Although 2022 was a busy year for restaurants that opened and closed in New Tampa, there was a lot more dining news on the way for 2023 in zip code 33647 as the year came to a close.

Over the past few weeks, several local eateries closed their doors for good, while others were just getting ready to open.

We were sad to see that both Nova Pizza in the Pebble Creek Collection and Precinct Pizza (top right photo) on Cross Creek Blvd. at Morris Bridge Rd. had closed. 

While we haven’t yet heard about anything new opening in Precinct’s place, we’re definitely excited that Zio’s New York Bagel & Deli Co. (bottom right photo) is expected to take over for Nova by sometime in February.

Zio (which means “Uncle” in Italian) is the brainchild of Wesley Chapel resident Jeff Cofini, who previously owned several bagel places in upstate New York. 

“We’ll have homemade, NY-style bagels,” Cofini says, “plus great bacon, egg & cheese sandwiches, Boar’s Head deli meats, and we’ll be open for breakfast and lunch every day.”

Cofini says he is definitely looking for  hard-working help at Zio’s. Email him at if you or someone you know might be interested.

Speaking of possible Feb. 2023 openings, real progress has finally been made on the new location of Kobé Japanese Steakhouse (below) and one of the contractors at the site told me that the plan is to try to open the new Kobé in time for Valentine’s Day.

We also were sad to say good-bye to the Walk at Highwoods Preserve location of Oronzo Honest Italian last month. We haven’t yet heard of a replacement for the fast-casual Italian concept, but Oronzo has another location in Midtown Tampa.

We also hoped that the new Macaw Latin Provision on Cross Creek Blvd. would be open before we went to press with this issue, but as of Jan 13, we were told that the former location of three previous restaurants — Hawkeye’s NYS Pizza, Deano’s Pizza and Fish Fiesta — was now not going to open at all and the restaurant space behind the Mobil station was available again. — GN  

Brunchery Becomes Brunchin’ 

For anyone who was wondering why the sign above The Brunchery on S.R. 56 had changed to Brunchin’, wonder no more. 

Owner Al Marku of Brunchin’ says that all three of his existing Brunchery locations (S.R. 56, New Tampa and Lithia) are in the process of becoming Brunchin’ because The Brunchery name was previously in use by other restaurants. 

So, even though Brunchin’ has the same ownership, menu and outstanding service as Marku’s local Brunchery restaurants, he says he decided to make the change to a unique name that wasn’t already in use as he prepares to open his fourth Brunchin’ location in Riverview.

After finishing #2 in this year’s Reader Survey for  Favorite Breakfast, Brunchin’ was named my #1 Favorite Breakfast. — GN   

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