This San Francisco cowork space requires proof of a COVID-19 vaccine to enter

The pandemic has been incredibly disruptive to in-person office work and despite all the back and forth, there is one way to push health at work and that is with vaccines. Trellis Workspace, located at 981 Mission Street in San Francisco is a cowork space that requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter.

The choice to require vaccinations is one that is increasingly being sought by groups around the nation as the Delta coronavirus variant surges, including at government offices, schools, hospitals, and some offices as well. Although initially skeptical of having a requirement, the surge of cases and deaths including with coworkers has spurred action. 

View of the cowork space from the left.

Cigar City Brewing from Tampa made its way on this beer tap.

Once inside, visitors can get access to unlimited coffee pours, filtered water, a full bar with wine and craft, beer on 12 taps, and libations as well as private office spaces, conference rooms, and telephone booths that can be used for quick meetings. 

A pour of wine from the tap.

The open space boasts numerous plugs, a great Wi-Fi connection, and printing to serve most business needs. There are also restrooms in the building as well for a complete office space experience.

Access to the cowork space can be done hourly, weekly, or monthly, with options for private-use as well and the space is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 pm. Those that stick around can take advantage of happy hour specials, especially on Fridays.

The staff at Trellis is friendly at the door and with any needs you may have as a visitor. The office space seems to be only moderately busy as many workers continue to work at home during the pandemic.

San Francisco ramps up vaccine effort

Just this week the San Francisco Bar Owner Alliance moved to make it the official position of the group that vaccination will be required for entrance to bars with over 500 members in their group. The statement put out by the group reads, “This decision is based solely on our need to protect our workers, customers, and their families, however, we hope it might also influence some who have not yet received vaccinations to do so as soon as they are able.”

Politicians including San Francisco Mayor London Breed supported the move saying in a statement on Twitter, “This is a responsible decision by the SF Bar Owner Alliance that will help protect employees and customers. We need everyone to get vaccinated, especially as the Delta variant continues to spread. It’s how we can keep our city and our residents safe.”

San Francisco has also moved to require vaccination for all government employees in an effort to continue its push for vaccination. San Francisco has one of the highest vaccination rates in the United States and the city has taken numerous actions during the pandemic to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The CDC has recently announced a change to mask policies this week as cases rise and the nation begins to grapple with yet another COVID-19 wave. Vaccine requirements seem like a no brainer in the effort to one day hopefully return to normalcy in our society.

Abanico Coffee on Mission near 17th street serves up quality coffee and conversations

There’s a new coffee shop in the Mission District just near 17th Street called Abanico Coffee Roasters. The owner, Ana Valle, is originally from El Salvador and grew up in Daly City in the 80s’ after her family fled the civil war.

The sleek look of the interior in photos I saw made me decide I wanted to seek this cafe out as well as the unique story behind it.

Cafe de Morro at Abanico Coffee Roasters.
Display wall with retail coffee bags for sale.

Initially, I passed the shop on Mission Street, you have to look closely for their sign as they are still getting it up. When I made it inside the owner herself was the register taking orders. We started chatting it up before I made my decision to try their Cafe de Morro. Morro is a fruit used in the Salvadoran horchata.

The most noticeable thing about this latte is that it keeps true to the coffee and doesn’t try to infuse too much sweetness or milk. I care about the pure taste of coffee above everything.

The pour of coffee by the barista demonstrates experience and control, complete balance. I’m not much of a latte guy these days and have mainly reverted to just drinking black coffee during the pandemic, but this was honestly a great experience.

The table next to the register.

The cafe has a tall table next to the register and a bar that faces Mission Street. It’s great for people watching and the random bus viewing as well. I set up next to the register with my laptop to do some work and was impressed with the fast, quality Wi-Fi here. You won’t find any plugs inside which is typical for the Bay Area, especially in the city though.

View of Mission Street and the bus from Abanico.

The cafe was a little slow on my visit and I managed to get some good conversations with the baristas and learned quite a bit about the struggles during the pandemic and how the cafe finally opened in May of this year.

To me, a cafe is only as good as its baristas and both the baristas at Abanico that I have met seem to have a dedication to a quality pour of coffee.

Spinach and Feta Croissant.

For food I ordered the Spinach and Feta croissant and it was delicious and better than what I’m used to in cafes across the coast. A good quick snack and prices were fair.

I was left with a good vibe after my visit and decided to return back the next day for another visit. On this visit I grabbed both a drip coffee and an espresso and noted they don’t have any sparkling water yet, hopefully it will be added in the future.

Drip cup of coffee.

You don’t really see many cafes on Mission Street itself despite it being a very busy street filled with foot traffic and personally I can see how this cafe has the potential to become a community hub for those in the area as San Francisco comes back to life.

Abanico sign on Mission Street.

Abanico Coffee Roasters is in the very beginning of its journey with a planned grand opening on July 24th, but I am hoping to come back again and again for more coffee and conversations.

Name: Abanico Coffee Roasters

Address: 2121 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Phone Number: (415) 896-4678


Pollo Tropical Launches Cuban Hot Dog For 4th of July Weekend

Pollo Tropical is launching a new dish to their menu just in time for 4th of July weekend.

The Cuban Hot Dog at Pollo Tropical “starts with an all-beef frank on a soft hot dog bun and is then topped with ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, papitas and finished off with a drizzle of mayo-mustard.”

Now that sounds delicious and the only thing it’s needing is some salami to pay homage to Tampa. As a long-time Cuban Sandwich aficionado and judge, I want to try this dog.

The Cuban Hot Dog will be sold Friday, July 2nd through Monday, July 5th at Pollo Tropical restaurant locations throughout Florida or via the brand’s MyPollo app.

They’re suggesting a pairing with Pollo’s recently-launched Rum Mojito. The “new Rum Mojito is made with real White Rum, sparkling water, natural lime, mint flavors and has 5.8% alcohol by volume. At just $2 each, it’s the perfect way to celebrate this weekend. The ready-to-drink cocktail can be found exclusively at most Pollo Tropical locations throughout Florida – for dine-in, drive-thru and carry out. “

Pollo Tropical is a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. and is a quick-service restaurant concept known for its fresh chicken, marinated for 24 hours in a proprietary blend of citrus juices and spices.

Other favorites include Mojo Roast Pork and freshly made sides including rice, beans, sweet plantains and more. The menu’s emphasis is on freshness and quality at a great value, with an added focus on unique catering packages.

Founded in 1988, the Miami-based company currently owns and operates 140 locations throughout Florida, plus five licensed restaurants on college campuses and one licensed location in a hospital, and franchised locations throughout the Caribbean, Central America, South America and Puerto Rico.

Follow Carlos Hernandez on Twitter @CarlosEats or visit him at

The Vice Wine partners with the USA Triathlon Foundation for “The Tri” 2019, Napa Valley

The Vice Wine, in partnership with the USA Triathlon Foundation has a limited edition triathlon-inspired “The Tri” 2019 wine release with a portion of proceeds being donated to the USA Triathlon Foundation in support of its mission, which is “to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run”. 

USA Triathlon sanctions more than 4,000 events and connects with more than 400,000 members each year, making it the largest multi-sport organization in the world.

The Vice Wine co-founder and winemaker Malek Amrani is a multi-time member of USA Triathlon’s amateur Team USA and a USA Triathlon Foundation Ambassador. Amrani, passionate about sharing his love of both multisports and wine, combined those interests to create the specially crafted Tri Blend.

“The Tri” is the one and only wine blend by The Vice Wine, known for single varietal luxury Napa Valley Wines. The limited release wine is based on triathlon’s three disciplines, with the 2019 vintage inspired by 2016 U.S. Olympic Triathlon Team Member Joe Maloy and his race at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. 

The blend is made from 18% Cabernet Franc, 52% St. Laurent and 30% Malbec to celebrate Maloy’s time spent on each discipline (swim, bike, run), respectively. Maloy is a longtime friend and daily mentor to Amrani. 

All wines by The Vice are biodynamic and BevVeg! Certified Vegan. 300 cases of 750ml bottles and 45 cases of 375ml bottles of the 2019 Tri Blend were produced.

“It is an honor to be able to collide the two vices that I am most passionate about. I am eternally grateful to The USA Triathlon Foundation and to the athletes and future athletes that have inspired “The Tri” blends and will inspire future blends to come,” Amrani, Founder and Winemaker of The Vice Wine, said. 

“Triathlon became a vice for me in 2017 and has helped me tremendously in winemaking. I’m proud that the simple pleasure of enjoying a glass of The Vice Wine will contribute to someone’s healthy lifestyle, participation in sports, or even Olympic dreams.”

“I’m honored by Malek’s choice to blend this wine as a tribute to my 2016 Olympic Triathlon. I’m also glad he did it after my race, because this bottle does not fit onto my bike’s bottle cages! While sport and wine might seem like an odd couple, each aspires to bring people together. The interlocking Olympic rings exemplify that aspirational unity,” Said Joe Maloy.

“Enjoy this summer’s Olympic Games, and know that the proceeds from this batch will help the USA Triathlon Foundation support athletes like them when the cameras are turned off. I hope this blend inspires you to unite with others, to celebrate differences, and to create your own Olympic memories. Go Team USA!”

The Vice Wine and the USA Triathlon Foundation first launched a partnership in 2020, and the inaugural Tri Blend was based on 2016 U.S. Olympian Katie Zaferes’ finishing time at the 2019 ITU World Triathlon Grand Final in Lausanne, Switzerland, where she captured her first world title.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with The Vice Wine,” said David Deschenes, Executive Director of the USA Triathlon Foundation. 

“Our inaugural Katie Zaferes-inspired Tri Blend sold out within a few months, and now we have a great opportunity to enjoy the 2019 blend that memorializes Joe Maloy’s finishing time at the Olympic Games Rio 2016. Both Maloy and The Vice Wine are huge supporters of the USA Triathlon Foundation, and the proceeds from our newest batch will help the Foundation introduce even more individuals and groups of all backgrounds across America to the benefits of the multisport lifestyle.”

“The Tri” 2019 was organically grown and picked at its peak ripeness, fermented, and aged for 18 months in French oak barrels before being blended to yield a unique, complex wine. The Cabernet Franc and St. Laurent grapes come from The Vice Wine’s Carneros vineyard, which has a moderate microclimate thanks to its position just north of San Pablo Bay. 

The Malbec is from the Oak Knoll District, where the temperature is known to swing 40 degrees in a single day. “The Tri” has aromas of Morello cherry, blueberry, and violets, with a little white pepper on the edge. The tasting notes are juicy and peppery, with added notes of plum, pomegranate molasses, and cacao. The finish is long with smooth tannins, which reveal leather and baking spice.

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 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. 


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


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


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:

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, and distribution in top grocery stores across the country.