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What's coming to Tampa Bay in 2022

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Posted at 2:07 PM, Jan 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-21 10:49:11-05

TAMPA, Fla.—There’s plenty to look forward to in 2022! Here are 14 businesses and attractions to keep an eye out for.

Ben & Jerry’s is coming to Tampa Bay — Jan/Feb 2022 
409 Mandalay Avenue, Clearwater Beach &
1106 Gramercy Lane, Tampa

Ben & Jerry’s is opening two new locations in Tampa Bay—Clearwater Beach and Midtown Tampa! Both shops are locally owned and will offer ice cream takeout, delivery, and catering. You can choose from a huge selection of Ben & Jerry's flavors—like Chunky Monkey, Phish Food and Half Baked—as well as a wide variety of non-dairy, vegan and light options.

The Clearwater location opened MLK weekend, and the Tampa location will open in February. The Grand Opening for both locations has been postponed until March 8 and 9 for the Tampa and Clearwater stores respectively. Guests will be able to enjoy a ribbon cutting, live music, giveaways, games and more from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The design of the two shops is next level for the Ben & Jerry’s brand, with a focus on photo ops and Instagramable moments. There will be a photo booth at the Tampa location, mural walls at both shops, floating clouds at the Clearwater locations, and other artwork to interact with.

In addition to amazing ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s is also known for its social and racial justice work. These two locations are 100% black-owned and 90% black-led, and are excited to get involved in the community.

“We think that there’s some…some special opportunities in the Florida market as it relates to criminal justice reform, and especially voting rights…[these] are areas where we definitely plan to be very involved,” said Antonio McBroom, one of the franchise development partners for these new Tampa Bay locations. McBroom got his start with Ben & Jerry's as a scooper during his college orientation, and now operates more than 10 Ben & Jerry's locations across the southeast.

These two new locations also plan to get involved with the education system and closing the education achievement gap.

LALA St. Pete — Jan/Feb 2022
2324 Central Ave, St. Petersburg

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After much awaited anticipation, this karaoke hot spot is almost ready to open in the Grand Central District!

LALA will consist of seven private karaoke rooms, with the smallest one accommodating 5 guests and the largest up to 16. Each room has its own theme, from disco to rock and roll to 1930s New York speakeasy.

“It’s going to be, like, very sophisticated...well-decorated,” said managing partner Lucas Herraiz. “We want the customer to be surprised and to have...a unique experience.”

Sessions can be booked for two hours where you and your friends can choose from 40,000+ songs to sing. Everything is operated by an iPad and very user friendly.

Order drinks and food to be served in your private karaoke room or grab a bite at the main bar. LALA will serve modern American, French and Mediterranean food—enjoy dishes such as coq au vin, tuna carpaccio, fillet mignon, charcuterie boards and much more.

In addition to the karaoke and main dining area, there is also an outside garden, which is a shared space with Grand Central Brewhouse, and a rooftop bar that is also available for private events.

William Dean Chocolates comes to Tampa — Jan/Feb 2022
3657 Midtown Dr, Tampa

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William Dean Chocolates is opening a second location at Midtown Tampa. Owner and Chief Chocolate Officer William Brown got started 14 years ago and has been at his Belleair Bluffs location for the past decade.

“When I saw Midtown and the concept, I was sold,” said Brown, “I think it’s going to be something that...is gonna be, you know, one of—if not the—hot spot in Tampa for quite a few years, especially for foodies.”

Try flavors like Bananas Foster, Earl Grey, Hazelnut, Strawberry Caramel and many more. Not only do these chocolates come in a variety of flavors, but they are also colorfully airbrushed/painted and intricately made by hand.

William Dean Chocolates has received plenty of awards and recognition, including Brown being ranked in the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America by Dessert Professional and the company being ranked in the Top 11 in the world by Chocolate—The Reference Standard, which is an exhaustive guidebook to all things chocolate.

At the new location, guests will be able to enjoy their favorite WD chocolates (there will be 36 options available at any given time), gelato and a covered outdoor patio on the beautiful Midtown lawn. They will also offer afternoon tea on select days, and once their production kitchen is up and running later this year, guests will be able to enjoy bakery goods at both store locations.

SeaWorld Orlando's Ice Breaker — February 18, 2022 
7007 Sea World Dr, Orlando

This arctic-themed ride has been postponed a couple times since Spring 2020, but it will be open to the public next month!

Ice Breaker is SeaWorld Orlando’s first multi-directional launch coaster, and it will be located in the Wild Arctic Plaza. Experience a total of four launches with the first launch taking riders backward up a 100-degree tilt, making it the steepest beyond-vertical drop in Florida.

Although the ride doesn’t officially open until February 18, those with season passes will get a sneak peek weeks earlier.

Rise Koffee + Kulture Mobile Coffee Bar — Feb/March 2022
Tampa

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The mission of Rise Koffee + Kulture is "to connect the Tampa community by brewing koffee with kulture.” Owner Cortney Alleyne planned on opening a café in 2021, but has pivoted to focus on a mobile coffee bar to share Rise with more of the community.

The mobile bar will attend markets, events, and community programs mainly in Tampa, but will also be available to make occasional trips to other states and cities. Rise will collaborate with local Black-owned suppliers and vendors to provide coffee and specialty drinks, vegan espresso soft serve, loose leaf teas, fresh-baked pastries and other sweets. They are currently sampling businesses to finalize their menu and suppliers.

Can’t wait for the coffee bar to open? Check out their website to buy Rise coffee and merch.

Iron Gwazi Opens — March 2022
10165 McKinley Dr, Tampa

This highly anticipated renovation of the wooden coaster Gwazi at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will finally open this March.

Iron Gwazi is North America’s tallest and the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid roller coaster. Iron Gwazi is 206 feet tall, featuring a 91-degree drop. It reaches speeds up to 76 mph!

If you’re an Active Pass Member, you’ll get the chance to enjoy exclusive ride time on Iron Gwazi when it opens.

Two New Attractons at Adventure Island — March 2022
10001 McKinley Dr, Tampa

Down the street from Busch Gardens, two new thrills are coming to Adventure Island!

On Rapids Racer, guests can hop on a two-person raft and race down 600-feet of dueling slides, featuring the world’s first dueling saucers.

Wahoo Run will resurface as Wahoo Remix, Adventure Island’s first waterslide to feature synchronized light and sound elements over 600 feet of fun. Climb aboard a family raft and slide through enclosed tunnels that will now glow with colorful lights.

PopStroke Opens in Sarasota — March 2022
195 University Town Center Dr, Sarasota

This mini golf and casual dining concept offers two 18-hole putting courses designed by Tiger Woods and TGR Design. Enjoy an outdoor gaming area, full service restaurant, playground, a rooftop bar and the on-course drink service using the PopStroke Mobile App.

Sarasota will be PopStoke’s third location, with a fourth location opening in Orlando this April.

If you’re hoping for a mini golf spot a little closer to home, don’t worry—they are opening another location in Tampa this fall!

Pop Goes the Waffle Opens a Cafe — March 2022
5004 Tangerine Ave S, Gulfport

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This waffle food truck is opening a café!

Pop Goes the Waffle is known for their liege waffles, made with brioche-style dough studded with pearl sugar to make the waffle naturally sweet without needing syrup.

The café came about by coincidence. The truck was in need of a new production facility, and owner Sara Fludd found a location that was big enough to have space to serve people. She decided to make a change.

“The café wasn’t the goal but it’s a happy byproduct of finding this new space,” said Fludd.

The new cafe is roughly 2,400-square feet and will feature bright and vibrant colors, as well as plenty of artwork from Black creators to celebrate the space.

There are also some new potential items coming to the menu, like Ube-infused waffles, biscuit waffles, potato-based waffles and cornbread waffles. However, waffles won’t be the only thing to eat—Fludd will be putting her bakery background to use making an array of pastries to choose from, including cardamom buns.

Pop Goes the Waffle will be open Thursdays-Sundays. Thursdays and Fridays will have a limited café menu and there will be brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Because of the focus on the café, Blossom the food truck will not be found around St. Pete as often—but she’s not gone for good. The truck will still be available for large community events and occasionally private catering.

RELATED | Enjoy sweet and savory waffles on the go from this St. Pete food truck

The Wet Spot Pool Bar — April 2022
2355 Central Ave, St. Petersburg

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Pool, drinks and a day club? Sign us up!

The Wet Spot is a pool bar coming to the Mari-Jean Hotel, and will be open to both hotel guest and the public. The concept is from David Fisher, owner of The Saint, Cocktail St. Pete and ZaZoo’d.

Enjoy day club vibes poolside as you sip on cocktails and food while taking in plenty of entertainment like DJs, drag shows and tea dances (which are big in the LGBTQ+ community for Sunday afternoon tea—which at The Wet Spot, will mean happy hour by the pool).

“I just think there’s a need in the community for it,” said Fisher. “There’s definitely a market for not only an LGBT-focused hotel, but a pool area as well.”

There will also be VIP cabanas available if you’re looking for an elevated experience. Fisher believes it is going to rival some of the pool bars in Vegas.

RELATED | The Saint: St. Pete's newest speakeasy

Union New American — April 2022
1111 North Westshore Blvd, Tampa

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Get ready for classic American dishes inspired by global ingredients. This 10,000-sq ft restaurant will feature a bar and main dining room on the first floor and a rooftop lounge on the second that will offer live music and DJs. The restaurant is also available to rent for private events.

The concept comes from Joseph Guggino, Jeff Gigante and Andrew Wright of Next Level Brands, the same group to bring us Forbici Modern Italian.

Union New American will offer some of your favorite staple dishes in non-traditional ways, whether that be a unique sauce or a combination of different flavor profiles. It will also have a custom-built wood-burning hearth, which many of its dishes will be cooked on.

"We want to do something that’s approachable, American classics, but done in a way that’s elevated...but very familiar,” said Guggino.

Next Level Brands will also open their third concept Boulon, a French brasserie, this Summer.

Mochinut Tampa — Spring 2022
11401 N 56th St, Ste 16, Temple Terrace

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Mochinut is expanding into Florida this year! The shop is known for their mochi donuts, which are the perfect combination of American doughnuts and Japanese mochi with a light crispy coating and a stretchy and chewy inside.

Enjoy flavors like Ube, Cookies & Cream, Banana Milk, and Strawberry Funnel. Find the full menu here. They also serve Korean rice flour hotdogs and bubble tea drinks.

There are three other locations that will be coming to the Bay Area, hopefully by the end of the year: Pinellas Park, Sarasota and Bradenton.

Bouzy — Summer 2022
1640 W Snow Ave, Tampa

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A new champagne cocktail bar is coming to Hyde Park Village! Bouzy will be the newest business from Cru Hospitality Group (Cru Cellars).

The bar’s name is a play on words—Bouzy is a region in France that produces high quality champagne—and will offer 125 champagnes and sparkling wines by the bottle to choose from, as well as 12 by-the-glass options and craft cocktails. The atmosphere of the space will be high-energy with an art nouveau design that will have a timeless feel.

Bouzy aims to be an approachable yet elevated wine destination where their knowledgeable staff can help guide you to find the perfect bubbly drink.

“It really is something that Tampa has needed for some time,” said Kyle King, CEO of Cru Hospitality Group. “We are very excited to introduce Bouzy to Tampa. We feel the brand will be a great addition to the other amazing concepts in Hyde Park.”

What’s champagne without a little food? Bouzy will also serve chef-driven small plates. Lounge in the main dining area that seats about 30 people or reserve the secret private dining room/champagne cellar for an intimate group event.

If summer is too long to wait, you can get a preview of what Bouzy will have to offer at Cru Cellar’s Bouzy Bubbles Event at Rooftop 220 on February 10.

Cru Hospitality will also has two more concepts coming to Water Street Tampa this year: Wine on Water, a modern neighborhood wine and liquor shop with a small by-the-glass list and an outdoor wine garden, and Small Giant Bar & Restaurant, a neighborhood Cheers-like bar that will be an ideal spot for the locals. Both businesses plan to open this summer after Bouzy launches.

Good Intentions — Summer 2022
1900 1st Avenue South, St. Petersburg

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Good Intentions is a new vegan spot coming to Downtown St. Pete this year! The restaurant is a collaborative effort between Nah Dogs, Golden Dinosaurs and Black Radish Grocer.

Guests can enjoy vegan comfort food and a full-service bar in this unique airplane hangar-shaped building. The space will have mid-century modern influences, pink vintage school chairs and plenty of plants. The cuisine leans toward Modern New American; the menu will have a broad selection of affordable and elevated options.

“We’re all pretty passionate about food, and that’s kind of a cool part of...being vegan, outside of the animal rights part of it," said Jenny Howe, who owns Nah Dogs along with her husband. "It made food, like, so much more exciting again...because we get to experience new things more than a person that’s an omnivore.”

The owners wanted to provide a place for vegans to grab a drink, something to eat and hang out in a restaurant/bar environment.

“We can’t go anywhere and sit down and have a cocktail, and share some apps...and have a fun time. Everything is fast casual,” Audrey Dingeman, co-owner Golden Dinosaurs. “We just noticed it was missing from St. Pete, and we wanted to create it so we could have somewhere to go too.”

Good Intentions will be open for dinner 7 days a week and will open early on Saturdays and Sundays for brunch.