Taps Restaurant and Bar owner James DeVito plans to open his new restaurant DEVITO’S ITALIAN SPECIALITIES at 200 North Tampa Street at the end of February. The space will specialize in authentic Italian cuisine. Lunch will feature bites like Roman pizza, specialty sandwiches, Prosciutto di Parma, fresh mozzarella, panzerotti (lightly fried handmade turnovers). At dinner, options will include veal, whole branzino, fresh homemade pastas, and desserts, plus a full bar with Italian and American wines, beers and cocktails.
Tampa was ranked as one of the BEST COLLEGE CITIES in the United States. In a list done by financial website WalletHub, Tampa ranked fourth out of more than 400 cities. WalletHub cited the city’s number of attractions, cost of living, quality of higher education and low crime rate in its ranking.
CATRINAS TACOS AND TEQUILA has reopened in West Tampa on North Howard Avenue. Formerly in Palma Ceia, Catrinas focuses on authentic Mexican dishes like tacos on handmade tortillas, guacamole, molcajete and tamales. Service is order-at-the-counter, and alcohol (including margaritas) is coming soon. Catrinas will also feature a private event space in its building’s vault, which once belonged to a bank.
Tampa was named as one of the best TECH TOWNS in the U.S. The list, compiled by the technology professional association CompTIA, ranked Tampa at No. 19. The rankings considered cost of living, salaries, job postings and growth percentages. Tampa was recognized for its investment opportunities and cost of living compared to wages.
The Pirate Water Taxi has added the pirate ship LOST PEARL to its fleet. Located at the Tampa Convention Center dock, the Lost Pearl offers public cruises that include a pirate show, activities for kids, and a bar with snacks and alcohol. The ship is also available for private charters including birthday parties, weddings, and corporate events; it has a capacity of 125 guests.
Homes.com ranked Tampa as one of the most PET-FRIENDLY cities for renters. In the report, Tampa was ranked as the country’s fourth-best city for apartment, condo and rental-home dwellers with pets. Nearly 60% of Tampa’s available rentals are classified as pet-friendly.
Strategic Property Partners opened its innovative DISTRICT COOLING FACILITY at Water Street Tampa. This facility will produce and distribute chilled water for air conditioning to most of the buildings in the Water Street district, including the new USF Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute. By consolidating the district’s cooling systems into one building, energy is conserved, noise pollution is reduced, and rooftops that would have typically held cooling towers are freed up to be used as what SPP calls “shared amenity spaces.”
RYGUY’S CHICKEN AND WAFFLES, formerly on 30th Street near USF, recently reopened inside of James Joyce Irish Pub in Ybor City. The chicken spot specializes in hand-breaded fried chicken and fresh pressed waffles in a variety of preparations, including spicy, pecans and sweet cream, and Korean barbecue.
The Hall on Franklin has a new vendor. TOP 10, an American fusion restaurant, opened at the end of January with Tampa-inspired dishes like the N.Y.A Cuban (Spanish pork, black forest ham, smoked gouda, okra fries, pickles and mayo-mustard mix on Medianoche bread), Tampa poutine, and fish and grits. The new concept’s executive chef is Rudy Clark, most recently of Ybor City’s 7th + Grove.
The STRAZ CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS announced its full 2020-21 Broadway season, which includes the last four Tony Award-winners for Best Musical — Hadestown, The Band’s Visit, Dear Evan Hansen and the smash hit Hamilton, the latter two making their second stops in Tampa in two years. Other shows coming for the 2020-21 season include the play To Kill a Mockingbird and musicals Escape to Margaritaville, Tootsie, The Prom, Cats, Shear Madness and fan-favorite Wicked.