The coffee is locally roasted. The ice cream is locally made. The weekend entertainment comes from local musicians. The Witch's Brew keeps everything close to home so patrons can support their community while enjoying the atmosphere of a classic coffeehouse and all the treats that come with it. Mugs and glasses brim with espresso made from organic, fair-trade coffee beans, cool refreshments such as the raspberry iced tea of the Ruby Slipper, and even a selection of specialty cocktails, local wines, and craft beers. Meanwhile, frozen desserts made by Old Meeting House Ice Cream come in more than 10 flavors and bedeck a number of creative sundaes, splits, and shakes. The unique eatery is equipped with outdoor seating and free WiFi, which helps busy diners work on a laptop while savoring a freshly crafted sandwich or let their freshly crafted sandwich check its email.
ReNew Life helps clients take charge of their own health with a line of probiotics, enzymes, and cleanses derived from natural ingredients. As company founder, certified nutritional consultant Brenda Watson draws from an extensive background in wellness and nutrition, having authored books on detoxification and weight loss and served as president of the International Association of Colon Therapists. Her thorough knowledge of the digestive system and passion for promoting long-term health led Watson to develop her own line of nutritional supplements.
Unlike the air we breathe, which trees distill from old tire swings, each of ReNew Life's products is derived from raw, all-natural ingredients. Clients can repopulate their gut with good bacteria through probiotics, cleanse their liver with detox supplements, and boost their diet with artificial additive-free Fiber Smart smoothies and capsules. In addition to keeping their digestive tracts fit and healthy, shoppers can stock up on products designed to solve any number of health issues, from smoking addiction to loss of energy.
Every Sunday, patrons of the Palm Harbor House of Beer can go head to frothy head with Randall the Enamel Animal, a singular beer-infusing machine developed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. The specially created tap can cram pints of beer with extra flavor from added hops, coffee beans, fruit, or even singles' phone numbers. This quirky contraption caught the attentions of a reviewer from the Tampa Bay Times, who hailed the bar as a "haven for beer nerds" during American Craft Beer Week in 2011. Patrons can also pick their poison from a lineup of 50 craft-beer taps from breweries such as Brooklyn and Flying Dog, along with local hopmasters Cigar City and Swamp Head. The bar's website takes care to keep the tap list updated frequently?allegedly to the minute?because, as co-owner A. J. Bubolz told the Palm Harbor Beacon, "three days from now, 25 percent of those will be different."
To call Harr's Surf & Turf Market a family business is a bit of an understatement. Stephen Innocenzi, the manager and head chef, has been joined by his mother, two aunts, a grandmother, a sister, a brother, and his two grandkids—38 employees in all. The meat industry comes naturally to the clan; Stephen’s stepfather, Ervin Harr, first picked up a filleting knife in 1961, and the pristine white aprons and cases full of crystalline ice eventually called to Stephen as well.
"Back in ’87,” he says, “I was working at a restaurant and studying to be an architect. I found passion for food, so I came to the family business."
In the shop, deep glass display cases teem with more than 20 varieties of fish each day, including Florida black grouper and wild-caught salmon. Staff members carefully wrap shellfish, shrimp, and crab legs, and can fly in live Maine lobster with one day's notice. Stephen walks among the aisles, going out of his way to dispense pairing advice and cooking suggestions.
"We have a customer that comes in, she'll have us write the cookbook's name and page number on the wrapper so she can remember what goes where. I think someone somewhere else would look at the woman, and say 'Huh?' But those of us that have been here, we're fine doing it. We don't mind."
While planning dinners, patrons draw from a stock that includes dry-aged prime beef, pork, lamb, hormone-free poultry, and Boar's Head deli products, all custom-cut in house. Bottles and jars stand on the shelves in sleek ranks, the colorful labels of 350 beers and wines displaying countries of origin that include Spain, Germany, and France. Stephen also takes particular interest in crafting complete meals for patrons to take home.
"We have 22 different types of kebabs made every day. We also have giant, stuffed twice-baked potatoes, we sell about 4,000 of those a week," he says, adding that much of what he prepares is dependent on trends. "My wife and I like to go to eat once or twice a week, and after, we'll brainstorm with the family, see what's popular."
The Pint and Brew corrals pale ales, stouts, pilsners, and wheat beers from area breweries, providing visitors with a one-stop shop for Tampa Bay's brews. Here, customers can belly up to the 42-foot wooden bar inside the 1,400-square-foot facility, sipping on beers from local craft breweries, including Barley Mow Brewery, Cigar City Brewing, 7venth Sun Brewery, and Saint Somewhere Brewing Company. No matter the brew, The Pint and Brew's staff members love talking beer and are happy to strike up a conversation. However, they also encourage patrons to participate in games of shuffleboard, ring toss, or Duck, Duck, Gose.