The Tampa Bay Times credits owners John Harr and Justin Schuver with the revitalizing the old Slice space, turning it into the causal eatery now known as Islands Pizza. The duo gave the menu a pep talk, pairing popular pies with new offerings of hearty calzones and Italian grinders. While miniature overhead lights cast Hollywood-like spotlight on each of Island's steaming, hand-tossed pizzas, adult diners can cool down piping hot mouth with the bar's cool cocktails and 12 beers on tap, or catch reruns of Cheer's in its original Gaelic on the restaurant's flat-screen TVs.
Cameron Parker founded Orlando Pub Crawl, LLC in 2005 to organize the bar-going experience into a convivial group event. The company's primary mission is organizing trips for up to 1,000 revelers at a time, styled after themes and occasions including the Kentucky Derby, '80s Nights, and Cinco de Mayo. Partiers hop from bar to bar, enjoying complimentary drinks, admission, and other specials as they mingle and socialize amid festivities, games, and libations. The pub-crawl team can also tailor private crawls for groups of 100 or more, allowing companies, organizations, and poker-playing dogs to journey to bars in organized packs. But not all the company's events are drinking-themed: there are also madcap challenges such as The Amazing Mind Race, which sends teams scattering across cities to solve clues and discover checkpoints.
Exposed brick walls, hanging chandeliers, and black-and-white curlicue wall art create an intimate atmosphere at The Ybor City Wine Bar, where staff members pop the stoppers off more than 120 wines and 50 types of craft beers and ciders from around the globe. In addition to pairing their libations with artisan cheese, small plates, and desserts, they host weekly educational wine tastings and private events, from bridal showers to fundraisers.
When Diane and Hector Vega met and got married, they didn't just combine their lives. After spurning corporate jobs, they combined their passion for bringing the cuisines from their native Colombia and Puerto Rico to their neighbors. The result was Dulce Cafe Bakery, which specializes in the breads, pastries, and sandwiches of Latin America. Their signature items are their corn cake arepas and their dulce sweet breads, both of which can be enhanced with a gooey layer of cheese, much like a resume sent to a dairy farmer. During the lunch hour, they also make heartier fare, such as their ham and cheese empanadas and sandwiches. Their baking prowess isn't just for breads and handheld lunches, however. They also create desserts such as cake, coconut flan, and rice pudding.
Bill Shumate's career as a restaurateur began in 1964 when he opened a small burger shack that catered to the hearty appetites of University of Oklahoma students. After spending the next several decades opening and operating eateries, Shumate decided that his next venture should somehow honor his burger roots. He partnered with Joanie Corneil in 2006 and developed a concept choosing the name Square 1 Burgers to reflect this full-circle journey. Unlike that original restaurant, though, Square 1 Burgers grew over the years, eventually expanding to several locations throughout west central Florida.
Although the concept was intended to be a return to basics, Square 1 isn't constrained by traditional conventions. Patties of Meyer's all-natural red Angus beef, Kobe, lamb, ground buffalo, and portobello mushroom caps all appear between the buns, providing a wealth of options to consider before even thinking about toppings. This eclectic spirit is also apparent in the menu's selection of appetizers, which includes everything from sun-dried tomato and artichoke hummus to homemade double-dipped onion rings. Even the milkshakes made with Blue Bell ice cream seem like faithful renditions of an American classic at first. However, the grown-up versions with Baileys, vodka, and Kahlua or brandy, cr?me de cacao continue to demonstrate Square 1 Burgers' playful spirit.