More new restaurants, bars coming to Seminole Heights

Three new eateries and a combined bar and dog park are set to open in Tampa in the same stretch of North Nebraska Avenue that is now home to Ella’s Americana Folk Art Café and Southern Brewing & Winemaking by early 2017.

Ebisu Sushi Shack will likely be the first of the new establishments to open its doors in a former bungalow at 5116 N. Nebraska Ave. The restaurant plans a soft launch for the Seminole Heights neighborhood in late June or early July. Ron Simmons, co-owner with his wife, Akemi Simmons, says the menu will include a wide range of sushi choices, plus other Asian dishes.

“It’s a sushi place, but we’re not going to do only sushi,” Simmons said. “There will be a lot of small dishes people can share.”

Akemi worked in restaurants for most of her adult life and will handle the cooking. Simmons will keep his “day job” as a history teacher in the Hillsborough County school system.

Antoinette’s French Bakery and Café will move into the small strip mall at Osborne Avenue and Nebraska where Old Heights Bistro is located. The café will be open for breakfast and lunch and will feature homemade pastries and sandwiches, according to Stan Lasater, president of the Southeast Seminole Heights Civic Association. Lasater says the café owners hope to be open in time for Taste of the Heights, a yearly food-tasting festival in the neighborhood.

“They’re working with an architect and should be starting construction by no later than mid-July,” Lasater said. “They’re hoping to be open in time for the Taste of the Heights in November or by the first of the year.”

Combining the popularity of dog-friendly venues and the urban-chic craze of container crate bars, the Seminole Heights Dog Park Bar is planning to open on a vacant lot near Nebraska Avenue and Genesee Street. The bar’s Facebook page says the owners hope to open by the fall. 

Lasater says the bar will feature a fenced-in area on the 30,000-square-foot lot where dogs can play while their owners enjoy the finest craft beers, many from local breweries. The bar’s motto will be, “Don’t leave your best friend at home when you feel like going out for a beer.”

For a sweet treat on a hot summer day, Pirate Pops will feature organic, gourmet popsicles at 5120 N. Nebraska Ave. The company, which has been a popular stop at Tampa’s Downtown Market, says on its Facebook Page that the popsicles are made in small batches with all-natural ingredients. The company claims to buy all the fruit used in the pops from local organic farmers and back-yard gardeners.

“Their claim is they use no sweeteners except the best Florida cane sugar,” Lasater said. “Everything is locally grown with no additives. They are amazing popsicles.”

An opening date for the popsicle shop has not been announced.

Read more articles by Mike Salinero.

Mike Salinero is a feature writer for 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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