The months of Oct. & Nov. will be among the busiest times yet for new restaurants in the Wesley Chapel area.
Here are some of the highlights:
Florida Avenue Brewing Co. (2029 Arrowgrass Dr.) — With its opening as we went to press, I think our readers will be really excited about Florida Ave., which has a great menu and lots of room for social distancing (even at the spacious indoor and outdoor bars), in the former location of Sports + Field off S.R. 56.
Florida Ave., which has its original location in Seminole Heights, isn’t yet brewing its awesome variety of microbrews at its new location — its original Florida Ave. location will still provide the beer — but it has a full-liquor bar, video games for the kids and delicious, food items, including both standard bar fare and unique options like the Chinese-style sticky ribs shown above (photo by Charmaine George), bibimbap bowls, crispy cauliflower tacos and many more. Please tell the Derby family I sent you!
Rock & Brews (26000 S.R. 56, Lutz) — Our Rock & Brews will be the 18th link in this chain of rock-themed restaurants owned in part (and inspired) by Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the rock band Kiss. In order to preview Rock & Brews in this issue,
I visited the aptly-named “Kiss”-immee location, and I definitely came away impressed with the look of the place (with images of rock icons from Kiss to Prince and from Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen adorning the walls) to the food, including the blackened redfish shown above (which comes with a Louisiana-style crawfish cream sauce that I couldn’t eat because of my shellfish allergy) to a semi-spicy bruschetta. Rock & Brews (visit RockandBrews.com) should open by mid-October.
Bonefish Grill (Sierra Center Blvd., Lutz) — Although Wesley Chapel has had a Bonefish Grill for years, that location on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. is expected to close when the new Bonefish opens next to Aussie Grill — which could be in October as well. Although we weren’t able to get an opening date from parent company Bloomin’ Brands, there is a “Now Hiring” sign at the new location.
Zukku-San Sushi Bar & Grill & Crumbl Cookies (25916 & 25922 Sierra Center Blvd., Lutz) — Of these two new options, located in the same building as the Woof Gang Bakery and the new Charles Schwab office (east of Bahama Breeze on the north side of S.R. 56), Zukku-San looks closer to opening, although both places have “Now Hiring” signs out in front. The guess here is that neither will open much before the end of October. For more info, visit ZukkuSushi.com or CrumblCookies.com.
Moschella’s Italian Eatery & Market (5648 Post Oak Blvd.) — Owner Billy Moschella says Moschella’s should be open by the end of October and will feature a deli, pizza, fresh pastas, a butcher shop, hot prepared foods and much more. He’s also hiring cooks, pizza makers, deli workers and cashiers. To apply or for more info, visit Moschellas.com.
Chuck Lager America’s Tavern (2001 Piazza Ave., Suite 175) — So, according to the restaurant’s website, Chuck Lager is a worldwide archeological adventurer who decided to venture into opening made-from-scratch restaurants that exemplify his love of great cuisine. Lager met “Top Chef” fan favorite Fabio Viviani in Viviani’s grandmother’s Italian kitchen and a concept was born.
With locations in Pike Creek, DE, and Barrington, NJ, the Lager team came to “The Chap” to take over the never-good-enough former Primebar location at the Shops at Wiregrass. It doesn’t look like it will make it to an October opening, but hopefully, we’ll see this tomato bacon grilled cheese with tomato bisque (above), homemade meatballs and chicken parm sooner than later. (Visit ChuckLager.com.)