01. THE MAIN COURSE IS ON THE MENU IN SOUTH TAMPA
The veteran-owned soul food restaurant Main Course is reopening in the former Roux location on South MacDill Avenue. Chef-owner Ashley Shuttle will be doing brunch daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with indulgent options like breakfast egg rolls, lobster and waffles (plus traditional chicken and waffles), shrimp and grits, pastas and biscuits, plus vegan options. The Main Course turns into a lounge after 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, with a small plate menu of wings and fries, egg rolls, burgers and fried seafood.
02. NEW VEGAN DELI ARRIVES IN YBOR CITY
With an exclusively plant-based menu, the Dunedin Vegan Deli opened an Ybor City location called, appropriately, the Ybor City Vegan Deli. The deli is housed in a historic Ybor residence that dates back to 1903 and was relocated to its current place across from Centennial Park in 2002. Its comfort food menu features all-day breakfast sandwiches, burgers, wraps, Cuban sandwiches, salads, and pizzas and wings. Additionally, Ybor City Vegan Deli features a small grocery area with vegan snacks and food items.
03. GASPARILLA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL RETURNS
One of Tampa’s premier festivals is returning with in-person events. The 14th annual Gasparilla International Film Festival will run from June 10 to 13 in a hybrid format, featuring a mix of virtual online screenings and showings at the Tampa Theatre and Cinebistro Hyde Park. GIFF’s full lineup of ﬁlms, shorts and documentaries will be announced at the beginning of June, and festivities kick off at the Tampa Theatre on June 5 with a free screening of Frozen II.
04. ARMATURE WORKS WELCOMES BENTO, BUDDY BREW
The lineup inside Armature Works’ Heights Public Market has shuffled once again, with Bento Asian Kitchen and Buddy Brew Coffee replacing Ichicoro Imoto and Union by Commune + Co, respectively. Bento specializes in wok-ﬁred Asian dishes like Sichuan chicken, shrimp pad Thai, coconut curry tofu and Mongolian steak served over rice, noodles or in a bento box. It has also teased a “bites” menu with shareable options. Buddy Brew is now pouring coffee, cold brew, tea and juice, plus pastries, sandwiches and its signature avocado toast topped with chili ﬂakes and lime.
05. DAVIS ISLANDS SAYS HELLO TO BAYOU BODEGA
Davis Islands recently welcomed its ﬁrst natural wine bar. Bayou Bodega is the brainchild of husband and wife team Robert Sickler and Yari Ramos. Sickler — well known in the spirits industry for curating the cocktail and whiskey list at Denver’s Finn Manor bar — and Ramos have expanded their knowledge to natural wines and vermouth cocktails for the new location. Food options include tapas with Latin, Caribbean, Creole and Cajun ﬂavors, plus the signature po boy with Serrano ham, garlic shrimp, Manchego cheese and roasted piquillo peppers on Cuban bread. In addition to natural wine, Bayou Bodega is also pouring craft beer from St. Pete’s Green Bench Brewing, teas, hibiscus juice, house-made cold brew and traditional Oaxacan drinking chocolate.
06. THE STRAZ CENTER ANNOUNCES UPCOMING BROADWAY SERIES
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts is looking ahead to the future of live theater. It recently announced its slate of shows for the 2021-22 season, beginning in late October. The lineup features some productions originally scheduled for early 2020 and the effectively canceled 2020-21 season, like Tootsie (based on the ﬁlm of the same name), Tony winner The Band’s Visit, The Prom, Cats and Summer: The Donna Summer Musical. Other shows coming to town this season include the ﬁrst tour of Disney’s Frozen, the classic My Fair Lady and Pretty Woman: The Musical.