Plus, potential changes to Coquina Key's redevelopment.
 
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Today’s Forecast

68º | Sunshine | 2% chance of rain | Sunrise: 7:13 a.m. | Sunset: 6:15 p.m. | Tides | Old Tampa Bay | Low: 7:52 a.m. | Clearwater Beach | High: 11:33 a.m. + 9:15 p.m. | Low: 3:15 p.m.

 
💛 Thanks for the memories
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Local artist Jess Cazin paints paints historic and nostalgic Tampa spots, like the The Colonnade Restaurant (pictured). | Photo by @jess.cazin.art
Are there old Tampa Bay diners, music venues, bars, and businesses you still miss? Last week, we asked you which shuttered spots you miss the most, and now we’re taking a trip back in time.

This is an ode to some of your favorite now-closed Tampa Bay area businesses:

Fly Bar & Restaurant

Popular for its espresso martinis, craft cocktails, taps, and vibes, Fly Bar closed its doors last spring. Fly Bar opened back in 2006, before moving its downtown Tampa location in 2020 to its seemingly final UT-adjacent spot.

Backfin Blue

Local seafood lovers may remember this gem. Diners headed to the 1920s Gulfport cottage for Maryland jumbo crab cakes, lobster ravioli, oven-roasted fresh fish, and other hearty eats. While the brick and mortar location shut down, you can still score the delicious eats from Backfin Blue Catering and Events.

Coney Island Sandwich Shop

Even if you didn’t chow down on a glizzy or two at this Sunshine City eatery, you might recognize its bright blue, clown-emblazoned mural. The casual diner served all the old school American classics: Hot dogs, chili dogs, burgers, BLTs, and shakes to wash it all down.

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Oh do we wish we could try a NY-style Rueben at Cass Street Deli.

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Photo via @tampafoodgirl

Cass Street Deli

Talk about a cross section. We’re still salivating over the now-closed Tampa sandwich shop’s corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, chicken and matzo ball soup, and other deli classics.

The Colonnade Restaurant

The Bayshore Boulevard restaurant opened its doors in 1935, serving seafood, Coca Cola, American classics, and Old Tampa Bay views until it closed back in 2016. The Whiteside family owned and operated the eatery for 80+ years, spanning five generations.
 
 
Events
 
Wednesday, Feb. 7
  • Mat Pilates on the Lawn | Wednesday, Feb. 7 | 5:30 p.m. | Sparkman Wharf, 615 Channelside Dr., Tampa | Free with registration | Get ready to sweat with this hybrid Pilates led by BODYROK — make sure to bring a mat.
  • Valentines Bouquet and DIY Paper Wrap Class | Wednesday, Feb. 7 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Armature Works, 1910 N. Ola Ave., Tampa | $65 | Creatives from House of Petals Floral Co. and Inky Fingers Calligraphy lead you in making a Valentine’s bouquet + DIY paper wrap.
Thursday, Feb. 8
  • Galentine’s Day Bubbles and Bouquets | Thursday, Feb. 8 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Dwell Home Market, 4912 S. Lois Ave., Tampa | $45 | Bring your bestie along to celebrate Galentine’s a tad early with bouquet making, a bubbles bar, and a little furniture browsing.
Friday, Feb. 9
  • LIVE & LOCAL | Friday, Feb. 9-Saturday, Feb. 10 | 6 p.m. | Outside The Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Pl., Tampa | Free | Head to the Riverwalk to watch TBAY’s own singer-songwriter Eliana Blanchard perform eclectic and unique tunes.
  • Mike Birbiglia: “Please Stop the Ride” | Friday, Feb. 9 | 7 p.m. | Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg | $43+ | The comedian, writer, director, and actor of Broadway and Netflix fame takes the St. Pete stage.
Saturday, Feb. 10
  • UNCF Black History Month Walk for Education and HBCU Homecoming Festival | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 8 a.m.-1 p.m. | Perry Harvey Sr. Park, 1000 E. Harrison St., Tampa | $15-$35 | The walk and community festival features live entertainment, a small business vendors expo, eats, and helps fund scholarships.
  • Bark in the Park 2024 | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. | Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa | Free | Pack up the puppers and check out the this year’s festival, featuring adoptable animals, fun activities for dogs, vendors, food trucks, libations, and music.
  • Sant’ Yago Knight Parade | Saturday, Feb. 10 | 7 p.m. | Downtown Ybor City, E. Seventh Ave., Tampa | Free | Ybor City’s signature illuminated parade is a celebration of Tampa’s storied Latin heritage, featuring floats, beads, and party vibes.
Click here to have your event featured.
 
News Notes
 
Development
  • Plans for Coquina Key Plaza’s (4350 6th St. S.) redevelopment are changing, pending review. The developer is now proposing nine garden-style buildings instead of the initial four separate residential buildings. The project will be completed in phases + hopes to get a grocer as one of the retail tenants. (St. Pete Rising)
Real Estate
  • There’s likely a new luxury townhouse community on the way to St. Pete’s Central Avenue area. The developer plans to build 23 townhomes at 180 and 200 MLK Jr. St. N. — one of which is the old Greyhound Station property. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
Shop
  • On the hunt for outdoorsy-ish weekend plans? Head to the Seminole Heights Sunday Market this Sunday, Feb. 11 at Hillsborough High School (5000 N. Central Ave., Tampa) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The family-friendly event features 60+ vendors, live music, and food trucks.
Opening
  • Meet Tiki Tim’s Pub and Grille. The new East Coast inspired casual eatery is moving into the old Pesky Pelican spot (923 72nd St. N.). The restaurant will open in April after a renovation + serve cheesesteaks, crab cakes, and more. (I Love the Burg)
Coming Soon
  • Wondering what’s moving into The Mill’s old location? Soon, you’ll be able to enjoy luxe wild game at The Huntsman. The restaurant (200 Central Ave.) will open later this year + offer farmed, foraged, or hunted fare like antelope and elk tenderloin. (St. Pete Rising)
Number
  • $2.1 million. That’s how much the federal government just granted the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority for providing services during Hurricane Ian in 2022. The money will cover the cost of evacuating people, rescue operations, and providing transport during the time of need. (Tampa Bay Business Journal)
Finance
  • Get trusted financial advice with Money Pickle, the service that connects you directly with experienced financial advisors to help with your investment + retirement planning needs (all through a complimentary video meeting). Take control of your financial future in 2024 by scheduling a free consultation.*
 
 
Culture
 
Could T. Swift’s “Florida!!!” be about TBAY?
Taylor Swift performs at Raymond James Stadium. The crowd is full and there is confetti.
Taylor Swift played Raymond James to a packed house in 2023 on her “Eras Tour.” | Photo via TBAYtoday
It all comes back to Florida. Taylor Swift’s forthcoming album — “The Tortured Poets Department” — drops Friday, April 19 and the newly announced tracklist features a song titled “Florida!!!” (feat. Florence + The Machine).

Yup, you read that right. Some speculate the track could be a nod to the Tampa “Eras Tour” shows after news broke of her split from Joe Alwyn. But we have a hunch she could just be enchanted with TBAY:

Here are a few lyrics that may or may not be about our slice of the Gulf Coast:
  • “Do you remember all the city lights on the water?” — “Mine”
    Does anyone else immediately picture the reflected University of Tampa minarets on the Riverwalk?
  • “It’s a cruel summer” — “Cruel Summer”
    If you’ve spent the end of July sweating every ounce of liquid out of your body and considering a deposit on a pool, you get it.
  • “Salt air and the rust on your door” — “August”
    Just the opening chords of this hit transport us to days by the Gulf.
And we have proof she may have spent more that just concert dates here. Taylor’s dad, one Scott Swift, owns a penthouse in the Burg, or at least he did as of 2020.
 
The Buy
 
A Curry Up Broth Bomb, which will flavor five to eight portions of soup, beans, chili, or whatever you want to cook. Hello healthy, yummy dinner.
 
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The Wrap
 
Bailey Lefever in a park near a pond Today’s edition by:
Bailey
From the editor
Here’s a party favor for my Coney Island Sandwich Shop fans. Check out this wonderful shot of the now-closed spot’s owner.
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