TAMPA THEATRE REOPENS FOR LIVE AUDIENCES
Exactly one year after its closure in response to COVID-19, the historic Tampa Theatre opened for in-person movies on March 11. The reopening comes with new restrictions, including limiting each screening to no more than 200 people and requiring masks and routine temperature checks. Moviegoers will use an app to order popcorn and other concessions from their seats, and the pre-show, performed on the 96-year-old Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, will also return.
THE TAMPA EDITION REACHES NEW HEIGHTS
Tampa’s ﬁrst ﬁve-star hotel, The Tampa Edition, has topped out at its full height of 26 stories. Located in Water Street Tampa, the hotel will offer 172 rooms and 37 private residences, a rooftop terrace with a pool, a spa, street-level retail space, and seven food and beverage locations. The hotel was created by Ian Schrager in partnership with Marriott International and developed by Strategic Property Partners, a Tampa-based real estate development ﬁrm. The hotel and residences are expected to open later this year. Pricing for the residences begin at $2 million.
FRESH KITCHEN OPENS ITS 10TH LOCATION IN NEW TAMPA
Fresh Kitchen, the Tampa-based fast-casual chain that launched in SoHo in 2014, will open another eatery in New Tampa. The restaurant is owned by Ciccio Restaurant Group, which has expanded its reach outside of Tampa to Boca Raton, Orlando and soon, Gainesville. The latest addition will be the restaurant’s 10th location and will continue its focus on bowls created with fresh vegetables, antibiotic-free meats and gluten-free options.
WILLIAM DEAN CHOCOLATES TO OPEN A SECOND LOCATION AT MIDTOWN
William Dean Chocolates, the Belleair Bluffs artisan chocolate company that has been featured in the Hunger Games movies, is slated to open its second location at Midtown Tampa this year. The new venue will be a Parisian-inspired café and offer breakfast and lunch options in addition to its familiar handmade gourmet chocolates. Until then, chocolate lovers can visit its original location or place an order through its online store.
XTREME TACOS OPENS IN SEMINOLE HEIGHTS
The popular taco spot Xtreme Tacos has opened its highly anticipated Seminole Heights location at 5609 N. Nebraska Ave. The new venue will feature a rooftop dining experience and the return of its massive, foot-and-a-half long “Stoner” burrito. After transitioning to a food-truck approach and closing their SoHo location on Platt Street, fans of the restaurant have clamored for its return. Xtreme Tacos is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
SEPHORA TO OPEN TWO STANDALONE STORES IN TAMPA
Though most commonly found in malls, the beauty giant Sephora has announced two standalone stores in Midtown Tampa and South Tampa’s Hyde Park Village. Each of the planned locations is similarly sized at just over 4,000 square feet. The new store openings are part of Sephora’s overall strategy to move away from traditional shopping centers, which have struggled during the pandemic. The Hyde Park store will open in a portion of the village’s former Brooks Brothers location.