Just Love Coffee Cafe and NFL superstar Chris Johnson hold grand opening event in Clermont

Orlando-native and NFL superstar Chris Johnson held a Grand Opening for his Just Love Coffee Cafe in Clermont this past weekend at 1615 FL-50 on June 26th. Johnson played football at Olympia High School in Orlando before his career took off.

Johnson (also known as CJ2K) is known as one of the most explosive running backs to ever play in the NFL. With his phenomenal records and  countless prestigious awards, some say Chris set the tone for all NFL running back hopefuls. He was a Pro Bowl selection in each of his first three years in the league.

In 2009, he won the NFL rushing title with 2,006 yards, becoming the sixth of only eight players ever to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season, and breaking Marshall Faulk’s record of total yards from scrimmage with 2,509. With his NFL career behind him, Chris has shifted his energy to focus on creating a relaxing environment that encourages quality time with family and friends. 

Staff at the Just Love Coffee Cafe grand opening in Clermont.

Johnson shares on the opening, “I love this community and I’m excited to provide an establishment where family and friends can make a lifetime of memories over waffles and coffee. I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to serve and give back!”

The ribbon cutting grand opening celebration allowed local influencers, bloggers, and customers to experience all the shop has to offer firsthand and consisted of special giveaways, games, coffee, local vendors, and face painting. 

Johnson signing autographs.

The coffee shop blurs the lines between a modern, fast-casual dining experience and a specialty coffee shop through delicious “Instagram-able” food, hand-brewed coffee, and tea drinks. 

Food choices include a breakfast burrito, cinnamon rolls, chicken tenders, club sandwich, turkey wrap, avocado toast, bacon tater, Stuffed Nutella, and more. There are kids options available for families.

Busy interior during the Grand Opening event at Just Love Coffee Cafe in Clermont.

The first five customers at the top of each hour (7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.) received free coffee for one whole year. Chris was on-site signing autographs for customers who purchased his very own CJ2K coffee blend that launched Saturday morning.

The café is now open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Chris along with his Just Love Coffee Café team look forward to serving the Clermont community with waffles, coffee, and love.

Just Love Coffee Roasters is a three-time finalist for Micro Roaster of the Year by Roast Magazine and is a 90+ rated coffee roaster by CoffeeReview.com. The company was originally established as an e-commerce business providing a turnkey fundraising solution for adopting families and non-profits. Just Love opened its first coffee shop in Murfreesboro in 2011 and currently has over 20 locations opened or currently under development across the southeastern and midwestern states.

Latin Grill opens new location on SR-60 in Brandon with lounge, DJs, outside bar, and more.

The Latin Grill has opened a new location on State Road 60 or Adamo Drive right between U.S. Highway 301 and Faulkenburg. The new location is much bigger than their other business which is off Bloomingdale Avenue and has a full dance floor, DJ booth, and bar both inside and outside. It is currently in soft opening while they train bartenders, servers, and cooks for a future grand opening event.

Dinner is going to run you around $10-20, while breakfasts are also available. I did not see lunch specials on the menu during my visit, but that may be added in the future.

The menu is largely the same as their other spot, with a bigger focus on big meals, dinner, and a big cocktail list.

You’ll find mojitos with sugar canes inside, pina coladas, micheladas, and more. Most of the beers are Latin beers from Peru and Mexico with a few domestic beers at around $3 to $5. Hopefully they will add more local craft beer options in the future, something like Veza Sur from Miami or Cigar City would be appropriate for this kind of bar. 

The Pina Colada was tasty, but very sugary and more of a dessert beverage than the kind you might order at your usual hotel bar. They even top it off with whipped cream and some kind of syrup. 

Latin Grill starts the meal off with their Cuban bread that is also served at their old location, which comes buttered with guava and a spicy sauce that has always been a signature of their restaurant concept and is so delicious. It tasted exactly as I remember. Delicious.

My family has dined at Latin Grill since it was the Latin Cafe 2000 back in 2005 when my parents first moved to Brandon and bought their first home. The business has steadily grown over the years and they will be keeping the other sister location off Bloomingdale operating.

Lechon Asado

As far as food goes, there are various pork, chicken, and seafood choices. I ordered a Lechon Asado which is pork slow-cooked with moros (black rice) and tostones. The dish was excellent, perfectly moist pork and not greasy. The rice was also superb. The tostones were a little undersalted, but they did bring over some salt packets to rectify it. I could easily have taken this home and enjoyed a second meal at home or some tacos with it, but I couldn’t help finishing it all.

Chicken Milanesa

My Step-Dad ordered their Chicken Milanesa which is breaded chicken covered in cheese, it was huge and looked delicious. My Mom ordered a shrimp dish with rice, it was presented nicely, although the portion could be a little bigger. 

Shrimp

I also ordered a michelada which came out delicious. They are so easy to drink for me and a bit dangerous. The vibe at the new Latin Grill feels like a day in Miami during the day with televisions playing sports games and various programs in the day and cushiony lounge areas around the restaurant that could be used later by groups looking to party. There is a neon light wall that will no doubt become an Instagram favorite. 

Around 9 p.m. the vibe switched and they started playing music louder, running light fixtures, and it felt like a nightclub or ultra lounge. People started dancing, but it’s still in soft opening so it wasn’t packed just yet. We noticed there were hookah options outside for those who are into that. The outside patio has plenty of space for future use as well though it isn’t being utilized at this time. 

I was impressed with how friendly the bartenders and servers were, even if they were still in training. Customer service is very important in this area as Brandon is not the easiest crowd to please, but if they do it right and train their staff well, I see no reason why this new location won’t be one of the hottest spots in town.

9331 E Adamo Dr Tampa, FL 33519. (813) 654-8000

Where to eat and drink this summer on Clearwater Beach

Are you visiting Clearwater Beach for the summer and wondering where to go? 

Most of the locals will stay off the strip and eat around the residential neighborhoods, but there are also quite a few spots on the beach that are still enjoyable even if you’re not a tourist or want to stay close to the ocean for the sunset. I have you covered with this guide of local spots around the area. 

Badfins Food + Brew: This is a great spot for those who love craft beer with an extensive and locally-focused beer list. The food is American food fare such as mac and cheese, fries, nuggets, nachos, and some seafood options as well. Lots of taco choices as well. 215 South Gulfview Boulevard, Clearwater, FL 33767

Caretta on the Gulf: This is a hotel restaurant inside the Sandpearl Resort. Caretta has really great food and one of our favorite things to order here is the sushi which is always delicious. The views of Clearwater Beach also cannot be beat, we often dine on the patio overlooking the pool area. They also have a small pool bar with food as well. Before the pandemic they also had a great brunch buffet, but have made it ala carte since the pandemic started. It’s pricey, but worth the spend if you are trying to indulge. 500 Mandalay Avenue #100, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Marina Cantina: This is such a glorious spot to watch the sunset pass by on Clearwater Beach after a day at Pier 60. It looks like a boat, but it is a full-fledged restaurant and bar. It’s not a traditional Mexican restaurant, but more of fusion/American food. Parking can be a challenge, so plan ahead and walk if you have to. 25 Causeway Boulevard., Clearwater, FL 33767

Shephard’s Beach Resort: If you like to party, Shephard’s is for you. They have a restaurant, nightclub, tiki bar, and a tequila bar inside their beach resort. They regularly host live music and DJs to come and play on their outside bar. There can be cover charges and ticket sales associated with it, so I would check ahead before going. If you’re just going to hang out on the water, the bar is just fine for a chill day and they have a good amount of your standard American food like burgers and fries. Their restaurant also has a brunch buffet on the weekends. 619 South Gulfview Boulevard, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767.

Ice&Cream Creamery: If you’re looking for a great ice cream shop with multiple flavors to beat the heat, Ice&Cream can help satisfy your craving. They have two locations around Clearwater Beach and other locations in Pinellas County. Multiple locations.

King’s Pizza: Who doesn’t enjoy a slice of pizza with an ice cold drink during the summer, especially during a vacation? King’s Pizza is a take-out pizza joint, nothing fancy but tasty pizza. They also have wings and fries. Prices are more than fair, especially considering the tourist spots around. They offer pizza by the slice and delivery of whole pies – in case you’re feeling lazy at your hotel. 325 Coronado Dr. Clearwater, FL 33767

SHOR American Seafood Grill: If you don’t mind splurging at a hotel restaurant, the Hyatt Regency on Clearwater Beach has an excellent seafood restaurant. The dress code is resort casual. You’ll find American Blue Crab Cakes, Calamari, Lobster Ravioli, Grouper, Surf and Turf, and more on the menu. They also create menus for special occasions regularly so check their listings on OpenTable. 301 South Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Tropico Rooftop Cantina: Upstairs from SHOR at the Hyatt Regency, check out this rooftop bar and cantina that has one of the best sunset views ever. I have been up here to enjoy some great sunsets and drinks at the bar. It was once just a secret for guests, but it is now listed on the Hyatt website. 301 South Gulfview Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Blessed Cup: I love a good coffee shop, especially to start my day on vacation. Blessed Cup is a cafe with breakfast and a focus on locally-roasted coffee. You’ll find your standard hot and cold drinks as well as smoothies and other beverage choices. 483 Mandalay Ave #200, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

Enjoy!

Things to do this weekend in Tampa: June 25-27

Looking for things to do this weekend in Tampa from June 25th to June 27th? I have you covered. There’s a variety of things popping up now that Florida is reopening and more people are getting vaccinated and traveling into the state. 

Friday, June 25th

8 a.m. – Cafe on Tampa at Oxford Exchange: This week’s theme is “Tampa Bay – the World’s Next Great Cultural Hub” with Mark Cantrell, President & CEO, of Florida Orchestra as speaker. Cafe con Tampa is a weekly speaking series that features local leaders and thinkers. The opening remarks from the speaker will be broadcast live on their Facebook page (around 8:10 a.m.) but the Q&A will not be streamed. Due to COVID-19, attendance will be limited to 60 seats, so buy yours early. COVID-19 prevention measures are not required by Oxford Exchange at this time if you are fully vaccinated. However, if you feel your personal situation is at risk for you, organizers encourage you to take applicable precautions.They strongly urge those individuals who are not vaccinated to take the necessary prevention measures by wearing a mask, keeping 6 ft. social distance, and washing hands frequently. 420 West Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606

Saturday, June 26th

10 a.m. – Inaugural Tampa Heights Cultural Fest: The Tampa Heights Cultural Fest: A Juneteenth Celebration is an explosion of arts, live entertainment, wellness activities, and food. The Tampa Heights neighborhood has gone through many transitions over the past decades. Today, development is drastically transforming the community and in turn impacting the diversity that has always been its hallmark. This is an opportunity to soak up the culture of “The Heights” with performances by local artists and one-of-a-kind gifts from vendors in the area. 1809 North Central Avenue Tampa, FL 33602

11 a.m. – First-ever Drag Brunch at Datz St. Pete: Head to Datz for their first-ever drag brunch. Proceeds will benefit METRO. There will be Pride specials including $5 Champagne Supernovas, $5 Datz-A-Mary’s, $5 Mimosas, and $5 Froses. Seating starts at 10:30 a.m. and showtime is at 11:00 a.m. Email to reserve seats. 180 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

12 p.m. – Summer Crocfest 2021: This event will benefit the Indian Gharial at ZooTampa. Proceeds raised will support the critically endangered Indian Gharial, Gavialis gangeticus, through the Gharial Ecology Project in India. This project, overseen by Jeffrey Lang, PhD, has garnered worldwide interest and support from conservationists, zoos, and croc folks alike. Admission is a $25 donation for adults (ages 18 and up) and $10 for kids (ages 5 to 17). Kids under age 5 are free. Tickets include admission into the zoo, a BBQ dinner, and beer, water and soft drinks. There will be a silent auction followed by a live auction  and t-shirt sales as well. 1101 West Sligh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604

3 p.m. – Market on Florida at Pickford’s Sundries: Enjoy a chill vibe, great food, local art, handmade goods, vinyl, vintage, tarot & more. 2606 West Hillsborough Avenue Tampa, FL 33614

Sunday, June 27th

10:30 a.m. – Chicken Yoga at Hotel Haya: Monthly installment of Chicken yoga hosted by Union Three Studio and special guests from the Ybor Misfits Microsanctuary. This is still a FREE class, however, they will be accepting donations that will go to the Microsanctuary to directly assist caring for our favorite Ybor neighbors. Classes have limited spots and require a reservation via Eventbrite. All levels are welcome! They ask that you wear a mask as you come and go or use common areas. 1412 East 7th Ave, Tampa, FL 33605

12 p.m. – SUNtastic Sundays Pool Party at Postcard Inn On The Beach: Come out the last Sunday of every month and enjoy a Tropical House DJ + live musical performance. GA ticket grants entry to the pool. Daybed and cabana reservations available. Parking is not included. 6300 Gulf Boulevard, St Pete Beach, FL 33706

1 p.m. – Thee Blxck Market – Seminole Heights Art & Food Market: Enjoy local artists, vendors, and food. 5407 North Florida Avenue Tampa, FL 33604

Enjoy!

Tampa Theatre screening ‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain’ starting July 16th

The historic Tampa Theatre downtown is screening “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” next month starting on July 16th. The screening will kickoff with a panel of Tampa-based food industry and mental health advocates after the opening showing. These screenings are presented by Newgentek and FusionPrep. 

The impact of the death of Bourdain is still with us all today and this film is certain to bring up feelings of that day when the world woke up to news of Bourdain’s passing. I know that, for me, it was a difficult day and a genuine feeling of loss and emptiness that hit me like a rock. 

Film Synopsis: “Director Morgan Neville, with Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (the highest-grossing biographical doc of all time) and 20 Feet From Stardom (winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) under his belt, certainly knows how to make a compelling, deep-diving biopic. But it’s difficult to think of a subject more potentially slippery than Anthony Bourdain, the beloved “celebrity chef” (he would have hated being called that) who rose to stardom with a brutally frank book about life in the restaurant world, became the host of several travel/food shows that broke completely from the mold of luxury travel/food shows, and tragically died by suicide in 2018. How do you eulogize a world-famous cipher? Should you even try?”

On the film panel:

  • Michael Bell, a Tampa native, is a culinary professional working at the Cowboys Club in Dallas. He spent the better part of a decade traveling and eating his way through 26 countries. He previously worked at Knife with Chef John Tesar, where he was granted a precious look into John and Anthony Bourdain’s long friendship and the man he fondly referred to as ‘Tony.’
  • Jeff Houck is a marketing and public relations manager for the Columbia Restaurant Group. He previously worked in journalism for 25 years, including as the food writer for the Tampa Tribune.
  • Clearwater, FL-raised Greg Baker set his sights on Western Culinary Institute in Portland, OR directly out of high school. It would be in Portland where he would find his love and cement his respect for the elegance of Poor Man Food. Forging partnerships with local farmers for nearly a decade, Greg took these lessons back home to Tampa Bay where he would single-handedly change the culinary scene by putting faces to farmers and daringly utilize all aspects of proteins. To do this successfully, he was forced to change his menu every week. In the beginning, there were only crickets; with each week passing, he forged a new food climate in an area known for little culinary creativity. Baker opened The Refinery with his wife, Michelle, in 2010 in the historic neighborhood of Seminole Heights, Tampa. His menus incorporate the flavors of the vast countryside from across the globe, mixed with classical French technique all the while keeping in mind Florida’s rich cultural history. He is known for resurrecting nearly lost Florida ingredients and cooking techniques, for whole animal butchery, whole vegetable use, being a sustainable seafood advocate, and for being an avid defender of farmer worker rights and policy reform. He lent his voice to address the epidemic of mental health issues in the restaurant industry through media outlets such as Food & Wine and the Wall Street Journal. In 2019, Baker retired from restaurant life and launched the Chef Greg Baker Group (CBBG), a full-service hospitality industry consulting firm, in order to share his decades of experience, knowledge, and expertise with startups and existing operators.
  • Chef Ferrell Alvarez has been in the hospitality business for 27 years and resides in Tampa Bay where he owns and operates four concepts, Rooster and the Till, Nebraska Mini Mart and two Gallito Taqueria’s under his restaurant group, Proper House Group. His flagship, Rooster and the Till, earned him several awards and accolades such as a James Beard nomination for Best Chef South, Florida Trend Golden Spoon Hall of Fame and Tampa Bay Times number one restaurant for 2018 and 2019. At R+tT, you can expect Chefs’ take on global progressive food that always pays respect to his city and latin heritage while at the same time, reaches way beyond.

Tickets are $11.50 for evening admission and $8.50 matinee with discounts for members of the theatre. Doors open 45 minutes before the show. 

Tampa Theatre was built in 1926 and is one of America’s most elaborate movie palaces and a beloved community landmark. Tampa’s community and history buffs have long rallied around the theatre to keep it alive and support it and the theatre is still standing even after a major pandemic has swept the globe. The theatre went through a major renovation just a few years ago and put in new seats for maximum comfort. 

Today the theatre is run by the not-for-profit Tampa Theatre Foundation. Members are available and start at $50 and they are always seeking donations, sponsors, and volunteers to help keep history alive in one of the most beautiful landmarks in the City of Tampa.


Buy tickets:
http://tampatheatre.org/movie/roadrunner/

Celebrate the start of summer with a free scoop at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Who else is sick of “feels like 100” on their weather radar? It’s hot and miserable in Florida, but at least there’s ice cream and even better free ice cream. 

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is ringing in the official start of summer with free scoops today and special summer giveaways at their first day of summer celebration on Monday, June 21, from 7 p.m. to close. (Five Jeni’s shops will not participate in the giveaway: North Market and Columbus Commons in Columbus, Ohio; Nashville Farmers Market in Nashville, Tenn.; Armitage in Chicago, and Sparkman Wharf in Tampa, Fla.)

I’d get there early if I were you as there is no way people will miss out on free ice cream with this weather! Jeni’s location across from Armature Works at The Pearl, 305 West Palm Ave. Tampa, FL 33602.

No purchase will be necessary to a free scoop of ice cream– patrons need only show up to get their complimentary summer celebration scoop. All Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams shops will be closed during the day on June 21 to prepare for the event.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams is a modern American ice cream company devoted to making the finest ice creams the world has ever known. Founded in Columbus, Ohio in 2002 by James Beard Award-winning ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s has emerged over the past decades as the new standard by which all other ice creams (and ice cream companies) are judged. 

Today, Jeni’s is a Certified B Corporation and known for its social, environmental, and business leadership with 50ish scoop shops, an online shop at jenis.com, and distribution in top grocery stores across the country.

Where to enjoy delicious Italian eats in Tampa

Tampa’s Italian scene has evolved over the years from small mom-and-pops to more expensive trattorias, but Tampa has a long history of Italian food thanks to historic mafia ties, a bustling cigar industry, and Prohibition in the 1920s. 

The Italian Club in Ybor City didn’t just arrive there by accident, Tampa has long been a town of immigrants. I haven’t been to many of the new spots in town, but I have some places that have a special place in my heart and when I make it back it always puts a smile on my face.

Here is where to enjoy delicious Italian eats in Tampa:

Gino’s Restaurant: This place is so special to me, it reminds me of growing up in Carrollwood which was once very working family orientated, back when the University Mall was a thing and before Brandon and Wesley Chapel became a thing. Gino’s is a neighborhood bar and an Italian restaurant. The family has owned it for who knows how long. Their Italian food is delicious and has not changed in the 15+ years I have dined there and they also have excellent burgers. I like to order simple comfort dishes here, such as the Baked Ziti or the Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo with Chicken.

Their portions are huge so we always share and order appetizers and dessert. I don’t feel like too many people know about Gino’s outside of the area, but they are always busy whenever I go regardless. The divey bar on the other side of the restaurant always seems to be filled with bodies as well. When I was a kid and I lived in the apartment complex around the corner, they would know my order just by picking up the phone and I never forgot. I love this spot. Oh – and don’t miss the Banana Foster! 10006 North Armenia Avenue North, Tampa, FL 33612

Iaverone’s Steakhouse & Italian Grill: I grew up going here to eat while my Mom and her co-workers would enjoy happy hour after work on Fridays. The food is delicious and they have deep ties to the Tampa area. You really cannot go wrong with a Marsala or any of the seafood or pasta dishes. It’s all delicious and a little pricey, but it’s that kind of place where you will see people in suits and dresses, especially on the weekends. Getting a reservation can be a little difficult for large groups, especially on the weekends as well. Along with Donatello and Gino’s, I consider this to be old Tampa. 3617 West Humphrey Street, Tampa, FL 33614

Donatello Italian Restaurant: Legendary in South Tampa. This is a place where the greeter at the door will kiss a woman on her hand and they have roses and waiters in tuxedos. I haven’t dined at Donatello very often, but every time was excellent and the vibe is very old Italian-style. They are also quite notable for their perfect inspection reports. The few times I popped in for live music at their bar it was also excellent. 232 North Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33609

Bella’s Italian Cafe: Certainly one of my favorite Italian restaurants in Tampa, Bella’s makes their pastas from scratch and it shows. You can customize your pasta to your liking. Their food is excellent and I have never had a bad meal there. Their long-running late-night happy hour always made it a fun spot to head to later in the evening as well and a good spot for hospitality folks. Their bar is also good and has a nice happy hour as well. We went more often when Tampa was starting to grow, but haven’t been in some time. Everytime I go back it feels like home though. 1413 South Howard Ave #100, Tampa, FL 33606

Bernini Ybor: Long-running Italian spot in Historic Ybor City. Bernini has good food and I’m not sure why I don’t go more often, but their 50% off deals from 4-7 are legendary and so are their martini happy hours. The staff was always so pleasant on my visits and I love dining al fresco on 7th before the town really gets busy. 1702 East 7th Avenue, Tampa, FL 33605

Allegria Italiana: This spot is reserved for when I’m home in Brandon or when I want an old-school style dine. The tables have white cloths over them without being stuffy. Their Fettuccine Alfredo and their Linguine Carbonara are both delicious and their lunch specials are a great deal. I have even ordered delivery from here via a third party service and loved it just as much as dining in. Their Tiramisu is also stellar. I highly recommend Allgeria Italiana if you find yourself in Brandon for any reason or live there. 518 Oakfield Drive, Brandon, FL 33511

Oggi Italian: I wanted Italian for brunch one day and realized that most Italian restaurants are open on Sundays in the morning, with the exception of Oggi on Davis Island. This quaint restaurant has a very European vibe to it and they have great prices on pasta, pizza, and even a little alleyway as an optional dining spot. 236 East Davis Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606

Enjoy!

Domu and The Greenery Creamery team up in new collaboration

Popular Orlando businesses, DOMU and The Greenery Creamery, have teamed up for a new collaboration. DOMU is offering vegan-friendly and dairy-free soft serve ice cream made by The Greenery Creamery. 

The flavor of Yuzu Lemongrass is available tonight and tomorrow at the Dr. Phillips and East End Domu locations only. It is made with a coconut-milk base and topped with pandan-infused coconut. 

Don’t walk. Run. 

DOMU has been featured in the past on Food Network and won numerous awards for “Best Ramen” in the Orlando-area. DOMU originally started in November of 2016 in the Audubon Park District with Chef/Owner Sean “Sonny” Nguyen at the helm. DOMU is a slang term for “a dream come true” and the ambiance oozes that ideology of going against the grain and creating something unique.

The Greenery Creamery is Orlando’s first artisanal ice cream boutique and well-known for their focus on vegan-friendly ice cream flavors. They serve traditional (dairy) and plant-based ice cream made fresh from premium, organic, or local and natural ingredients.

They use locally-sourced cream from grass-fed cows to make their scratch-made dairy ice cream and a mix of coconut, peanut butter, sunflower butter, almond, or soy for vegan bases. Handcrafted in small batches for freshness and quality control, each ice cream is customized for you with as much.

Where to celebrate Juneteenth in Tampa

Tampa has a number of events for Juneteenth happening around town. Juneteenth is now a federal holiday after being signed into law this week by President Joe Biden. It originated in Galveston, Texas, and has been celebrated annually on June 19th in various parts of the United States since 1866.

The City of Tampa observed the event officially for the first time on Friday. 

“We are kings and queens. We’ve always been kings and queens, but we were never taught that. Education is power,” Tampa Bay Juneteenth Coalition President Philetha Tucker-Johnson said.

Here are events happening around Tampa in celebration of Juneteenth 2021:

9 a.m. – East Pasco Juneteenth Community Celebration: East Pasco is hosting their inaugural Juneteenth Celebration. There will be music, food, games and free health screenings available for all who attend this free event. 38122 Martin Luther King Blvd., Dade City, FL 33525

10 a.m. – Juneteenth Laura Street Market: In Plant City the local Black business district was located on Laura Street. The Historical Bing Rooming House, this event’s location, is a historic marker and one of the remnants of the local Black business district. Celebrate Juneteenth as organizers reignite the rich American history with today’s entrepreneurs showcasing local talent, music, and food. The event is free to all. There will be a live DJ and an opportunity to win up to $250 of free merchandise from event vendors. 205 Allen Street Plant City, FL 33563

10 a.m. – “Oh Freedom!!” 1st Annual Juneteenth Commemoration: Featuring live music from FWD Thinkers, vendors, food, poetry readings, an African drummer and a cultural fashion show by African Extravaganza. There will also be a sidewalk book sale with a variety of books on the African Diaspora. 1463 Tampa Park Plaza Tampa, FL 33602

11 a.m. – Juneteenth Freedom Event: There will be entertainment, food, and lots of shopping! Come out and learn what Juneteenth is all about. Great Art, Soaps, Apparel and so much more. Learn the History of Central Avenue right here in Tampa, as well as Black Wall Street in Tulsa 100 years ago. You don’t want to miss this Historical Celebration. 1924 East Comanche Avenue Tampa, FL 33610

11 a.m. – Juneteenth Business Expo 2021: Enjoy an unforgettable experience as successful Black entrepreneurs bringing together other African American businesses to network, sell, and showcase local and global brands. 642 22nd Street South St. Petersburg, FL 33712

12 p.m. – Juneteenth Festival: R.O.C The Block Festivals is hosting the Tampa Bay Juneteenth Festival at Raymond James Stadium! They invite the local and global community to shop products and services, while enjoying a block party atmosphere of live music from DJs, local entertainers, amazing food trucks, and fun for families. Join the MOVEMENT & R.O.C. The Block – Reconditioning Our Community! 4201 NorthDale Mabry Highway Tampa, FL 33607

12 p.m. – Juneteenth Jam – A Celebration of Liberation: Enjoy 25+ vendors, a book bag giveaway, scholarship, ceremony, community fair, and more. 2220 62nd Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL

1 p.m. – Juneteenth Celebration at Sulphur Springs Museum: Celebration of Juneteenth exhibits on emancipation, the Underground Railroad, Jim Crow, etc. and showing “Black Panther”. 1101 East River Cove Street Tampa, FL 33604

3 p.m. – 29th Annual Juneteenth Observance: Join Lakeland Juneteenth and Doris Moore-Bailey on Saturday, June 19th, 2021 at the Coleman-Bush Building from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for Lakeland’s 29th Annual Juneteenth Observance. 1104 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, Lakeland, FL

6:19 p.m. – AfroCAN Fest: Night Garden Experience: Juneteenth commemoration with live entertainment from fashion to Black designers, live art, dining options from various Black culinary artists, DJ by the waterfront, and more. 2629 Bayshore Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33629

Father’s Day 2021 deals and specials in Tampa

Father’s Day is Sunday, June 20th in case you forgot! If you’re still looking for something to do this weekend or a restaurant to order from in Tampa, I have you covered with deals and specials happening around town.

I recommend making a reservation or calling ahead since it could get quite busy depending on where you are trying to take Dad this weekend.  

Rusty Pelican Tampa: Enjoy a Three-Course Celebration Brunch menu and A la Carte Dinner menu on the bay. They do require a $25 per person deposit. They do not charge your credit card at the time of booking. If you’re unable to make your reservation, you must cancel at least 48 hours prior or you’ll be charged. 2425 North Rocky Point Drive, Tampa, FL 33607. (813) 281-1943

Xochitl Mexican Cocina: All Dads (and single Moms that have the role of Mom and Dad) can eat free from 11 a.m. to 2p.m. during brunch. How cool is that? 307 West Palm Ave, Tampa, FL 33602. (833) 962-4485

Revolution Ice Cream Co.: Take the family out for ice cream and support local businesses. Dad will get a complimentary scoop at The Rev and there is nothing better than free ice cream that is delicious! Multiple locations.

Coppertail Brewing Co.: Celebrate Father’s Day with $2.50 pints of Florida Special and Father’s Day food specials all day. Gifts for Dad available at the Coppertail online store or at the tasting room. They have merchandise, gift cards, and package beers available. 2601 East 2nd Ave, Tampa, FL 33605.

Steelbach Tampa: This Father’s Day, treat Dad to a delicious dinner at Steelbach. Enjoy their regular Brunch and Dinner menus, along with a few decadent additions. For reservations, call (813) 693-5478. 1902 North Ola Avenue, Tampa, FL 33602.

Three Bulls Tavern & Brewery: They will be celebrating on Saturday, June 19th, starting at 5 p.m. instead of Sunday, they will be serving their Father’s Day Butcher’s Board Special featuring all smoked meats. The board includes 3B Pulled Pork, Hickory-smoked St. Louis spare ribs, Smoked Cheddar Cheese Brats, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Pickled Okra, and Hawaiian rolls..while supplies last. 4330 Bell Shoals Rd, Valrico, FL 33596. (813) 381-3853

Tampa Bay Brewing Co.: To celebrate the occasion they are dropping their Lawn Daddy Neotraditional Pilsner on Friday, June 18th at both Westchase and Ybor City locations. It is a traditional German Pilsner Malt contrasted with modern hops. Grab a 4-pack to enjoy with Dad. Multiple locations.

The Landing Bar & Grill: Enjoy a complimentary domestic draft for Dad and Bill’s famous BBQ ribs. 4351 Lynx Paw Trail, Valrico, FL 33596. (813) 653-0002

Bayboro Brewing: Dad’s can enjoy $1 off beers all day on Father’s Day. They will have DJ Cuzzin Crook spinning from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. as well. 2390 5th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712.

India’s Grill Brandon: Enjoy a special Father’s Day Brunch on Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call (813) 409-2744 for a reservation.  902 East Brandon Boulevard, Brandon, FL 33511.

Tasty Venues Italian Bistro & Gourmet Food Shop: Special Father’s Day lunch on Sunday. $30 per person, advance reservation required. On the menu, Italian Mixed Appetizer (charcuterie and cheese), Mixed Salad, Tortellini with Short Ribs sauce, and Profiteroles (Cream Puffs with Chocolate Sauce). Dad gets a free beer. 951 E Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511.

Bulla Gastrobar: Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day and join Bulla for Brunch starting at 10 a.m. or Dinner at 4 p.m. Enjoy Bulla’s signature flavors, wines, and hand-crafted cocktails, 3-course brunch menu, and tapas-style options. Dad will receive a $20 gift card from Bulla for his next visit and a box of chocolate clusters. 930 South Howard Avenue, Tampa, FL 33606. (813) 773-8626

Council Oaks Steak and Seafood: In addition to Council Oak Steaks & Seafood’s award-winning menu, from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., guests can enjoy the featured Father’s Day dry-aged prime rib special that includes Council Oak barbeque rub and horseradish cream ($80). 5223 Orient Rd, Tampa, FL 33610. (813) 627-7600

Hard Rock Cafe: The featured Father’s Day specials will be available June 19th and June 20th and will include New York strip steak with bourbon sauce ($34.95), three meat Italian flatbread with spinach, olive caponata and mozzarella cheese ($16.95), black and blue signature steak burger encrusted with cracked black pepper topped with Applewood bacon and blue cheese ($18.95). After dinner options will include apple cheesecake ($8.95) and Old Fashioned, old forester bourbon with house-made brown sugar syrup and a dash of bitters ($6). 5223 Orient Rd, Tampa, FL 33610.

Cipresso: From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., the featured Father’s Day special will be grilled Tomahawk veal chop that includes Morel mushroom risotto, Cipollini onion and Madeira veal jus ($65). 5223 Orient Rd, Tampa, FL 33610. (813) 627-8130

The Rez Grill: Celebrate Father’s Day in style with The Rez Grill’s Sunday dinner from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The featured Father’s Day special will include bone marrow ($22) and porterhouse ($75). 5223 Orient Rd, Tampa, FL 33610. (813) 627-8120

Rise Kitchen & Deli: From noon to 8 p.m., the restaurant’s Father’s Day special will be a smokehouse trio of slow smoked brisket, baby back ribs and sausage with baked potato and jalapeño cheddar cornbread for $29 per person. 5223 Orient Rd, Tampa, FL 33610.

Columbia Restaurant: Celebrate Father’s Day 1905-style with specials at Tampa Columbia locations, including Tapas – Tostones con Picadillo:Twice-fried green plantains seasoned lightly with salt, topped with Picadillo de Pollo, lime crema and smoked Spanish paprika alioli; Entrée – Filet “Chacho”; Their bestselling steak, center-cut filet mignon with a rich sauce of private-barrel select Knob Creek 120 proof Bourbon, shallots and mushrooms. Served with roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables. For dessert enjoy Tarta Crema de Coco y Banana, a baked pastry filled with fresh sliced bananas, coconut custard and topped with whipped cream and a caramel drizzle. Call to make reservations or book online. Multiple locations in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Augustine, Clearwater Beach and Celebration.

Fleming’s Steakhouse – Sarasota: Make this Father’s day legendary with a 3-course Surf & Turf menu. Choose Prime Bone-In Ribeye and Lobster or Filet with Crab-Stuffed Shrimp or Lobster Tail Scampi from June 17th to June 21st. A full Dinner Menu is also available. Fleming’s will be open early Saturday and Sunday for Father’s Day Weekend, June 19th to June 20th. 2001 Siesta Drive, Sarasota, FL 34239. (941) 358-9463

Enjoy!