CL Brunched this Saturday December 1st!

The cold weather is OUT this weekend and brunch is IN. Come out for CL Brunched this Saturday, December 1st, 2018 from 12PM to 3PM at St. Pete Shuffleboard Club (559 Mirror Lake Drive St. Petersburg, Florida). 

Enjoy great food, mimosas, bloody marys, complimentary shuffleboard, local craft vendors, and more.

Tickets are $30 in advance for GA and $55 in advance.

Buy tickets: http://tampabay.boldtypetickets.com/events/59571944/brunched-2018

Participating restaurants include The Peabody, The Melting Pot, Mini Doughnut Factory, Buddy Brew Coffee, Callaloo, Jannus Market, and more.

For more information please visit www.brunchedtampabay.com

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Where to celebrate 4th of July 2018 in Tampa Bay

4th of July brings lots of excitment and American pride. Fireworks and partying are at the top of the agenda as well.

Wondering where to go and get your dose of red, white, and blue? I have you covered.

Here are some places throwing events for 4th of July this Wednesday, July 4th, 2018 in Tampa Bay:

  • Aloft Hotel: Every Wednesday is Wine Down Wednesdays at Aloft Tampa Downtown and this 4th of July is no different. The event will feature $20 regular admission and $10 reduced entry with RSVP. Guests will enjoy bottomless wine, champagne, craft beer, and appetizers from 5PM-9PM and drink specials afterwards. Fireworks begins at 9PM. 100 W. Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 898-8000
  • American Social: Celebrate Independence Day at American Social with food, drinks, music, and fireworks. The waterfront access of American Social makes this a great spot to view fireworks. Drink specials include $4 Tito’s Vodka and Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey as well as $3 Bud Light/Budweiser all day. 601 S. Harbour Island Blvd. Suite 107, Tampa, FL 33602 (813) 605-3333
  • American Victory Museum & Ship: Celebrate Independence Day at this 4th of July Family Funfest from 6:30PM-9:30PM. There will be music, games, food, beer, wine, contests, and giveaways. American Victory Museum provides a voyage to American Maritime History. Tickets range from $7-$13705 Channelside Dr., Tampa, FL 33602
  • Astro Skate of Brandon: This local Brandon skating rink will offer $5 admission on 4th of July from 1PM-6PM (skate rentals extra). FREE all-you-can-eat hot dogs from 1PM-2PM and a singing contetst for “God Bless America” with a $25 cash prize. 750 W Robertson St, Brandon, FL 33511. (813) 681-3635 
  • George M. Steinbrenner Field: There is no sport more American than baseball and the Tampa Tarpons have a game scheduled against the Clearwater Threshers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Doors open at 5PM with the game kicking off at 6:30PM. Tickets range from $5-$8 and there will be specials including $3 16 oz. Budweiser / Bud Light drafts and $5 for 6 chicken wings. FREE Admission for current and former EMT Specialists, Firefighters, Police, and Military Personnel. 1 Steinbrenner Dr., Tampa, FL 33614
  • Hollander Hotel Downtown St. Petersburg: Feel like getting wet? Hollander Hotel will have a pool party on 4th of July with DJ Dutch from 1PM-5PM. No cover. 421 4th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, FL 33701. (727) 873-7900
  • Museum of the Fine Arts, St. Petersburg: The MFA Cafe has a special buffet planned for 4th of July at 6:30PM. On the menu: Brown sugar and chipotle rubbed beef brisket, Carolina hickory smoked chicken quarters, BBQ pulled pork sliders, Sweet cole slaw, Grilled bbq gulf shrimp salad sliders, Charred corn aioli, Grilled corn on the cob with cilantro-lime butter, Build your own red, white and blue cupcake bar, and more. Enjoy fireworks after the feast. $46 for adults and $23 for children. Limited-seating. Call (727) 822-1032 for reservations. 255 Beach Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
  • The Sail: Channelside’s usual 4th of July festivities are on hold this year as construction continues on the plaza. The Sail located a few miles down the Tampa Riverwalk will have food trucks for 4th of July and a front-view of Downtown Tampa fireworks. Catch Casablanca Fusion, Sugar Shack Tampa, and Sexton’s Pizza from 11AM-9PM and The Bacon Boss, The Melt Machine, and Just Smokin BBQ from 5PM-11PM serving some street eats. There will be live music and drinks at the bar. 333 S Franklin St., Tampa, FL 33602. (813) 274-7778
  • Shephard’s Beach Resort: Shephard’s Beach Resort on Clearwater Beach has as weekly Wednesday night club party called NEON BEACH at their Wave Nightclub. The event will offer $2 drinks all night long starting at 9PM right after the fireworks go off on the beach. Guests must be 18 years or older to enter. There will be a relaxed dress code. 619 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767 (727) 442-5107

Ichicoro ANE in Downtown St. Pete impresses

I crossed the bridge last weekend for the Distant World’s Final Fantasy concert at The Mahaffey Theater and needed a bite to eat after. Geniabeme raved about Ichicoro ANE when I last saw her at Keel & Curley for U-Pick Strawberries the day before so I had to check it out for myself.

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Ichicoro ANE is located downstairs from Station House in Downtown St. Petersburg. The inside is beautifully done and has plenty of seating both in the bar and in the restaurant which is a huge difference between this location and the original in Seminole Heights.

I can best describe it as an Izakaya or Japanese pub. The best way to think of most of the menu items is similar to the concept of Spanish tapas. Ramen is also on the menu but there are a number of Japanese appetizers and dishes that we decided to try during our visit.

The dim lighting and ambiance is masterful and takes the best parts of the original location’s foundation.

You’ll find wooden decor throughout and an open kitchen that is unlike most restaurants in Tampa Bay. The music sets the mood for a perfect and intimate night out with friends or for a chill date. I was in love with the atmosphere.

The food was also a winner. The meal began with a gyu bao bun. Spicy and flavorful with a gochujang mustard inside. The price was the standard for Japanese and Asian bistros in Tampa Bay these days ($7). I appreciated the complexity of this dish compared to average pork belly bao.

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After that I decided I needed something a little filling since I skipped lunch and went for the Tonkatsu ($10). This dish was cooked practically to perfect. There was a slight chew in the middle, but it was minor enough that is didn’t cause the dish to falter. The ends were perfectly crispy. They used bulldog sauce which I also use at home (the only proper way to serve this dish as approved by Japanese cooking tv shows and documentaries). It was beautifully presented and the cabbage underneath was a nice bit of greens.

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The Smokey Yucca Korroke was also enjoyable a nice starch to be enjoyed during the visit. Many of the dishes on the menu are traditional Japanese pub food and there are also some hard to find items such as Okonomiyaki which I certainly want to try in the future.

Our waitress was chill and friendly and I am happy with all the seating choices at Ichicoro ANE. She didn’t rush us to make decisions and also was quick to put in orders. It’s completely different from the rushed environment at the Seminole Heights location and I like it much more for that. I dine more for experience than because of necessity or because I’m in a rush. I like to savor every moment.

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For drinks it was hard to make a decision and I finally went with The Chocobo Lure (in honor of Final Fantasy). Imagine my surprise when the drink was inside a ramune glass which shook me with excitement. The drink features umeshu, yuzu cordial, Cappelletti, Aperol, Velvet Falernum, Agnostura and plum bitters. I normally don’t like plum wine but this one was enjoyable.

In the future I would like to certainly try more of the Japanese whiskey selections. The matrix charts for spirts seem to be the rage lately in restaurants.

I didn’t even dent the fish or meat menu and I hear the wagyu is delicious, but I’ll have to do that another day. Ichicoro ANE leaves plenty of things to try and an incredible environment to enjoy it in.

I’m impressed and I’ll be back soon and I recommend you also make a trip if you find yourself in St. Petersburg.

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P.S. Make sure to check the photobooth in the entrance. It’s pretty neat!

Restaurant Name: Ichicoro ANE

Cuisine: Japanese, Asian

Neighborhood: Downtown St. Petersburg

Address: 260 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Phone Number: (727) 300-0281

Website: http://www.ichicoroane.com/

Menu: http://www.ichicoroane.com/menu/

Bento Cafe opening in Downtown St. Petersburg

Popular Asian eatery, Bento Cafe, is planning to open their first Tampa Bay location in Downtown St. Petersburg in the Spring of 2018. According to St. Pete Rising the location will feature 80 seats along with outdoor sidewalk tables.

It makes sense considering how much Downtown St. Petersburg has grown over the years, but it is definitely a little disappointing to all the USF – Tampa students that have waited years for a location after frequenting locations at the University of Florida, University of Central Florida, and even University of North Florida. Apparently Bento is also looking for 2 locations in Tampa.

Bento Cafe has been hinting at a Tampa Bay location for over 2 years on Facebook and seems to be expanding rapidly across the state over the next year or so. Hopefully in the future Bento will look at the USF area as a potential future investment area.

Bento is known for their fast-casual Asian environment with inspirations from Japanese, Thai, Korean, and other Asian cuisines. 

Their sushi rolls are quite popular and their sashimi rice bowls are a personal favorite as well as their Spicy Cream Chicken. In addition, Bento also sells bubble tea and other popular Asian drinks.

Visit Bento online at http://www.bentocafesushi.com/

CL Meet the Brewers Beer Festival – 2/23

Local newspaper Creative Loafing will celebrate the opening of Tampa Bay Beer Week with an intimate craft beer festival called Meet the Brewers on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017. 20 of Tampa Bay’s brewers will be on-site serving craft beer samples from 7PM to 10PM.

The event will be held at Morean Arts Center for Clay at 420 22nd Street South St. Petersburg.

Guests will be able to mingle with the brewers and enjoy 40+ brewery samples.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit Current Initiatives. Current is committed to educating others on current social initiatives and mobilizing them to bring about change.

Participating breweries:

Tickets start at $35 and are on-sale now.VIP comes with an hour of early entry and VIP food offerings from The Mill.

Get tickets: http://www.cltampa.xorbia.com/brewers

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The event is sponsored by HofbräuhausFlorida Brewers GuildWhole Foods Market, Ducky’s Sports LoungeFlorida Print SolutionsRoundhouse Creative, & Lyft!

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/927629810672458/

CL HighBall Cocktail Competition 2017 – 1/26

Local newspaper Creative Loafing will host a cocktail competition called HighBall 2017 on Thursday, January 26th, 2017 from 7PM to 10PM at Kozuba & Sons Distillery (a truly beautiful facility) in St. Petersburg.

The event will showcase local bartenders, distillers, and craft cocktail culture. Guests will enjoy more than 15 craft cocktail samples at the event. A portion of proceeds to benefit Current Initiatives and their projects, such as the Laundry Project, Hope For Homes, and Affordable Christmas.

General Admission Tickets cost $25 in advance and $40 at the door. VIP tickets cost $50 in advance and $80 at the door (if tickets are still available).

VIP guests will receive an hour of early entrance to the event, as well as a private VIP-area with exclusive food/drink perks. All participants will be able to vote for the “Tampa Bay’s Best Cocktail” contest.

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Buy tickets: http://www.cltampa.xorbia.com/highball

Sponsors and partners include Kozuba & Sons Distillery, Siesta Key RumTamiami Gin, & Ox and Fields Restaurant + Bar.

Participating bars:

St. Pete Beer & Bacon Fest – 1/21

Craft beer and bacon fans can rejoice on January 21st from 12PM-6PM at the St. Pete Beer & Bacon Fest in Vinoy Park.

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General Admission is available to guests ages 11 and older for $15 pre-sale and $20 on the day of the event and does not cover beer or food costs.

Beer Sampling Admission for ages 21+ is $35 in advance and $40 the day of the event and includes unlimited beer samples from 2PM-6PM, but does not include food.

Sonny’s BBQ VIP Admission for ages 21+ is $75 for pre-sale with limited tickets available and includes a variety of features including Sonny’s BBQ appetizers and unlimited beer sampling with limited small batch beers in VIP tent.

Buy tickets: http://stpetebeerandbacon.com/tickets.html

Children ages 10 and under are FREE.

This food and beer festival will showcase over 80 beers from local craft breweries and samplings of bacon dishes from local chefs and restaurants. Some things on the menus include bacon sirloin meatballs with smoked porter BBQ sauce, bacon beer cheese mac, house duck bacon, BBQ bacon waffle burgers, and more.

Live music will also play throughout the day.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Pet Pal Animal Shelter. The Pet Pal Animal Shelter is a non-profit organization helping stray animals get adopted and medical attention.

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Restaurant/Food Vendor Participants (prices will range from $2-$4):

  • Sonny’s BBQ
  • Nico’s Kitchen
  • Craving Donuts
  • Carmel Kitchen
  • Vanchetta Rolling Rotisserie
  • Jolly Porker
  • Sweet Life Cupcakes
  • The Twisted Iron
  • BCA BBQ
  • Taste Time To Love Us
  • I Wanna Wok
  • Prime 19
  • Healthy Heritage Grass Fed Beef
  • Jimmy’s Slider Truck

Menus: http://stpetebeerandbacon.com/food.html

Event Schedule: http://stpetebeerandbacon.com/schedule.html

Brewery list:

  • Big Top Brewing Co.
  • Big Storm Brewing Co.
  • Bold City Brewery
  • Coppertail Brewing Co.
  • Darwin Brewing Co.
  • De Bine Brewing Co.
  • Kona Brewing Co.
  • Florida Avenue Brewing Co.
  • Hidden Springs Ale Works
  • Motorworks Brewing Co.
  • Mad Beach Craft Brewing Co.
  • Magic Hat Brewing Co.
  • Pair O’ Dice Brewing Co.
  • Rapp Brewing Co.
  • Sea Dog Brewing Co.
  • Shipyard Brewing Co.
  • Southern Tier Brewing Co.
  • SweetWater Brewing Co.
  • Tampa Bay Brewing Co.
  • Silverking Brewing Co.
  • 3 Daughters Brewing Co.

Interested in volunteering? Check out this link: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/409054cadad2fa0fc1-stpete

Burger Bash in Da Burg Food Truck Rally – 1/20

The Gulf to Bay Food Truck Association will host a food truck rally on Friday, January 20th, 2017 from 6PM-9PM called Burger Bash in Da Burg at Port St. Pete’s Marine Discovery Center.

Over 10 food trucks will be at the food event and specialty burgers will be sold to hungry attendees. Beer, wine, and sangria will be available for purchase.

The event will have FREE admission and parking. Inside and outside waterfront seating will be provided and the movie Good Burger will play at the event starting at 7PM.

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Participating food trucks:

Interested vendors should inquire at http://www.gulftobayfta.org/contact-us

Event name: Burger Bash in Da Burg

Venue: Port St. Pete

Address: 250 8th Ave SE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Date & Time: Friday, January 20th, 2017, 6PM-9PM

Cost: FREE to attend and park

Age: All ages welcome

St. Petersburg restaurant features Trump Tower Burger

Boulevard Burgers & Tap House located in St. Petersburg (not in Russia but Florida) will honor President-Elect Donald Trump with a “Trump Tower Burger” special for the month of January. Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration will occur on Friday, January 20, 2017.

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According to a press release, the burger will embrace the traits of Mr. Trump and “his empire” with features that embody him including: “double patties for “Trump Tower” sky-high height, onion straws that embody Trump’s famous blonde locks, and good ol’ American cheese”.

Donald Trump is a well-documented fast food junkie, often frequenting fast food chains instead of local shops during the campaign trail and has been recorded stating he eats fast food because “at least you know what they are putting in it”.

Like many Americans, Donald Trump is considered overweight and has slightly high cholesterol, according to Bloomberg Politics. Trump’s fast food habit led Esquire to state “large obnoxious man enjoys large obnoxious meals”.

The restaurant claims they want to “Make American Cheese Great Again” as well – whatever that means. Boulevard Burgers & Tap House was opened in 2014 on Gulf Boulevard across from St. Pete Beach and features burgers, craft beer, fresh seafood, and live entertainment on weekends.

Boulevard owner, Marco, has establishments throughout New York and St. Petersburg’s Fortunato’s On Central and the Local 662. The management recently acquired De’Lites Ice Cream next to Boulevard Burgers with a new concept planned for Fall 2017.

Boulevard Burgers & Tap House. 5905 Gulf Boulevard, St Pete Beach, FL 33706. (727) 201-4906. blvdburgers.com

New Year’s Eve 2017 – Gatsby Gala @ Mastry’s Brewing Co.

Want to take it back to the 1920s for NYE 2017? Mastry’s Brewing Co. located at 7701 Blind Pass Road on St. Pete Beach will be hosting a Gatsby-themed New Year’s Eve party for craft beer fans this NYE from 7PM-1AM. Mastry’s Brewing Co. opened their doors earlier this year in October 2016.

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The event will feature a new beer release, food truck, DJ, and photobooth. Limited-edition souvenir glasses will be able for $15 each to the first 100 guests to arrive. Purchase a glass and enjoy 1/2 off drafts all night long. Pre-Sales will be available over the phone or in the tasting room.

There will be no cover charge to attend this event. 21+ only.

Chalk Board Mobile Event Service will be serving food at the party. Here is the menu:

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