NAAAP hosting one year anniversary rooftop party July 18th in Downtown Tampa

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The National Association of Asian American Professionals Tampa Bay (NAAAP) is celebrating their first anniversary on Thursday, July 18th, 2019 at Hampton + Home2 by Hilton Downtown Tampa from 6:30PM to 8:30PM. The event is being coined Rooftop Celebr*asian and is free to attend. Food will be provided by event sponsors including Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa, Rice N Roll, Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi, On-A-Roll Sushi, and Tsunami Sarasota.

Participants are encouraged to bring their networking cards and enjoy food, drinks, and raffle prizes.

The mission NAAAP is “to collaborate with its communities to promote career advancement, engage in community service, assist in employment opportunities, enhance public awareness of our voice, and support businesses as it gives back to NAAAP members”.

Event name: Rooftop Celebr*asian

Venue: Hampton + Home2 by Hilton Downtown Tampa

Address: 1155 E. Kennedy Blvd. Tampa, FL 33602

Date & Time: Thursday, July 18th, 2019, 6:30PM-8:30PM

Facebook RSVP:

Get tickets:

Carlos Eats

July 6, 2019 |

Armature Works celebrates one year anniversary of success in Tampa

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It has been exactly one year since Armature Works opened its doors to the City of Tampa in Tampa Heights.

The historic building and food hall changed the city for the better and gave many restaurateurs and food brands and opportunity to shine on Tampa’s waterfront just outside of Downtown Tampa.

The venue has also served as a coworking space, event space, wedding venue, and more.

One of the owners and operators of Armature Works, Taryn Bruck, reflected on the past and future of the facility:

“We have learned a lot over the past 365 days and look forward to making your experience at Armature Works better than the last. Our success is attributed to our incredible vendors, hard-working team, and most of all our loyal AW fans! We can’t wait to show what we have in store for 2019!”

Photo credit: Zach Gresham of Adventure Marketing

I talked to a few of the businesses inside the Heights Public Market. Heights Public Market, HPM for short, is the food hall portion of Armature Works. The hall has thousands of customers walk through every week for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I spoke with Stephanie Swanz, owner of Empamamas, and she told me:

“This past year has been one of the most rewarding times of my life and I am forever grateful to Chas, Taryn, Adam, and Frank for the opportunity and believing in Empamamas. Not only has Armature Works become one of the most desirable places to visit in Tampa, but it has completely changed the landscape of the neighborhood and I’m so excited to see their future projects unfold over the next few months”.

Graze 1910 has served over 90,000 eggs to hungry diners in the Heights Public Market according to owners, Ray and Lauren Menendez. If you haven’t enjoyed a mimosa and avocado toast with an egg for breakfast, you should. I did for Valentine’s Day 2018.

Clifford Barsi, Vice-President of Social Enterprises and Food Services at Metroplitan Ministries, reflecting on the past year:

“Metropolitan Ministries is very thankful for the opportunity to expand our Social Enterprise concept, ‘Inside the Box Cafe‘, through the generosity of Armature Works owners/developers: Chas Bruck and Adam Harden. They have given us a platform for our Culinary Program to get exposure for our students and to gain foodie acclaim for our in-house brined, cured, roasted, and smoked meats. That’s Good Food, Doing Good with the help from Good People! #Training+Jobs+Hunger Relief = Good Food Doing Good!”

Jen Bingham, owner of Cru Cellars, shared this:

“It’s been an amazing year at Armature Works, and we are so proud to be part of the wonderful space they’ve created here! For Cru, it’s been a great opportunity to engage with guests about wine – helping them to find that perfect glass of wine to enjoy, while also introducing them to new things. The Show & Tell space has been a hit for our Cru U wine classes and walk-around tastings”.

Here are some upcoming events at Armature Works:

  • Saturday, February 9th from 9AM-1PM – Heights Morning Market: Shop around for locally sourced and grown produce, meats, seafood, artisanal food items, packaged jams, sauces, and more on the Armature Works lawn.
  • Saturday, February 9th from 2PM-4PM: Chinese New Year: Armature Works will celebrate Chinese New Year. It is the Year of the Pig! Watch live performances and enjoy some great from Asian vendors inside the Heights Public Market.
  • Wednesday, February 13th from 5:30PM-9:30PM – Heights Night Market: Live-music and local vendors will rock the night away in front of the Hillsborough River. This event occurs every 2nd Wednesday of the month.
  • Thursday, February 14th from 7PM-9PM – Valentine’s Movies on the Lawn – Hitch: Looking for something low-key on Valentine’s Day. Celebrate the day outside at Armature Works with a free public screening of Hitch. Don’t forget your lawn chair or blanket. Popcorn and drinks will be available for purchase as well as food from the 14 vendors inside Heights Public Market. First-come, first-serve. Arriving early is recommended.
  • Wednesday, February 20th from 6:30PM-9:30PM – Sushi Battle Tampa Bay: Tampa Bay’s hottest sushi competition is back and this year it’s at Armature Works. Restaurants will compete for who makes the best sushi, while attendees will feast on all the sushi they can eat. 21+ event. Tickets are now on-sale.
  • Saturday, February 23rd from 3PM-8PM – One Year Birthday Bash: Armature Works will celebrate its one year anniversary as Tampa’s largest food hall and historic venue.

Check out the full event calendar at:

Carlos Eats

February 2, 2019 |

Chef Jose Andres opening Jaleo restaurant at Disney Springs this year (Orlando)

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Chef Jose Andres will open a new Spanish restaurant called Jaleo in Orlando at Disney Springs later this year right next to House of Blues and Bongo’s. I couldn’t be more excited. Jaleo has operated 5 locations in Vegas, Washington D.C., and Mexico City. His restaurant group is called ThinkFoodGroup.

The menu will have Spanish tapas and of course feature Paella. Some menu items featured at other Jaleo locations include Gambas, Patatas Bravas, Jamón serrano Fermín, and Chorizo ibérico de bellota Fermín.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

I have been following Chef Andres since he helped the people of Puerto Rico last year during the horrific Hurricane Irma catastrophe. His non-profit, World Central Kitchen, served over 3.5 million quality meals to the people of Puerto Rico while FEMA was dealing with issues providing food and water supplies as well as contractor issues.

Chef Jose Andres was named 2018 Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation for his efforts in Puerto Rico. World Food Kitchen is now working with farmer’s in Puerto Rico to help “build resiliency” since Puerto Rico currently imports about 85% of their food.

Check out more about World Food Kitchen:

Now that Wine Bar George is serving a variety of wines to the masses, it only makes sense for someone to represent authentic Spanish food and wine together at Disney Springs. Once Jaleo opens, I’ll be there to support Chef Jose Andres. He has done a huge service to the people.

Carlos Eats

June 2, 2018 |

Spaddy’s Coffee Co. celebrates 1 year anniversary in Seminole Heights

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Spaddy’s Coffee Co. will celebrate its 1 year anniversary on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 in Seminole Heights. I’ve been fan of Spaddy’s Coffee ever since I met the dude at the Seminole Heights Japan Festival. The staff is always friendly and the coffee and tea are always good.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

The event will run all day starting at 10AM with coffee service beginning at 8AM as usual. Live music will play beginning at 11AM featuring ARi CHi, Mia Bury, and Jinx.

BBQ will be served all day courtesy of Ultimate Pavers. Ice cream will be available for purchase from Revolution Ice Cream. Mother Kumbucha will be there serving samples of their kombucha.

Giveaways will be held throughout the day for visitors.

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

Happy Birthday to Spaddy’s!

Event Name: Spaddy’s Coffee 1 Year Anniversary

Neighborhood: Seminole Heights

Address: 5206 N Florida Avenue Tampa, FL 33603

Date & Time: Saturday, September 2nd, 2017, 10AM-?

Cost: FREE to attend

Facebook RSVP:

Carlos Eats

September 1, 2017 |

Few answers in Tampa teen’s murder 1 year ago

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A year after a 14-year-old middle school student was killed, his father and Tampa Police are reminding the public that no one has been arrested in the crime.

  • E.J. Harris, 14, was slain a year ago
  • No arrests have been made
  • EJ’s father, Edward, and Tampa Police say the case is still open

Edward "E.J." Harris died May 31, 2015 near Woodland Terrace Park at 6410 N. 32nd Street. E.J. was killed in a drive-by shooting as he stood with friends in the East Tampa park. E.J. was the youngest to die in a five-month period in 2015 that saw a disturbing surge in gun-related deaths.

Police found a vehicle, an Infinity, seen on surveillance video near the park around the time of the murder. Police say someone in the four-door, silver or grey vehicle in the video is suspected of shooting E.J.

Now, E.J.’s father, Edward Harris, Sr. is speaking with members of the media about the unsolved case. He says he’s certain someone, somewhere, knows who murdered his son.

“I would say to them see the pain that they have caused," said Harris. "Now how they have to live everyday with what happened and what could happen if someone doesn’t say something."

Around this time last year, there were 18 homicides in Tampa. Over the same time period this year, there have been eight.

Tampa Police attribute the decrease in homicides to increased awareness, units dedicated to tracing stolen guns and the city’s initiative to keep nine community centers and parks open until midnight.

"There are some kids who are live today because we did that," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "Those are kids that would not be on the streets, would not be in the path of the bullets, would not be engaged in activity that could put them in those circumstances."

Buckhorn said last summer 17,000 kids and teens visited community centers. The extended hours will pick back up this summer.

Harris said he’s happy to see the city keeping kids safe and hopes one day he will see an arrest in his son’s case.

Police and Harris are calling upon the public to step forward if they have any information that would help identify and find the people responsible for E.J.’s death.

“Justice is coming,” Harris said.

There is an $ 18,000 reward available for tips that lead to the arrest of suspects in this case, as well as three other still-unsolved murders from the first half of 2015: Lyfe Coleman, Jamylin Turner and Sharon Watkins.

Bay News 9 – local-news

May 31, 2016 |

Colors of the Year: A Compliment to Spring in Tampa Bay

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Pantone Color of the Year 2016


A Softer Take On Color For 2016: For the first time, the blending of two shades – Rose Quartz and Serenity are chosen as the PANTONE Color of the Year.

As consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security are becoming more prominent. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.


METRO has found a few items to keep you fashion forward:



Soft Blush
Look stunning in this 3/4-Sleeve Silk Organza Shirtwaist Gown by Carolina Herrera. The Vintage Pink is flowing and right on trend. $ 5,990.

Available at Neiman Marcus.



rosie_gold_siloStunning Jewels
Created by local jewelry designer Marianne Homsy, the necklace made of rose quartz and pyrite symbolizes strength, power and individuality and brings good luck. $ 230.

Available at Deborah Kent’s.


NMV2S6W_mzIn the Bag
Be chic and in style with a Michael Kors Ava Leather Satchel Bag in the Serenity color of the year. $ 298.

Available at Neiman Marcus.



These Joline Sandals in metallic Sirocco cervo lame (pink) color are comfy and stylish. $ 445.
Available at Deborah Kent’s.




Suit Up
Turn heads at the beach in at Tara Grinna One Piece Halter with a deep V Back. $ 144.

Available at Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Wear Boutique.



Pietra in Pink

Sole Sandal
It will be a nice stroll in these Ipanema Pietra Sandals in Pink. $ 45.

Available at Cerulean Blu Swim & Resort Wear Boutique.




Reversible Multi-Blue Style
IKat reversible halter bikini top. $ 94, IKat reversible hipster bikini bottoms, $ 68. Montego sun hat, $ 88.

Available at Tommy Bahama.




For The Stylish Man

Sydney Squares linen/cotton shirt in Rose Mist, $ 118. Island Chino tan pants, $ 118. Pierpond Venetian Leather Drivers, $ 148.
Available at Tommy Bahama.




Above Water
Cover up with a long sleeve rashguard and string bikini on the bottom. $ 94 – Top, $ 66 – bottom.

Available at Tommy Bahama.






© Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog  |  A Metro Life Media, Inc. Publication

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

March 26, 2016 |

Good Bye 2015, Hello 2016 – Ring in the New Year at Tampa’s Rooftop Eve

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RTE_Photo CreditMatthew Paulson

The top floor of Tampa’s Ft. Brooke Parking Garage will host one of the chicest and hottest places to ring in 2016. The new location, this year,will offer amazing views of the downtown Tampa skyline and fireworks. The theme this year is Midnight in the Garden and while there are lots of details and logistics with creating a pop-up venue, organizer Monica Varner has it covered. “I’m excited to be able to create a unique, one of a kind experience for guests to ring in the new year,” says Varner. The event promises to have stunning visual effects, glamorous décor, a grand champagne bar and much more. The Frequency Band will provide high energy dance music, along with the DJ Papi spinning the current hits.

“The Rooftop Eve was rated in the top 10 things to do in the state of Florida for NYE and with our partnership with The DeBartolo Family Foundation, you can count on not only the place to be, but with the celebrities you would want to ring in the New year with,” says Rooftop Eve, co-founder Stephen Hickey.

The Rooftop Eve is an all-inclusive experience with a top-shelf open bar & unlimited Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne with tickets starting at $ 175/person. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine & Blog

December 20, 2015 |
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