TAMPA – Hundreds of guests streamed into the new Epicurean Hotel to see the unique 137-room culinary-themed resort, complete with a theater and kitchen for cooking demonstrations.
Dubbed “The Grand Awakening,” which ran from Jan. 17-19, it featured three days of wining and dining as well as seminars on wines and wine pairings.
Owned by David and Chrisi Laxer, the idea was more than 20 years in the making and was originally conceived by Laxer’s father, Bern Laxer, founder of Bern’s steak house. It had a soft opening in mid-December.
For the Jan. 17 grand opening party, guests sampled crab croquettes, deviled eggs, salmon sandwiches, grilled chicken, pork ribs and other dishes prepared in the kitchen and on grills.
Bars throughout the hotel at 1207 S. Howard Ave. offered wide selections of drinks while those poolside, on the terrace and on the rooftop, featured live entertainment.
Guests included local politicians, business leaders, representatives of the tourist industry and others, who ended the evening at a chocolate bar at the Chocolate Pi, a chocolate shop at the hotel.