358-5781. http://www.foundationcoffeeco.com/

#7 Tre Amici at The Bunker – Ybor City

This shop has been in Ybor City for over 10 years and is a beautiful bungalow. There is a wide variety of options for coffee sourced from Buddy Brew and also tea and excellent Cuban toast that is representative of Ybor City.

The baristas I have encountered at Tre Amici have been friendly. Paid parking is available nearby, but actual parking spots can be a little scarce near the shop. The shop is constantly packed with customers and locals.

There are a ton of tables and plugs lying around for people who need to get work done or have a meeting.

1907 N 19th St, Tampa, FL 33605. (813) 247-6964. http://www.bunkerybor.com/

#8 The Attic Cafe – Downtown Tampa

proven to be the most productive when chugging coffee on a rooftop #science

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Coffee shops are a mix of coffee and your experience there. The Attic relies heavily on experience and is more of a mix shop serving a variety of things. The thing not to miss here is the view.

The Attic has a beautiful skyline view of Downtown Tampa that you will not find anywhere else. Visit during sunset and it may be one of the best city views in Tampa.

The coffee is satisfactory – not the best I have had. The staff is much more like what you would find at a local sandwich shop, the baristas do not seem to have the same kind of passion for coffee you’ll find at other shops around town. Still – the view at The Attic cannot be beat.

There are also plenty of plugs and excellent Wi-Fi at The Attic. Parking can be a pit of a pain due to the meters in Downtown.

500 E Kennedy Blvd #400, Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 226-1003. http://www.atticcafe.net/


What are your favorite coffee shops? Let me know in the comments.

Hurricane Irma: AJ’s Press GoFundMe for Employees

During Hurricane Irma, local Tampa sandwich shop AJ’s Press was damaged by the storm.

The damage will take at least 2 weeks to fix which will impact the employees who work there. In response, AJ’s Press has setup a GoFundMe for their employees and to help cover damages that will not be covered from the storm.

Donate here: http://www.gofundme.com/ajs-press-pay-for-team-2-wks-close