by erin thursby
In local franchise news, there are plans to have more than double the amount of Firehouse Subs in the Tampa Bay area, from the current 23 to 55.
The Food Network will be featuring a Jacksonville restaurant on a reality show. From December 4th through the 6th, a design team will be revamping the Secret Garden Cafe. On the 6th, Secret Garden will have a grand re-opening. Call 645-0859 if you’d like to make dinner reservations and be part of the show.
An eight table breakfast and lunch joint, Harry’s of New York just opened in San Marco. They serve grill items, morning bagels and baked goods.
Pollo Tropical’s chicken at the St. Johns Town Center is apparently so good that it’s worth getting arrested for. A woman cut in line with her car at the drive-thru and after being told to go to the back of line, she allegedly hit a manager with her car- twice!
Suite, a tapas and drink bar will be opening at the St. Johns Town Center this month.
November 16- December 14 Candy Cane Pulling at Sweet Pete’s Through the 14th you can book a group to learn the art and fun of making candy canes! Call 376-7161 for details. Sweet Pete’s, 1922 Pearl St.
December 4 Breakfast with Santa All ages are invited for this annual tradition as Santa and Mrs. Claus share stories about the reindeer, elves and life in the North Pole. Breakfast and photo ops begin at 8 am followed by a feature presentation of The Polar Express at 9:15 am. Tickets are $12 per person. This event sells out every year so reserve your spot today by calling 940-4010. Please bring your own camera for photos. 8 am to 10:45 am, World Golf Village, 1 World Golf Place, St. Augustine. www.worldgolfimax.com
December 4 Roy’s Keiki Gingerbread Event Bring the kids to Roy’s for a holiday treat that’s as much fun to build as it is to eat. Roy’s will provide lunch and everything they need to create their own gingerbread house. All they need is a little imagination and a lot of holiday spirit. $ 25 per child, $20 per adult. Bring an unwrapped toy and received $5 off. Max 1 per person. Reservations required, 241-7697. Noon, Roy’s Jacksonville Beach, www.roysrestaurant.com
December 4 & 10 The Fresh Flavors Cooking Demonstration Local chefs will lead a free, step-by-step presentation at the Fresh Market store near you in December. Guests are invited to drop in any time during the event and learn tips on Easy Holiday Entertaining. At the 13493 Atlantic Boulevard location on the 4th and at the San Jose Boulevard location on the 10th.
December 7 Master Reserve Tasting Dinner Restaurant Orsay is hosting a Master Reserve Tasting Dinner, featuring cocktails prepared by house mixologist, Elijah Acquafredda-Smith, using brands such as Ketel One, Ron Zacapa, Johnny Walker, Bulleit & Don Julio. Cocktails paired with four courses of hand crafted cuisine by Chef Brian Siebenschuh. $75 plus tax & gratuity. Please call restaurant to purchase tickets in advance at 381-0909.
December 8- 23 8th Annual Rotary Gingerbread House Extravaganza A display of holiday houses created by local chefs, architects and civic organizations. All money raised goes to area charities. Tickets: $5/adults, $3/children ages 3- 16, free/children younger than 2. Old St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. 391-3425
December 9 ABC Wine Tasting From 6 pm to 8 pm. $10 cost. ABC Liquors, 9436 San Jose Blvd
December 11 Free Wine Tasting Noon to 4 pm, World Market, 651-300, Commerce Center Drive
December 21 Learn to Build Gingerbread Houses Forgo the mess at home, and bring the family here! This class allows you and your children (up to three kids) to decorate your own gingerbread house. One adult is required for each family group; children should be at least 4 years old. $50- Price is for family up to 4 participants, add one seat per family to the cart. 6 pm, Publix Apron’s Cooking School 10500 San Jose Blvd, www.publix.com