NEWS: Marriott’s Moxy Hotel coming to Tampa Heights District

The first hotel is coming to Tampa Heights with The Moxy Hotel, a project from Marriott International. The hotel will feature 153 rooms and occupy 7 floors inside a new 25-story tower.

Construction will begin in 2020 with expected completion and opening by 2022. It will be located between West Oak Avenue, West 7th Avenue, North Highlands, and North Tampa Street.

The hotel will occupy the first seven floors of the tower and the remaining floors will be developed as a multi-family residential apartment community and will include its own lobby, separate from the Moxy Hotel lobby.

The Moxy Hotel will have a smart interface that allows users to seamlessly check-in, park, and lock their room doors using their mobile devices.

Planned amenities include a club room, fitness center, co-working spaces, event spaces and retail space. An art program called “Moxy Blank Canvas” will be a part of the hotel, that “connects emerging artists to their hotels to literally make their mark on the spaces”.

“Over the past few years, I’ve been watching the evolution of the up and coming Tampa Heights District as it becomes a trendy place to work, live and play”, said Tim Sponsler, Vice President Marriott Lodging Development for Florida.

“The development of Armature Works it a great example of the edgy vibe of the neighborhood and their development of the Moxy Hotel will have synergy with the overall vibrant lifestyle experience of The Heights District.”

The Moxy Hotel is part of a larger plan for The Heights District, a 50-acre mixed-use urban district located along the Hillsborough River.

More information is available at theheightstampa.com.

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NEWS: Support Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday at 22nd Street Coffee

This is a sponsored post for 22nd Street Coffee. Opinions are my own and do not reflect those of the sponsor.

22nd Street Coffee in Ybor City will have a Breast Cancer Awareness Day on Saturday, October 12th, 2019 from 7AM-2PM. Proceeds from the event will go to supporting the American Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer.

22nd Street is located just off the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway just across from Brisk Coffee Roasters and near IKEA Tampa.

Knitted Knockers of Tampa Bay will be present at the event and there will be information about breast cancer provided from non-profits.

The mission of Knitted Knockers is to “connect volunteer knitters and crocheters with breast cancer survivors to offer free Knitted Knockers to any woman who wants them”.

Breast cancer is a very important issue to me, my cousin died earlier this year from the disease and unfortunately she did not catch breast cancer early enough in her body. That’s why awareness is so important and vital to fighting this illness.

22nd Street Coffee will feature a special “Pink Drink” for the day made with chocolate and strawberry with pink whipped cream.

Here are some facts to know about breast cancer:

  • 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. in 2019 as well as 62,930 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer. (National Breast Cancer Foundation)
  • Estimates indicate that 42,260 deaths (41,760 women and 500 men) from breast cancer will occur this year. (American Society of Clinical Oncology)
  • Breast cancer is the second most common cause of death from cancer in women in the United States, after lung cancer.
  • Since 1989, the number of women who have died of breast cancer has steadily decreased thanks to early detection and treatment improvements. (American Society of Clinical Oncology)

Make sure you come out and support the fight against breast cancer on Saturday!

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Event name: Breast Cancer Awareness Day at 22nd Street Coffee

Venue: 22nd Street Coffee

Address: 208 N. 22nd St., Tampa, FL 33605

Phone: (813) 304-0373

Date & Time: Saturday, October 12th, 2019, 7AM-2PM

Cost: Free to attend

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/2132238487079941/

Website: http://www.22ndstreetcoffee.com

NEWS: Buccaneers debut new food offerings at Raymond James Stadium for 2019 season

Buccaneers revealed new offerings at Raymond James Stadium today for the 2019 football season.

Buccaneers COO, Brian Ford, shared, “This season, we are excited to bring world-class partners like Legends and Fanatics, as well as homegrown companies PDQ and RumFish Grill, to Raymond James Stadium. Through these partnerships, we are providing the finest products and service to our fans. We are also proud to welcome superstar Tim McGraw this Sunday to provide our guests a great show before we officially kick off this special 100th season of NFL football against the 49ers.”

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PDQ will have a crispy chicken sandwich available for hungry visitors as well as serving as the official chicken tender of the Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers have a new and exclusive hospitality rights partner, Legends, which will manage the team’s concessions and restaurant dining. Legends Senior Executive Chef Jason Choate will add new items around the concessions menus including Pizza Box Nachos, Ropa Vieja (shredded beef) Grilled Cheese and Veggie Cuban sandwiches.

RumFish Grill will offer Mahi Tacos, Bucs Burger, Firecracker Shrimp, and Big Wave Fries.

Ropa Vieja Grilled Cheese by Rob-Harris-7893

Ropa Vieja Grilled Cheese made with locally sourced Cuban bread, sharp cheddar cheese, house-braised ropa vieja, peppers, and onions. Available at Ybor Press locations.

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Land & Sea Burger features a custom, all-beef burger blend with chuck, short-rib, and brisket, grilled and topped with slaw, crispy shrimp, and cannonball sauce. Available at Land & Sea locations as well as Bar 76.

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Fans of meatless burgers can enjoy the Beyond Burger at the Bay Burger stand located at Section 118.

Local Chef Showcase will return to the stadium this Sunday with Chef Gino Tiozzo of Donatello Italian Restaurant this Sunday, September 8th.

Single-game tickets for the 2019 season start at $45 and are on sale at Buccaneers.com and Ticketmaster.com

Photos used with permission from Buccaneers.

NEWS: Florida Eats now permanently closed in Seminole Heights

Florida Eats is now permanently closed in Seminole Heights after being open just a few months. The Chipotle-style eatery posted on Facebook about their end of business due to “circumstances out of our control”.

Friday, August 2nd, 2019 was the last day of service. Florida Eats had a controversial upstart when a lawsuit (since cancelled) was filed by Brew Bus Brewing against the restaurant and owner, Greg Spaddy, for infringement of the name Florida Avenue Brewing.

Next door neighbor King of the Coop seems to have lots of momentum and be performing well in the next door space, it doesn’t seem like the location was an issue.

The Refinery also recently closed in Seminole Heights and is converting into a event/wedding hall. The Refinery was part of an early investment into the Seminole Heights neighborhood and brought several businesses into the fold after the tumult of the financial crisis began to wane with a focus on attempting to provide local ingredients at an affordable price.

NEWS: Recess Pizza grand opening set for June 22nd in Downtown Orlando

The culinary team behind Orlando Meats is having their grand opening for their latest concept, Recess Pizza, on Saturday, June 22nd, 2019.

The team took over the culinary kitchen at Orange County Brewers back in May just two blocks south of the Orange County Courthouse on the corner of Orange Avenue and Jefferson Street in Downtown Orlando.

Culinary Director Eliot Hillis and Head Chef Seth Parker have developed an alkaline dough for their pizza crust that is being paired with their high-quality cuts from Orlando Meats and cooked in a wood-fire oven.

Some pizzas menu options include:

  • Kya: pork belly, halloumi, chimichurri, crema
  • Tammi: pulled pork, slaw, cheddar, spicy white stuff
  • Beverly: spicy pork, broccolini, ricotta, mozzarella, pomodoro
  • Steph: ham and cheddar, blue cheese, garlic puree
  • & more

The menu will offer more than pizza with hot sandwiches and salads available. Brunch will be available on the menu and launch during the opening. Online ordering will be available on Slice and delivery on Uber Eats and Grubhub.

Limited-edition pizzas will be available for the opening as well as beer specials at the brewery. A raffle will be held at the opening with an array of local partners. The event will be held during regular business hours from 11:30AM to 11PM.

Find out more at recesspizza.com.

Recess Pizza. 131 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801. (321) 204-9616.

NEWS: Zentu Cafe vegan mobile kitchen is now permanently closed

Local vegan spot and mobile kitchen Zentu Cafe announced it’s permanent closure today on Instagram in a loss for local vegans. It was located inside Blue Torch Cigars and Winery at 5908 N. Armenia Ave. in Tampa. The cafe opened in February 2019 and their mission was “to switch up what Tampa is used to where vegan food is bland, overly healthy, or super bad for you.”

The statement reads, “It is with infinite sadness that we must announce the closure of Zentu Cafe. It’s been a good run, educational and we loved being part of this amazing community here in Tampa. We especially thank Blue Torch Cigar for hosting us and letting us try to grow. Enjoy this amazing upswing in vegan opportunities and we look forward to trying other restaurants soon”!

The project was a partnership between Benny Blanchard of The Human’s Mechanic in Seminole Heights and Tim Fedorko of Farmacy Vegan Kitchen & Bakery.

 

NEWS: Hidden Star Tiki Bar opening June 28th in Downtown Tampa

Hidden Star Tiki Bar is opening June 28th in Downtown Tampa inside Anise Global Gastrobar. Anise has been serving high-quality cocktails as well as gastronomical food fare with an Asian twist in Tampa for years and is the creation of Xuan Pham Hurt.

This is her fourth creation in Tampa following her North Star Eatery at Hall on Franklin and her Stinky Bunz food truck that started it all.

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When asked what inspired this tiki bar to be created, Hurt told me, “It never fails that whenever I travel to different cities, I always seek out their best tiki bars. We felt that the residents and visitors of Downtown Tampa would appreciate their very own tiny oasis in the middle of the city. Tasty tropical beverages with whimsical garnishes can make any day feel like a vacation. We are fortunate to have the space to provide an intimate setting for the creation of innovative and playful cocktails made with our highest standards”.

Hurt will work with Sean O’Connor, who she describes as a local tiki trademan, Christina Gilson, Anise Beverage Director, Justin Gray, United States Bartenders Guild Veteran, and the rest of the Anise bar team to develop the cocktail menu. They want to provide modern rifts on classic favorites that Hurt feels will exceed everyone’s expectations.

Hidden Star will only be open Friday and Saturday nights from 7PM to 2AM. Guests will check-in at the Anise host stand and will be escorted to the hidden entrance once seats become available.

Due to the limited space, reservations will not be taken nor will estimated wait times given. Random chances for expedited entry will be announced via email newsletters and social media pages.

Hidden Star guests can expect an original menu of 7 to 8 elevated tiki cocktails and a few bar snack that they can enjoy in an intimate setting while surrounded by other enthusiasts. Beer, wine, mixed drinks, and a full dining menu will continue to only be offered in the main dining room at Anise.

Service is expected to start on the weekend of June 28th.

Find more information and sign-up for updates at aniseglobal.com.

NEWS: Inside the Box closing at Armature Works on June 23rd

Inside the Box cafe’s outpost at Armature Works Heights Public Market is permanently closing down this week. You have until Sunday, June 23rd to enjoy their food at Armature Works.

Metropolitan Ministries will shift the focus of the social enterprise concept to catering. Inside the Box was given a year and a half lease at no cost from Armature Works to raise money for programs at Metropolitan Ministries and has used the lease to raise money at one of Tampa’s busiest spots in town.

Inside the Box served fresh sandwiches and fresh deli meat to visitors at the food hall. Metropolitan Ministries says this lease was helpful to “gain many valuable lessons while providing a rich learning experience for our clients and culinary students”.

Fans of the concept can still enjoy their food in the future at the Tampa International Airport and Orlando International Airport as well as at the Times building. Catering will be available for businesses or events.

Inside the Box has a Culinary Arts Program that helps train culinary students and pull them out of poverty. Their culinary program is growing and expanding and will soon open a second training location in a partnership with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Over 250 students have graduated in the first 6 years. All graduates are now employed.

Inside the Box as a social enterprise made $1 million revenue in 2017 and grew that to $2 million in 2018 with Armature Works and Dough Nation added to the enterprise. Metropolitan Ministries has plans to continue growing and helping others through their social enterprise in the future.

Find out more about Inside the Box at itbcafe.org.

NEWS: King State grand opening in Tampa Heights set for June 21st

Update: It looks like King State is no longer having a Grand Opening on Friday, but instead a Friends and Family night.

The highly anticipated King State will finally open their doors next week and have their Grand Opening on Friday, June 21st in Tampa Heights according a report from local newspaper Creative Loafing.

Their cafe will be located at 520 E. Floribraska Avenue, minutes from Lee’s Grocery and Shuffle. The location has been in the works since at least 2016.

The cafe will feature craft beer, wine, and bites as well as their popular coffee roasts. The owners were early proponents of the third wave coffee scene in Tampa which has exploded over the last few years and landed Tampa on many lists for best coffee towns.

The owners were quoted by the Tampa Bay Times in 2015 saying, “If you have two roasters, then four roasters open up next year, and then those four roasters talk to friends, and eight roasters open the next year. All of a sudden, five or 10 years from now, there’s going to be a third-wave coffee shop in every neighborhood.”

The new King State cafe is a major development for the Tampa Heights neighborhood which was bolstered in recent years by food halls such as The Hall on Franklin and Armature Works.

Early investments by Ulele and Foundation Coffee have brought many business interests into the area. The loyal social media following of King State is sure to bring many people into the neighborhood.

With Bay Cannon Brewing coming soon to North Hyde Park, it seems like Tampa is heading into a major next phase of development.

NEWS: HART bus driver fatally stabbed this past weekend in Tampa

HART bus driver, Thomas Dunn, was fatally stabbed by a passenger this past weekend in Tampa on Nebraska Avenue. The passenger involved in the incident has been charged with one count of murder.

According to Fox 13 News this incident “comes roughly 5 months after Dunn spoke at a December 3rd  meeting where he raised concern about the safety of bus drivers after he says a woman who was a passenger assaulted him by spitting in his face and trying to break his arm”.

The CEO of HART, Ben Limmer, released a statement:

“We are devastated by the tragic events that took place today involving our HART bus operator. We are working with the Tampa Police Department as they conduct their investigation into this horrific matter,”

“We offer our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the bus operator, as well as to all of our HART colleagues.”

Local transit advocate and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Mark Sharpe responded as well to the incident: