Cigar City Brewery plans brewpub for Northdale
NORTHDALE - A long-vacant restaurant building is being renovated to open next year as a pub operated by Cigar City Brewery. The announcement marks the latest revival of a defunct chain restaurant on North Dale Mabry Highway. Cigar City Brewery President Toni Derby said the restaurant-pub will open Feb. 1 at 15491 N. Dale Mabry Highway, former site of Northdale's T.G.I. Friday's franchise. "We just feel it's a very vibrant area," Derby said, citing the area's favorable demographics and sizeable population. "We think with the quality of our beer and food, we should be fine."The site is near the Whole Foods Market opening in November. Menu details for the new venture are not fully developed. Generally, plans call for pairing the brewery's craft beers with Cuban cuisine. While extensive structural renovations to the former chain restaurant building will not be needed, interior remodeling will include creating a Tampa motif and preparing the site for brewery equipment. "It's going to take us a little time to get all that together," she said. In 2009, after being in business seven months, Cigar City won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver for its cedar-aged India Pale Ale that mimics the warm aromas of cigar boxes and humidors. Since 2008, Cigar City Brewery has operated a microbrewery and craft beer tasting room at 3924 W. Spruce St., near the Interstate 275/Dale Mabry interchange. "You generally have somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 different taps," serving the company's products or beers from other Florida microbreweries, Derby said. Core beers are available year-round, while some are offered only seasonally, she said. Two nearby failed restaurants recently were earmarked for revival. In August, a PDQ chicken restaurant opened after extensive renovation to a failed Perkins restaurant at 12650 N. Dale Mabry. Lee Roy Selmon's is renovating the former Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery at 14457 N. Dale Mabry. The sports-themed restaurant scheduled to open in early December will be the ninth in the chain named for former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Lee Roy Selmon.
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