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NEWS: Busch Gardens Christmas Town returns to Tampa November 16th

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Busch Gardens Christmas Town will return to Tampa on Saturday, November 16th, 2019 and run through Monday, January 6th, 2020.

Busch Gardens Christmas Town schedule
Snow Princess at Busch Gardens Christmas Town

The annual award-winning event that celebrates the holiday season has some new additions this year:

  • The Most Wonderful Time: Enjoy a classy Christmas soirée with jazzy piano solos, a live band and heart-melting vocal performances.
  • The Holiday Sing-Along Train: This season, the park’s classic steam engine has a merry makeover, including more lights than ever. One of the most popular things to do has been updated for 2019.
  • Merry Mint Lane: Park guests can enjoy a close look at penguins and other animal ambassadors at the Animal Care Center. The area’s festive makeover includes photo opportunities with new Peppermint Pals, tasty treats and more.
  • Sugar Plum Princess: Joining the Ice Princess and Poinsettia Princess, a new Sugar Plum Princess will greet guests near Sultan’s Sweets candy shop.
  • Pumpkin Thrill Shakes: It’s not really fall or winter without pumpkin and Busch Gardens has added it to the line-up for their Christmas Town samplers.
  • Breakfast with Elmo & Friends: Families can enjoy hugs and high fives from their favorite Sesame Street friends as they celebrate the holidays with family-friendly eats at Dragon Fire Grill. Available select dates in November and December, space is limited and reservations are encouraged.
  • Taste of the Holidays Buffet: Guests can enjoy the views of Serengeti Plain and Cobra’s Curse, while feasting on holiday favorites at the park’s historic Serengeti Overlook Restaurant. This new buffet menu features returning classic favorites, like house-signature fried chicken and pumpkin cheesecake.
Busch Gardens Christmas Town Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

For more information visit Christmas Town online at seaworldentertainment.com/christmastown/.

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Articles Beer Food Trucks News Restaurant News

NEWS: Red, White, and Brew this Saturday, November 9th at WestShore Plaza

Celebrate Veteran’s Day weekend at WestShore Plaza this Saturday, November 9th, 2019 from 3PM-8PM. Food trucks will be present including Vanchetta Food Truck, Jazzybgrille, and Mr. C’s Grilled Cheese. The event is free to attend and family-friendly.

Craft beer samples will be served from Coppertail Brewing Co. and 3 Daughters Brewing. Live music will be provided by The Petty Hearts & Fast4Ward on the Morgan Exteriors Stage.

Parents can enjoy a free kids area presented by Mathnasium.

Proceeds will benefit The Stano Foundation. The mission of The Stano Foundation is “to support our Armed Forces and Veterans through project based initiatives focused on enhancing their comfort and quality of life with a piece of home.”

Event Name: Red, White, & Brew

Venue: WestShore Plaza

Address: 250 Westshore Plaza, Tampa, FL 33609

Date & Time: Saturday, November 9th, 2019, 3PM-8PM

Cost: Free to attend

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/434775030415032/

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Articles Events News Restaurant News

NEWS: Whiskey Foxtrot this weekend at Epicurean Hotel Tampa – SOLD OUT!

The third annual Whiskey Foxtrot Tasting is this weekend at the Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa. Events are running most of week starting on Wednesday, November 6th. This year’s event is a celebration of women in whiskey.

Featured women include:

  • Nicole Austin, George Dickel Master Distiller
  • Erin Yesser, Edrington Ambassador
  • Natalia Cardenas, Woodford Reserve Ambassador
  • Jill Boyd, Compass Box Whisky Maker
  • Ingrid Rodriguez, WhistlePig Regional Manager and Steward of the Brand
  • Andrea Wilson, Michter’s Master of Maturation
  • Shayna Kaufman, Brown-Forman Brand Ambassador

Guests will sample more than 200 whiskeys and bites presented by some of Tampa’s top restaurants including Bern’s Steak House, Elevage, Big Ray’s Fish Camp, Nebraska Mini-Mart, Forbici, and more.

If you love whiskey, this event is one of the best ones I have ever had the chance to attend and highly recommend fans to watch.

Tickets are SOLD OUT. General Admission tickets are $95 per person and VIP is $175 per person. VIP includes an hour of early access and access to exclusive bottles, as well as a VIP cocktail lounge located at the EDGE rooftop bar with music, a cigar rolling station, and new this year – a Whiskey & Chocolate Lounge in the Epicurean Theatre.

Themed dinners from whiskey partners are also sold out. If you missed your chance to get tickets this year, make sure you grab them next year.

Event proceeds and opportunities to win will benefit Operation First ResponseJackson In Action 83 Foundation, and Southeastern Guide Dogs through the Laxer Family Foundation.

More information is available at whiskeytampafoxtrot.com

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Articles News Restaurant News

NEWS: Locale Market and FarmTable Cucina exiting Sundial St. Pete, Armature Works entering

After years of working to bring a mixed food concept to Downtown St. Pete, Celebrity Chef Michael Mina has sold Locale Market and FarmTable Cucina in the Sundial to Tampa-based Armature Works group BE-1 Concepts, which plans to change the space and surrounding businesses into a food hall with plans to open by late 2020.

Chef Michael Mina shared, “With so many other projects and opportunities in front of me, I felt now was the right time to pass the torch. I am beyond excited to see what Chas and his team have cooked up for this community.”

Chef Michael Mina is thought to be a powerhouse restaurateur with over 40 restaurants opened worldwide in large metropolitan cities such as San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Chef Michael Mina and Chef Don Pintabona at Locale Market.
Chef Michael Mina and Chef Don Pintabona.
Photo Credit: Locale Market

Locale Market was founded by Chef Michael Mina and Chef Don Pintabona and opened in December 2014. The concept will close five years later at the end of the holiday season in December 2019.

Former Tampa Bay Times Food Critic, Laura Reiley, reported back in 2015 that Chef Pintabona left St. Petersburg back to New York as soon as his one-year contract expired. Pintabona’s pedigree at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill was considered to be a big deal when Locale opened, but the concept never really seemed to take off despite many campaigns and changes. The team admitted to struggles between being a restaurant concept and a gourmet, locally-sourced market.

The biggest loss will be FarmTable Cucina upstairs that was recently finding ground with a new chef. Executive Chef, James Kirby, has worked hard to make the menu truly local in recent months as a former farmer himself.

BE-1 Concepts is also taking control of Jackie Z Style Co., Wellness Center at Sundial, D-Gallerie Fine Arts and additional vacant spaces on the lower level.

Armature Works in Tampa.

BE-1 Concepts owns numerous concepts in Tampa Bay and around Florida including Boca, Ciro’s Speakeasy, Atlanta Beer & Oyster, and Sea Critters Cafe. They also own Steelbach, BAR at Armature Works, Butcher N Barbeque, M.Bird, Cress and Stones Throw inside The Heights District.

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Articles Events

What’s happening this weekend in Tampa Bay? 11/1-11/3

Some cooler weather is finally upon us and festivals are everywhere. What’s happening this weekend in Tampa Bay?

  • Savor St. Pete: Clearwater Beach Uncorked has moved to Downtown St. Pete and is serving up food and drinks including wine, liquor, and beer on Saturday, November 2nd and Sunday, November 3rd. Tickets start at $75 for General Admission. 21+. 400 Bayshore Dr NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.
  • SouthShore Seafood & Arts Festival: Enjoy seafood, music, crafts, and more at a waterfront park in Ruskin this weekend. Over 15,000 people are expected to attend. Tickets start at $5. Family and pet-friendly. 2401 19th Ave NW, Ruskin, FL 33570.
  • Tampa Riverwalk Food + Art Festival: Downtown Tampa is having a food and art festival at Tampa Waterworks Park next to Ulele and Armature Works on Saturday, November 2nd from 10AM-7PM. 70+ vendors are expected to attend. Food trucks and live music will be present. 1710 N Highland Ave, Tampa, FL 33602.
  • Day of the Dead Block Party: The Dog Bar St. Pete is having a Día de los Muertos party on Saturday, November 2nd, from 11AM-6PM. The block party will have face painting by Nicole Desiree Hays of Body Wars, Nueva Cantina’s food truck, chihuahua races, DJ Shannon C, street vendors, a costume contest, raffle prizes, and more. 2300 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33712.

Did I miss something? Reach out.

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Articles News

NEWS: Sulphur Springs River Tower Festival coming November 16th

The Sulphur Springs River Tower Festival is coming Saturday, November 16th, 2019 with a mission of restoring and preserving Sulphur Springs Water Tower (originally built in 1927) and improvements to the surrounding River Tower Park located at 401 East Bird Street, Tampa, FL 33604 .

Sulphur Springs was once an important landmark in Tampa that was quite the attraction. After the spring was damaged and people moved to other parts of town the area was mostly abandoned although efforts to restore the area have been done over they ears.

Recent development in Seminole Heights has draw attention back to the area though and the Sulphur Springs Water Tower.

The event will feature 10 live bands, 7 DJs, a fire show, magician, balloon artist, drum circle for kids, food trucks, art vendors, beer and wine. Gates will open at 11AM and close at 10PM.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the event (if available). Kids ages 10 and under are FREE.

Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets comfort on the lawn. No outside coolers, food, or drinks will be allowed.

Purchase tickets: http://www.preserveourtower.com/tickets/

Learn more at preserveourtower.com.

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Events Food Events News

NEWS: SouthShore Seafood and Arts Festival coming November 2nd and 3rd

The SouthShore Seafood and Arts festival is coming this November 2nd and 3rd to E.G. Simmons Park in Ruskin. Over 15,000 people attended the festival in 2018. Organizers are offering a group rate of $3 for 20 admission tickets. The festival is kid and pet-friendly (pets must be on leashes).

There will be a wide-variety of seafood available at the festival including stone crabs and a variety of other seafood dishes from the Gulf and beyond.

The event is organized by the SouthShore Chamber of Commerce.

Photo via SouthShore Seafood & Arts Fesitval

There will be boats and RVs, arts and crafts, educational displays, commercial exhibits, and tons of interactive kids entertainment for families to enjoy. Over 150 vendors will be present at the event.

Food trucks and vendors attending include:

Event Name: SouthShore Seafood and Arts Festival

Date & Time: Saturday, November 2nd, 10AM-5PM, Sunday, November 3rd, 10AM-5PM

Venue: E.G. Simmons Park

Address: 2401 19th Avenue, N.W., Ruskin, FL 33570

Cost: $5 adults, Kids 12 & under FREE, Active Military FREE with ID, $2 parking per car to enter park, parking is free afterwards.

Website: https://www.ruskinseafoodfestival.org/

Facebook RSVP: http://www.facebook.com/events/516486122476272/

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Articles Restaurant News

NEWS: Yum Yum Hot Pot AYCE opening soon in Temple Terrace

It would seem that interest in hot pot in Tampa right now is on fire! Yum Yum Hot Pot AYCE is opening soon in Temple Terrace just minutes from USF and Tampa’s Uptown. Jennifer Will shared the news with that I can now confirm after a post about Nine Spices Hot Pot potentially coming to Fowler Avenue.

Yum Yum’s application for a license is still in progress.

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The business hasn’t posted anything yet on the social media channels it has up but their Facebook description reads: “All you can eat Hot Pot Restaurant. You cook all the fresh foods to your own liking with no grease. New dining experience await(s) you.”

Owner Cuong Chau says Yum Yum Hot Pot is still a few weeks away from completion.

yum yum hot pot tampa - Google Search.png

The owners have also already been added to Google Maps. The location is next to Shapes Gym at 11301 North 56th street Unit #6  Temple Terrace, Florida 33617

The official site is yumyumhotpotayce.com.

Exciting times in Tampa. More information as it comes in.

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Articles Restaurant News

RUMOR: Nine Spices Hot Pot expanding to Tampa’s Uptown near USF (UPDATED)

Update: The owners from Nine Spices Hot Pot in St. Petersburg have reached out to say they are not affiliated with the new HotPot BBQ on Fowler Avenue.

The license for the business says 9 Spices Hot Pot, but the location in St. Petersburg is actually “Nine Spices Hot Pot“. It is a very bizarre coincidence. 

A new hot pot place has appeared on Fowler Avenue near USF and Tampa’s Uptown called HotPot BBQ.

There isn’t much online for it yet, but the license for the location points to Nine Spices Hot Pot in St. Petersburg as the owners of the location and this spot is in the old Hong Kong House spot in front of M.D. Oriental Market at 1120 East Fowler Avenue Tampa, Florida 33612.

Licenses:

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Articles Events Food Events News

Guide: Halloween 2019 in Tampa for Adults

This is a guest post by Brandie McCallum.

Remember the fun and excitement leading up to Halloween when you were small? Finding just the perfect costume, making plans with friends in hushed tones, and the anticipation of the sugar rush? All of that is can be yours again!

Grab your besties and get ready to find all the treats that come with being an adult in Tampa.

For those of you that have little ones and are planning a little family fun…head over to the Tampa Riverwalk for their annual Trick or Treat. Your kiddies get the excitement of trick or treating and you get a lovely stroll with a tasty beverage.

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Now, for those of you who are ready to find your spooky and are over 21…Downtown Tampa will not let you down! Don’t forget to haunt responsibly. ProTip: Use Uber or Lyft to avoid the hassle of parking or spending time with the Tampa PD.

Bizou Brasserie in the Le Méridien Tampa Hotel is ready to tantalize you with their Halloween goodies! The creative mixologists there are making sure you get all the treats and none of the tricks. Making it a mesmerizing start to your escapades.

Event link: http://www.facebook.com/events/440220863262678/

Maybe you and your ghouls want to haunt a few more spots? Grab your tickets for the annual Downtown After Dark Halloween party happening Saturday, October 26th from 10PM-2AM. For those over 21, the block party covers most of Downtown Tampa and each spot is ready to haunt you! Some featured bars include GenX Tavern, Four Green Fields, and Spain Restaurant Toma Bar.

Tickets: http://bit.ly/2oZhhjC

Is Downtown Tampa not your thing? No worries, there are few places that will haunt your evening. Starting with the delightfully haunted Plant Museum. Where you can connect with the dearly departed and delve into the eerie past, head over to the old Tampa Bay Hotel and join the team at the Henry B. Plant museum for a rare after dark visit.

Or grab your Lyft and haunt Sparkman Wharf for an evening on the Haunted Wharf on Saturday, October 26th from 7PM-11PM! The event is free and open to the public with live performances and $5 parking at the garage nearby.

Haunting Armature Works is bringing in an orchestra on Wednesday, October 30th from 6:30PM-7:30PM that promises to be the largest in Florida to play for an hour. Fall under the spell of bewitching favorites like Saint-Saens’ Danse Macabre and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. Make sure to check out their events calendar for the other Halloween events!

This time of year, everyone questions which wine goes with M&M’s or is candy corn better with merlot or pinot grigio, Society Wine Bar is going to answer those questions for you! Join them for their annual wine and Halloween candy pairing evening at either location on October 30th from 7PM-9PM. RSVP is not required but strongly suggested.

Grab your wicked and wild friends to decide which haunted Tampa adventure will captivate your old Hallows Eve adventures. Mind your manners, watch for the ghosts that will be stepping out to join you while out for your thrills and chills! Don’t forget to tag us at Carlos Eats during your haunts.