Will offer takeout, delivery and banquet catering, in addition to dine-in seating and will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner. For more information, call (813) 278-8020. — Gary Nager; photos by Charmaine George

Former Saddlebrook Resort owner Thomas Dempsey, general manager Pat Ciaccio (photo, top right) and Erik and Seth Ravenna (all of whom were at Saddlebrook together before it was sold last year) have again joined forces to bring casual, contemporary Italian dining to the New Tampa area.

Johnny C’s Italian Eatery (located at 10970 Cross Creek Blvd., in the space previously occupied by Precinct Pizza; photo, top left), which is expected to open by Monday, May 1, will proudly serve New York-style pizza and authentic Italian pasta dishes and other specialties.

Featuring both indoor and covered outdoor seating, Johnny C’s, which was named for Ciaccio’s father, “Who spent his entire life (working) in restaurants,” 

New Tampa Dining Updates On Zio’s, Kobe & The New Mpanitas 

Here are some updates on some restaurants we told you a couple of issues ago were getting ready to open in New Tampa. Unfortunately, none of them are open yet, but all three should open sooner than later.

We did mention before that Macaw Latin Provision on Cross Creek Blvd. (in the same plaza as Saffron) was now not going to open at all. However, what we didn’t know at that time was that the second Tampa location (the other is on Palm River Rd.) of Mpanitas was getting ready to open in its place. Owners Genesis and Julio say the Venezuelan eatery will specialize in homemade mini-empanadas, plus mandocas (fried dough rings), tequenos (cheese sticks) and other Venezuelan specialties.

For more info, visit Mpanitas on Facebook or Instagram.

Also still not open yet is Zio’s New York Bagel & Deli Co., but owner Jeff Cofini says his NY-style bagel place and deli should be open for breakfast and lunch every day very soon — hopefully only a week or two after this issue reaches you. Email Jeff at ZiosNYBagels@gmail.com if you want to work for Zio’s. 

And finally, the new location of Kobé Japanese Steakhouse (photo) still isn’t open, but at least the sign has finally gone up on the building. The last update we had a couple of weeks ago was that it would be at least 3-6 more months before Kobe would reopen, but we’ll keep you posted. — GN

‘Fast & Furious’ Actor Sung Kang Visits Zukku-San!

Sung Kang, who appeared in “Fast & Furious” films (beginning with “Tokyo Drift”), was in Tampa for the 16th annual Gasparilla Film Festival to promote his directorial film debut, “Shaky Shivers.” While in town, he visited the Wesley Chapel Zukku-San. Here (l.-r.) he poses with Zukku-San’s Kathy Nguyen & co-owner Ferdian Jap.—GN

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