Very Important Taco News: A Latin street food joint magnificently dubbed El Chapo is set to take shape in a most eclectic beachside town.
That town? Gulfport, because of course (it’s just the right amount of weird).
For a restaurant that plans to specialize in eats like tacos and burritos, the name El Chapo is quite fitting. The Mexican drug lord that this new place is named for, after all, tipped authorities off to his location after placing an order for tacos. Cravings, man.
El Chapo, the brainchild of Angelique Everett, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, will feature a full-liquor bar at 3038 Beach Blvd. — where Fish Bar and Grille is expected to close its doors on Saturday.
Fish opened with a focus on local seafood in March 2016, and before that, the property was home to neighborhood institution Peg’s Cantina, which served up Mexican grub (and was the birthplace of Cycle Brewing) until late 2015.
• Elsewhere in Pinellas, a grand opening celebration for the latest Luekens Liquors — located at 6950 Seminole Blvd. in Seminole — is scheduled for next week.
Kicking off at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the celebration has bubbles from premium brands like Moët and Veuve Clicquot, a number of other wines, Valentine’s Day-themed cocktails (including ones made with glorious Beam Suntory), hors d’oeuvres, and giveaways in store.
Luekens sells its curated stockpile of wine, beer and spirits at locations in Dunedin, Clearwater, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs and Tampa, in addition to Seminole. Another store is coming to St. Petersburg, too, so be on the lookout.
• St. Pete Beach-born Sea Hags Bar & Grill recently set sail in Seminole as well. Sea Hags is known for its laid-back setting and varied menu, which offers everything from smoked fish spread and burgers to steaks and shrimp scampi. Those signatures have carried over to the restaurant’s second location at 7498 Seminole Blvd.
Part of the Twin Oaks Shopping Center, the seafood-heavy newbie features indoor and outdoor seating that loyal fans of the flagship have come to love.
• So, um, I know the holidays just happened and all, but now it’s Girl Scout cookie season. That New Year’s resolution can wait, right?
Booths from the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida start popping up locally in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk on Feb. 16. (There’s a neat, but also dangerous, online tool that lets you enter your zip code to find the closest cookie stash.)
Classics like Thin Mints, Samoas, Do-Si-Dos and Tagalongs cost $4, while the gluten-free option, Toffee-Tastic, and s’mores variety are $6. Booth sales end March 11.
• And ICYMI: St. Pete Ferments has moved in with The Urban Canning Company in St. Pete. Announced on Jan. 25, a partnership between The Urban founder Illene Sofranko and St. Pete Ferments founder Sarah Arrazola means that the kitchen and store at 1040 Fourth St. N. is home to an even wider array of preserved tastiness — and hands-on workshops.
Look for The Urban’s line of pickles, mustards and jams, alongside kimchi, kombucha, fermented ’kraut and beet kvass (a probiotic tonic) from St. Pete Ferments.