Another opening, another show. Here are the new restaurants and developments beginning or coming online in Tampa’s urban core throughout the rest of 2018, plus a venue-by-venue look at the cultural offerings around downtown this fall.
Franklin on Twiggs
This geographically named eatery near the corner of Franklin and Twiggs focuses on two of the hottest dishes on Tampa’s food scene: poke and tacos. Both options are highly customizable, with four set poke bowls or an array of build-your-own options. Chicken, pork or steak can be arranged in a varietyof different styles on a traditional taco or in a bowl. While Franklin on Twiggs does offer takeout, aspiring artists are encouraged to dine in at one of the chalkboard-topped tables and create their own masterpiece.
514 N. Franklin St., Ste. 105
While the space has been open since this past February, new additions to the mixed use property are scheduled to open by late 2018. These include an open-air rooftop bar, a pier that extends out into the Hillsborough River, and a slate of new recurring events (like the free Florida Orchestra Happy Hour concert series, beginning November 28 at 6:30 p.m.). Also keep your eyes peeled for a new vendor at the Heights Public Market’s rotating stall this fall.
1910 N. Ola Ave.
Splitsville Southern + Social
When it reopens in October, the newly renovated luxury bowling alley will be just about the only remnant of what was once Channelside Bay Plaza. The rebranded Splitsville Southern + Social’s facelift reaches all the way to the menu, which is being reimagined by celebrity chef Art Smith. Chef Smith is known for his Florida-inspired Southern cuisine, and offerings will include fried chicken, poutine, scratchmade cheddar biscuits, short rib sliders and signature flatbreads.
615 Channelside Drive
Chop Chop Shop
Seminole Heights rejoiced when the Asian-fusion favorite announced they would move just down the street to take over the former Nicko’s diner. Chop Chop Shop — known for its Korean fusion bowls — is slated to move in late October, with anew concept to come in its old location. And yes, the owners confirmed on Facebook that the new spot will maintain the Elvis Booth, which commemorates The King’s visit to Nicko’s in 1956.
4603 N. Florida Ave.
Harpoon Harry’s Crab House
Originally scheduled to open over the summer, look for this 18,000-square-foot restaurant to open in late 2018. It will be the first business to occupy the Tampa Convention Center’s first-floor retail space, vacant since the Tampa Bay History Center moved in 2009. Former Ulele executive chef Eric Lackey will head up the kitchen and dish out seafood in all varieties — think sandwiches, baskets and a raw bar. The Harpoon Harry’s team is even transforming a 1926 Chevy truck into a oneof-a-kind bar.
327 S. Franklin St.
3 Dot Dash Vegan Kitchen
After making a name for themselves at pop-ups around Tampa Bay, the team at 3 Dot Dash is setting up a permanent location inside the Jug & Bottle Dept. bottle shop in Seminole Heights. Some of their recently previewed menu options include a vegan fried chicken sandwich and the South Philly cheesesteak (rosemary and garlic thin-sliced seitan,smoked cashew “Cheez Whiz” and sauteed spinach on Jamison B. bread). Though an official opening date has not been set, 3 Dot Dash is expected to open before the end of the year.
6203 N. Florida Ave.
The trend of miniaturizing foods has reached the classic burger. Burgerim launched in 2011 and now has over 160 franchises across the globe. Choose your bun, sauce, toppings and one of 11 different proteins, including wagyu beef, turkey, chicken, salmon and falafel, in packs of one, two, three or 16 (if you’re up for a challenge). The restaurant, located on the bottom floor of Element, is scheduled to open in October.
808 N. Franklin St.
The team behind Franklin Manor is partnering with former “Top Chef” contestant Fabio Viviani to open this rustic Italian restaurant on the ground floor of Nine15. At a preview over the summer, Viviani dished up rustic Italian bites like pasta carbonara (made in a Mason jar and finished table-side) and Mediterranean seafood. Behind the bar will be Ro Patel — the Tampa mixologist who created the cocktail programs at Ciro’s, Anise Global Gastrobar and The Collection at the Hall on Franklin — and the Nocturnal Group will take charge of the entertainment offerings. Osteria began its soft opening on September 30.
903 N. Franklin St.
Big Ray’s Fish Camp/ The Sail
The popular outdoor bar is getting a total makeover. Work is underway to convert the area into a larger plaza, complete with additional seating, shade and restrooms. A new freestanding building will house Big Ray’s Fish Camp, the second location of the South Tampa seafood favorite. The restaurant’s culinary team will have a full kitchen to whip up grouper sandwiches, corn dogs and smoked fish dip. Work is slated to wrap up by April 2019.
333 S. Franklin St.
Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk
The riverside hotel went through a total renovation of its guest rooms this spring, with new furnishings and finishes to give them a modern look. Outdoors, the new Pool Bar is open to the public and gives Riverwalk strollers a new place to stop, sip and snack. The bar serves small bites from the hotel’s executive chef, Charles Coe, and signature cocktails, which can be taken on-the-go in the specially marked Riverwalk cups.
200 N. Ashley Drive
Xilo Street Mexican
After closing their French bakery Piquant, chefs Rosana Rivera and Ricardo Castro launched this new concept inside the Hall on Franklin. They first piloted Xilo as a pop-up vendor in the Hall on Cinco de Mayo, moving in to a shared space with coffee bar Kôfē for full breakfast, lunch and dinner service in July. The menu focuses on Mexican-style bowls, tacos, nachos, quesadillas and enchiladas, all made with carnitas, shrimp, chicken, chorizo or mushrooms. For breakfast (served every day), the Xilo team is dishing up huevos Xilo, omelets and a breakfast torta on a housemade baguette.
The Hall on Franklin
1701 N. Franklin St.
The first retail location opening at The Pearl apartments in Tampa Heights will be Strandhill Public, an Irish pub and restaurant. With an opening date likely to come around the beginning of the new year, the restaurant promises to “celebrate and sustain the spirit of the traditional Irish pub” while embracing modern culture.
309 W. Palm Ave.
The Channel Club
The Channel District’s first new apartment tower since 2015 is putting on the final touches in preparation for its first expected move-ins,coming in mid-October. Featuring 22 stories and 324 units, the Channel Club offers studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms and more than a dozen floor plans. All residents should get a nice view of downtown, with the resort- style pool on the eighth floor and units beginning on the ninth floor. Perhaps the most anxiously awaited amenity is the first-floor Publix, but neighborhood residents will have to hold on a little longer; it’s not scheduled to open until March 2019.
1115 E. Twiggs St.
On the former Tampa Tribune site, the new three-building apartment community is wrapping up construction. Leasing has begun — with move-ins expected later this fall — at Manor Riverwalk, which will house studios through three-bedrooms in what developer Related Group calls a “contemporary beach house” style. The community is making full use of its proximity to the water, with amenities including a Riverfront Club Terrace with a beach-entry pool and sun deck, river-facing courtyards and lounges, and a meditation garden. Inside, water-facing apartments will feature floor-to-ceiling windows, and all units will include washers and dryers, European cabinetry and private balconies.
202 S. Parker St.
Water Street Tampa
Since we last wrote about Water Street Tampa, much of the project’s early work has begun. Traffic patterns around Channelside Drive began shifting over the summer as part of future street grid realignments, while construction has begun on the JW Marriott (beside Amalie Arena) plus pre-construction at 815 Water Street (dual condo and apartment towers connected by a first-floor grocery store on the corner of Channelside Drive and Meridian Avenue). Strategic Property Partners, the firm behind Water Street, also released renderings of the Tampa EDITION (the city’s first five-star hotel), 400 Channelside and 1001 Water Street (both luxury office towers). The USF Morsani College of Medicine is rapidly progressing, while Sparkman Wharf is slated to open in October with nine dining concepts, a beer garden and a community lawn.
Channelside Drive area
Avenue Lofts Seminole Heights
This new 52-unit apartment building in Seminole Heights is expected open to renters before the end of the year with a mix of studios and one-bedrooms. Tenants have not yet been announced, but the building’s 11,000 square feet of retail space will add to the bustling stretch of FloridaAvenue that already includes Ichicoro Ramen across the street, plus Red Star Rock Bar, Spaddy’s Coffee and Whatever Pops and Bowls just steps away. Current plans call for rents to run between $1,150 and $1,700 per month.
5326 N. Florida Ave.
Tampa Museum of Art
The Tampa Museum of Art is in the midst of what it’s calling the “Season of Love,” with three visiting exhibits that engage with the theme of love. Currently open, “Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite, and the Lure of Antiquity: Conversations with the Collection” includes “Aphrodite Reimagined,” an interpretation of a fragment of a statue of Greek goddess Aphrodite from the museum’s permanent collection, and a number of other pieces focused on the classical world. In October, the museum welcomes pieces by the recently passed Robert Indiana — most famous for his “Love” sculpture and number-centric pop art. Read more on “Love is Calling” by Yayoi Kusama here.
– “Love is Calling” Yayoi Kusama (Sept. 28-Feb.14)
– “Robert Indiana: A Sculpture Retrospective” (Oct. 25-March 17)
– “Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite, and the Lure of Antiquity: Conversations with the Collection” (through Jan. 6)
Revisit the mid-20th century with two upcoming exhibits at FMOPA. “Berenice Abbott: North and South” is a photographic record of the artist’s trip along the Eastern Seaboard on U.S. Route 1 during the summer of 1954. “We wanted to capture visually the character of an historic section of the United States, its beauties and incongruities and all,” Abbott said after the trip. “Day by Day: 1968” recalls one of the most tumultuous years in American history (save for, perhaps, this one) through photos from all its 366 days.
– “Day By Day: 1968” (October-December)
– “Berenice Abbott: North and South” (Through Jan. 11)
– United Photographic Arts Gallery (November 1-30)
Tampa Bay History Center
The Tampa Bay History Center opened the Touchton Map Library — the first cartography center of its kind in the southeastern United States — earlier this year,and the “Navigating in the Age Before GPS” pays tribute to the sailors who had just these paper guides to get them safely across the seas of Florida and the Caribbean. And take note, bird-watchers; the new exhibit “A History of Conservation: A Bird’s Eye View” traces the efforts of the Audubon Society and others to conserve Florida’s natural bird population.
– “Navigating in the Age Before GPS: Nautical Charts of Florida and the Caribbean” (through December)
– “A History of Conservation: A Bird’s Eye View” (through Feb. 10)
Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Broadway season at the Straz Center is in full swing this fall, continuing withthe “Hamilton”-themed Broadway Ball at the end of October. Straz Live! In the Park brings the party to the people with theatre and opera performances in Curtis Hixon Park. One of the highlights of the Straz’s fall slate is “Hello, Dolly!” the straight-from- Broadway revival of the beloved musical starring Tony Award-winner Betty Buckley. Finally, catch the holiday spirit at Christmas-themed shows throughout December, wrapping up with the Next Generation Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker.”
– Broadway Ball (Oct. 27)
– “9 to 5 The Musical” (Nov. 1-11)
– The Florida Orchestra Disney in Concert – “Tale as Old as Time” (Nov. 2)
– Straz Live! In the Park (Nov. 4)
– Florida Orchestra, “A Child of Our Time” (Nov. 9)
– Diavolo “Architecture in Motion” (Nov. 17)
– Dom Flemons (Nov. 19)
– Die Fledermaus (Nov. 30-Dec. 2)
– “Hello, Dolly!” (Dec. 4-9)
– Celeste Barber (Dec. 8)
– Jane Lynch: A Swingin’ Little Christmas (Dec. 8-9)
– An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas (Dec. 13-16)
– The Florida Orchestra – Holiday Pops (Dec. 14)
– Amythyst Kiah (Dec. 17)
– Next Generation Ballet’s “Nutcracker” (Dec. 22-23)
– Sebastian Maniscalco: “Stay Hungry” (Dec. 28)
In between decking the halls with classic holiday movies (that lineup is TBA), the Tampa Theatre is rounding out 2018 with a mix of live events. Indie-folk hero Iron & Wine makes his first stop in Tampa since 2014. Two nights later, award-winning science journalist Ira Flatow brings his informative, interesting take on the science that surrounds us with a live taping of his “Science Friday” podcast. Acapella group Home Free puts a country spin on Christmas favorites, while an “Austin Powers” themed shindig rings in a groovy new year.
-Iron & Wine (Nov. 15)
-Science Friday Live (Nov. 17)
-Home Free – A Country Christmas (Dec. 6)
-NYE Wrap Party 2018: Austin Powers (Dec. 31)
Hockey is back, baby. The Lightning play a significant portion of their November and December games at home, including a five-game homestand starting Thanksgiving Eve. Elsewhere on the Amalie Arena schedule, rapper Travis Scott brings his “Astroworld” tour to town in November, Barry Manilow plays one of only three holiday shows nationwide, and Elton John says goodbye to the yellow brick road (and all the other ones) on his worldwide farewell tour on November 28.
-Lightning v. Nashville Predators (Nov. 1)
-Twenty One Pilots (Nov. 3)
-Lightning v. Edmonton Oilers (Nov. 6)
-Lightning v. Islanders (Nov. 8)
-Lightning v. Senators (Nov. 10)
-Travis Scott (Nov. 12)
-Lightning v. Florida Panthers (Nov. 21)
-Lightning v. Chicago Blackhawks (Nov. 23)
-Lightning v. New Jersey Devils (Nov. 25)
-Lightning v. Anaheim Ducks (Nov. 27)
-Elton John (Nov. 28)
-Lightning v. Buffalo Sabres (Nov. 29)
-Lightning v. Boston Bruins (Dec. 6)
-Barry Manilow (Dec. 7)
-Lightning v. Colorado Avalanche (Dec. 8)
-Lightning v. New York Rangers (Dec. 10)
-Lightning v. Toronto Maple Leafs (Dec. 13)
-For King & Country Christmas (Dec. 14)
-Trans-Siberian Orchestra (Dec. 16)
-Cirque du Soleil’s “Crystal” (Dec. 19-23)
-Lightning v. Philadelphia Flyers (Dec. 27)
-Lightning v. Montreal Canadiens (Dec. 29)
-WWE Live Holiday Tour (Dec. 30)