Drake’s Place Now Open In Santo’s Space
A couple of issues ago, when we told you that Santo’s Italian Grill, located in the Pinebrook at The Grove shopping center on S.R. 54, had closed, we also mentioned that another restaurant was getting ready to open in the same space.
Well, the new restaurant, open for just a couple of weeks at our press time, is called Drake’s Place, which is a full-liquor neighborhood sports bar and grill, and from what I’ve sampled so far, the restaurant’s large and varied menu is definitely worth checking out. I had only eaten there twice so far at our press time, but both the blackened chicken sandwich and the bacon cheeseburger were excellent, as were both the crispy fries and homemade cole slaw.
Drake’s Place has a complete menu of burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and even entrées like a 10-oz. New York strip, all at outstanding prices. Look for a complete review of Drake’s Place in a future issue. And, you just might catch yours truly at Drake’s Place on Wednesdays for Karaoke Night.
Drake’s Place is located at 27429 S.R. 54 and is open every day for lunch and dinner. For more info, call 973-8304 and please tell Bridget the owner that the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News sent you!
Oakley’s Grille Adds New Menu Items
Oakley’s Grille, the outstanding sandwich & more shop located next to Dairy Queen at 17631 BBD, isn’t resting on its laurels.
Although Oakley’s Grille narrowly missed making the top-25 (it finished 28th) in our readers’ list of New Tampa’s favorite restaurants (see pages 48-49), it’s only been open a few months and will surely finish in the top half of the top-25 on my list of New Tampa faves (which you can look for at NTNeighborhoodNews.com and in our next issue).
And, with some of owner Keith Oakley and his staff’s new menu additions, Oakley’s Grille will surely move into the top-10 of not only your favorite sandwich shops/delis in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel, but also into the top 10 among your favorite… Latin restaurants?
Don’t be surprised. Oakley’s is now featuring marinated steak and chicken fajitas, southwest chicken tacos with fresh salsa (made with cilantro, onion, tomato, black beans, corn, feta cheese and avocado) and blackened Tilapia on toasted Cuban bread with bourbon tartar sauce, shredded lettuce, vine-ripened tomatoes and lemon. Also new on the Oakley’s menu are sweet potato fries, cole slaw, potato salad and guacamole.
And, don’t forget Oakley’s awesome “Tuesday Burger Nites,” where you get what I think is the best cheeseburger in town (with Five Guys Burgers & Fries a close second) and some of the best fries anywhere for only $5.99! Don’t miss it!
To order ahead or for store hours and more info, call 523-5075 or visit OakleysGrille..com.
New Tampa Restaurant Closings In The News
I have to admit I was a little surprised that only one recently closed restaurant — Cole’s BBQ on Cross Creek Blvd. — made our readers’ list of their Top-25 Favorite Restaurants in New Tampa.
In addition to Cole’s, which originally was located in Tampa Palms and had only been open on Cross Creek Blvd. for a few months, several other restaurants which previously made our survey also have shut their doors.
Perhaps the most surprising of these is KFC, or Kentucky Fried Chicken on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., next to Romano’s Macaroni Grill, which was seemingly open one day in December and totally shut down, with all of its signage removed, the next. We have no way of knowing if the BBD widening took its toll on the local KFC, but with its recent addition of grilled chicken, many people we spoke to said they were surprised to see it go.
Also shutting its doors recently was Bella Vita Pizzeria & Italian Market, which is the restaurant that replaced Circles New Tampa Bistro in the Pebble Creek Collection. After tinkering multiple times with its menu and reducing the amount of space it took up in the plaza, it seems Bella Vita’s owners decided it was time to go.
In a future issue, we’ll also tell you about New Tampa’s “Yogurt Wars,” as no fewer than three yogurt places have either opened or planned to open within three or four miles of MochiBerri in the Shops at Wiregrass mall. — GN