Interview with Sarah Holt

Sarah Holt, along with her husband Phil, owns and operates Mon Petit Paper Company. Mon Petit is a small letterpress studio in Seminole Heights that prints gorgeous cards, bold business cards, and personalized stationery. Everything is designed by Sarah, who “has a never-ending love for connecting with people over the fading and intimate beauty of printmaking.” (source).

Follow Sarah on Instagram @monpetitpaperco

Sarah uses her love of crafting and artistic sensibility to create gorgeous prints both through typeset and customized polymer plate printing. Typeset design involves Sarah setting each individual letter in her printing press by hand, before passing each individual sheet across her customized template. It is a labor of love and a labor of conservation. This is the printing style of the past, and every piece of paper printed this way has a classic, historical, and delicate look and feel. Customized polymer plate printing involves custom designing a template online, and then having a printing template created. This is great for printing images, and logos, and can be used in conjunction with typeset printing.

Sarah is a wonderful artist, even using her body as a canvas. Her husband Phil owns and operates Red Letter 1, Tampa’s premier tattoo studio. Needless to say this incredible couple is contributing to the beauty of Tampa, and soaking up some of that beauty yourself is as easy as ordering something from her charming shop. You can find everything Mon Petit Paper Company has to offer on their website, www.monpetitpaperco.com.

 

How did you discover boutique printing?

Creating custom business cards, invitations and stationery is something I’ve been passionate about since my first letterpress class. I graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, my focus in Printmaking. While I didn’t take a letterpress until after college, I gained a huge appreciation and respect for printmaking in my early 20’s. There’s just something about the meeting of paper and ink on these artisan presses that conjures a vintage connection to craft that resonates deeply with me. All forms of antique printmaking require a lot of attention and skill in the print room. I absolutely love getting to make custom designs for clients looking to represent the skill and labor of their craft in conjunction with mine. Creating custom stationery and invitations allows me to play with high-quality letterpress techniques I absolutely love!

 

How would you describe your overall style?

I have managed a custom tattoo studio in South Tampa for several years. Due to my connection with the nature of the studio, I like to meet with clients to discuss what their vision for the overall design and feel is. Seeing reference imagery they may be pondering helps me get an idea of how they execute what they want. Likewise, having clients who love my portfolio of typeset designs and ask me to run with it is always welcomed! As far as “my style” in regards to that approach, I like to create classic and simple business card designs using our in-house fonts to match the client’s vibe. For stationery and invitations, there’s no limit, let’s get creative and fancy!

 

How did you come up with the name Mon Petit Paper Company?

Great question! My now husband had a French nickname for me during a trip we took together to Montreal. He called me “Mon Petit Chou”, which I think means “my little cabbage” haha. Kind of silly but it led me to the name Mon Petit Paper Co., which came to me randomly while driving one day. It just felt right!

 

What is your favorite thing to print?

Currently, custom stationery although I get the most excited to print wedding invitation suites. There are so many fun options out there and the perfect excuse to indulge in all of them.

 

A lot of your art features flowers, what is it about flowers that draw you in?

Ah yes, I love flowers! Occasionally I watercolor paint as well and peonies are always my flower of choice. So as to not write a dissertation on the subject, there’s just something about them that truly resonates with me in big and small ways. My time in college as a Fine Art major made art too serious, everything had to have meaning. It drained me creatively and when I got out I just wanted to focus on painting as a meditative outlet, painting flowers allow me to do that. My draw to peonies is for sure due to being surrounded by Japanese tattoo culture. In deeper roots, my mother always gardened and my grandmother owned flower print everything, so I’m in love with floral prints and patterns largely because of them.

 

Can you walk us through the process of creating and printing a typeset greeting card?

Sarah’s printing press.

Creating begins with the paper. First I decide which card stock to use and then the paper is cut down from large sheets by a three-step process. If using type, I create a pencil sketch of what layout I want and look at my in-house Font Menu to pick which font(s) I want to use. Type is then set, one letter, at a time, by hand. Large wooden drawers house the individual letters respective to their font and sizes. I’ve gotten much faster at setting type by memorizing the drawer layout and where each letter sits within the drawer. After setting the type, it is locked into a metal chase, think of a 10X15″ metal rectangle. The typeset is placed in the center of this metal rectangle (chase) and surrounded by wooden blocks (called furniture). Once the typeset is secured with the chase on all sides by the furniture it is hoisted into the press. There is then a series of math equations used to find out where your paper is going to lay so that your type hits the paper where you want it to respectively. (i.e. left, center, right alignment or otherwise). The chase and the paper sit on opposite sides of the press (think of a clamshell, with the chase and type on one side and the paper on the other). When the press is put in motion the two sides come together to “kiss”. At this moment the type meets paper and voila! Once your paper is registered correctly it’s time to mix your ink and get to printing! Some cards use more than one layer in this process. For each layer and/or color change this ENTIRE process must be repeated. This time-consuming attention is why letterpress is so much more expensive than inkjet printing. It must all be done by hand skillfully.

 

What is your personal favorite font on your font menu?

The hardest question to answer yet! I think Old English is the most beautiful but I use Bodoni and Franklin Gothic the most.

Mon Petit Paper Company’s Font Menu

Where are your favorite places to shop for boutique crafts in Tampa?

The Paper Seahorse in South Tampa and The Paper Source in Hyde Park Village.

 

What have you always wanted to print, but haven’t gotten the chance to yet?

I’m dying to print more wedding invitations and custom stationery.

 

What is something that you have always wanted to tell people, but that you haven’t been asked?

Do you have a graphic designer? Yes! If clients need designs created digitally for printing, we have an in-house graphic designer ready to work in conjunction with the desired projects. As well, I’m always happy to work with a designer of your choice.

 

Where can we buy some prints?!

I sell my line of greeting cards and watercolor paintings at: www.monpetitpaperco.com as well as on Etsy at: www.etsy.com/shop/monpetitpaperco A selection of my cards are also available locally at: Blue Sage Eco Boutique, Sattva Yoga, and Disco Dolls.

 

Interview with Kelly Quinn

Kelly Quinn is a passionate and talented Tampa artist who focuses on wildlife education, local plants and animals, and conservation art. Her work can be seen online at her popular Instagram account Kelly of the Wild, her website by the same name, at local art shows, and at The Florida Aquarium located in Tampa. In fact, she is the artist in residence at The Florida Aquarium! You can even catch the Paint For The Wild art classes she teaches in some of our local Parks and Preserves. She regularly teaches at Weedon Island Preserve, Brooker Creek Preserve, and Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.

Flamingo Study 2, by Kelly Quinn

You can purchase her artwork on her website, kellyofthewild.com and learn more about the inspirations behind her mission to connect people to nature through art. She offers canvases, glassware, t-shirts, stickers, and even yoga leggings! The gorgeous prints on these leggings are sure to make you the envy of everyone in your yoga class, so if you wear them out get ready to answer a cacophony of “where did you get those!?”.

Kelly has one of those magnetic personalities and an unbridled enthusiasm for life that is absolutely infectious. She is open about her process, her passion, and her work in a refreshing and beautiful way. She is creating wonderful conservation art of, in, and for Tampa, and she is always excited to talk about it!

Thanks for talking to Just Guava! Can you start by telling us, what is conservation art?

Conservation art at it’s core is art inspired by nature, and created to build awareness around environmental issues. It’s the reason we have Yellowstone National Park (Our first park)! If it hadn’t been for the photographer William Henry Jackson and the painter Thomas Moran, who brought back and created the imagery that inspired a nation to protect it’s wild and beautiful places, we may not have these wonderful spaces today. Conservation art and science go hand in hand, and science without imagery to communicate to the public is left handicapped, and that is the ultimate role of conservation art, to be a tool that communicates conservation to people.

 

What does the Artist in Residence at the Florida Aquarium do?

Kelly live-paints at The Florida Aquarium (with some help, of course)

The program started out as an artist regularly visiting the aquarium to live paint and entertain guests, as well as creating artwork that would support the Aquariums mission to protect and educate on our blue planet. Since then, we are implementing art classes for guests to enjoy, planning to utilize their gallery space in the near future of art events, and creating a repertoire of scientific illustrations for the aquarium to use in educational material!

 

How did your passion for wildlife art begin?

You might get a whole book on this question! The short story is my passion for nature began when I was a little girl growing up in Central Florida, where my family lived on land surrounded by untouched forests and swamps protected by conservation. I would spend everyday outside, amercing myself in nature by animal watching, kayaking, and sketching the things I saw. I loved my home, and as grew up I began to see the affect people can have on these beautiful places first hand. Which is why I began painting the animals and landscapes I loved, to preserve them in paint. As graduated from college though, my best friend and love of my life, Blake Wheeler, pushed me to pursue my passion for nature and art, which led to my path today!

 

What is your favorite subject to paint?

Seriously, if you’re not following Kelly on Instagram, you really need to be. @kellyofthewild

Favorite subject? There’s too many! But if I have to narrow it down, my top three favorites are Gators, Sharks, and Sea Turtles. I have always been attracted to the predators specifically, because I find they need more love and positive light because of the misconception many people have around them. Sea Turtle are just plain adorable, and are so personable below the sea, I just fell in love with them and their plight.

 

 

“Wildlife artist” isn’t a job title you hear every day, did you have any role models? Or was this a path you blazed for yourself?

I have always looked up to artists like Thomas Moran & Robert Bateman, and photographers like Paul Nicklen and Clyde Butcher. But the one who truly inspired me to pursue my passion for art and conservation was Blake Wheeler. He showed me how you can create the life you want, and not just dream about it. He believed in me before anyone else, and I know I may not have had the courage to take that first step without him, he continues to be my partner in everything today.

 

Where are your favorite places in Tampa to paint?

I love painting at The Florida Aquarium, Blick Art Materials, and all of the local parks and preserves! The Florida Aquarium is always fun because I’m surrounded by people who are as passionate about nature as I am, and the guests are always such a pleasure to be around. At Blick, I’m always meeting new artists, and love to help them learn new techniques!

 

What is something that everyone should know about conservation?

Everyone should know that your voice matters, and even though the problems our planet and wild places face are dire, they can still be turned around if only we care and use our voice to serve nature.

 

What is something that everyone should know about Tampa?

Tampa has a lot of wild places if you know where to look! One of my favorite places to visit is Lettuce Lake Park, a large protected area in North Tampa! There are also lots of small businesses with amazing people running them, like Fancy Free Nursery and Island Breads!

 

What is something that you have always wanted to tell people, but that you haven’t been asked?

You can paint this too – just attend one of Kelly’s classes!

A question that I haven’t been asked yet is the purpose of Paint for the Wild. Blake and I co-founded PFTW to connect people to nature and support local conservation through art. At every class, we make sure the experience is memorable, with rescued animals visiting our guests, complimentary food and refreshments, and one on one instruction time between steps. Then at the end of each class, we donate funds raised from the class directly to the park or preserve for their projects and initiatives. Soon we will be bringing more artists on too!

 

What is wild about you?

I think everyone has a little bit of wild in them if they’re open to seeing it! I’m wild in the sense that I love to be in nature, amerced in it, and living by it. I’m happier in the middle of “who knows where” surrounded by alligators in my kayak, and covered in dirt, then I am in high heels and a dress in the middle of SOHO. Nature is my sanctuary, where I really feel at home, and I want to share that with as many people as possible, so many generations after myself a little girl will feel that exact same sentiment.

@kellyofthewild

I believe people can trick themselves into thinking we are so far evolved and advanced from other beings on our planet and the wild places they live in, but the reality is we really aren’t any different. We depend on wild open spaces as much as any other living thing, we just adapt to our surroundings and mold them unlike any other being on this planet. We need to remember to stay connected to nature and let it back into our lives because it balances you mentally, physically, and spiritually.

The 3 Best Tampa Bay Brew Tours

The craft brewery scene is Tampa is growing like a wildfire. Breweries are cropping up all over the bay, and local beer can be found in almost any bar. Beer aficionado or no, there is something for everyone in the Tampa brew scene, and what better way to discover your favorite adult beverages than with a brew tour?

Brew tours come in all shapes and sizes. You can tour an individual brewery, hop on a bus that takes you around town, or even head to the water for a brews cruise!

Below are the three best Brew Tours in Tampa. Get ready to try out some seriously fantastic local beer.

 

Cigar City Brewing Brewery Tour

Cigar City Brewing is what most people think of when they think Tampa Beer. It is by far the most pervasive and can be found on bar menus an in liquor stores across the country. In The American Craft Beer Cookbook, John Hall had the following to say: 

“In a state known for theme parks, Cigar City Brewing has become a major attraction for those who appreciate and seek out excellent beer. It opened with a flourish and spread its reach quickly, appealing to both hardened beer geeks and brew novices with eyebrow-raising flavors and commitment to quality. Capitalizing on the Latin culture and tobacco-manufacturing history of Tampa Bay, Cigar City highlights those strengths on its labels and in its beer names and recipes. Many of the beers it produces – Jai Alai IPA, Improv Oatmeal Rye India-Style Brown Ale, Cubano-Style Espresso Brown Ale – reflect the sensibilities and ingredients of Florida.” (source) 

Cigar City (it is even named after Tampa itself!) does, in fact, have a variety of central-Florida inspired flavors, including beers named after infamous Florida Crackers and the Gasparilla Pirate Festival.

Despite the names, this beer is anything but gimmicky. The ingredients are fresh, the flavors pronounced, and the overall quality is truly something to behold. The brewery staff will even educate you on Florida brewing history, starting with this fantastic webpage. If you are interested in unique, well-crafted beverages, then this is a tour you absolutely should not miss.

Brew tours are held Wednesday-Sunday at a variety of times. $8 buys you a 35-45 minute window into the Cigar City operation, and the price of admission also includes a collectible tasting glass, beer sampling along the tour, and a history lesson to boot.

Do not miss this tour.

 

Coppertail Brewing Co.

Coppertail Brewing Co., located in the historic Ybor neighborhood, lives by the motto of “Florida Inspired. Tampa Brewed.” Their impressive brewery and tasting room is trendy and inviting, much like their name! According to the brewery, this is how the magnificent Coppertail came to be:

“Coppertail is a sea monster that lives in Tampa Bay. We know this because our owner and founder’s 5-year old daughter (at the time) told us about it. Coppertail is dreaming of the impossible. Kind of like the craft brewing industry going up against the giant mega-brewers. Or like a home-brewer putting everything on the line to start a brewery.” (source).

Coppertail is home to a 20-tap,full-servicee bar, and it always hosting community events. Add to that the menu from their fabulous kitchen, and you have no excuse not to visit this new but impactful local brewery. Every beer they make is designed with a Floridian in mind. Just check out the description for Free Tim, an IPA they brew year-round: “Whether you’re diving for stone crabs under Tampa Bay’s Sunshine Skyway or just wishing you were, this beer’s got you covered. Expect huge hits of citrus and pine aromas layered over a bright malt backbone. Perfect for a day on the water.” (source).

If that doesn’t pique your interest, then consider Night Swim, a Robust Porter: “Dark and luxurious like a midnight dip in the warm gulf waters off St. Pete Beach. Rich and Roasty with a hint of chocolate. Both this porter, and a night swim, are best enjoyed with a friend.”

If the beers themselves don’t impress you, the design of their tasting room and labels certainly will. This is a hip craft brewery doing everything right. If you want to check it out from the inside out, definitely take a tour. You sign up with your bartender, and $7 entry fee covers a 30-45 minute guided tour, a beer to drink along the way (along with additional tastings), and a souvenir pint glass. If you are interested in how the craft beer scene is growing, then definitely check out Coppertail.

 

Brew Bus

If you are looking for more than just a single brewery tour, then hop on the Brew Bus and check out all of them! Brew Bus is truly unique, one part tasting room offering all of the best local beer on the market, and one part Brew Tour, you can stay put or travel around the city! The ever-rotating menu in the tasting room allow you to try a 5oz, 16oz, or 32oz pour of seasonal local beers, and the eatery tucked away in the corner dishes up some fantastic bar snacks. But while the tasting room is great, the real magic here is in the bus tour.

With the Brew Bus, you can decide what kind of Tampa Brew Tour you want to have. You’ve got Friday Night Heights, The Full Pour, and the Local Loop to choose from.

First, Friday Night Heights. For under $15 you can jump on the Brew Bus from any location on the route and be gracefully whisked away to the next location! Shuttle stops include the Brew Bus Tasting Room, Seminole Heights City Wine Bar, Lowry Parcade, Red Star Rock Bar, Armature Works, Rock Brothers, and Brewing Hall on Franklin. This tour is a fantastic way for absolutely anyone to do a Tampa Bar crawl, since most of the shuttle stops are at full service bars! This is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to the bar/beer scene in Seminole Heights, Tampa Heights, and the surrounding areas. No actual beer included.

Next, the Full Pour. This tour is definitely more inclusive, and at almost $60 the price reflect that. The experience still may be considered a bargain though, considering that the four and a half hour tour consists of all-inclusive stops at three different breweries. The tour is guided, and you are guaranteed a full pint at each stop! You will also get a behind-the-scenes look at each brewery with a brewery representative. In addition to all of that, you are invited to enjoy two complimentary craft beers from Brew Bus Brewing. This is the Cadillac of Brew Tours, and a fantastic way to familiarize yourself with the local craft scene in Tampa.

Lastly, the Local Loop. This tour is a lot like the Friday Night Heights Tour. For just $10, you can enjoy transportation to local bars and breweries around Tampa. You can jump on at any location on the route, and your ticket is good all day! Stops include the Brew Bus Brewery, Hidden Springs Ale Works, Franklin Manor, the Pour House, and Coppertail Brewing. You will visit Seminole Heights, Ybor City, and Downtown Tampa all for less than the price of an Uber. No actual beer is included.

 

If those beer tours just aren’t enough, you can schedule a private tour, or hop on the Brew Bus Shuttle down to the infamous First Friday in Downtown St. Petersburg.

If you are a brewery fiend, then you will feel right at home at the Brew Bus. Here’s is how founder Anthony Derby came to start up such an incredible beer tour:

“The Brew Bus fermented in 2011 when our Founder Anthony Derby was a student at The University of Colorado. When he tried to visit 3 breweries in one day he quickly realized the need for a transportation service. In 2012 we started brewing our own craft beer under the simple mission to make high quality beer that we like to drink. Today, the good times continue to roll with our own independent brewery and tasting room.” (source)

Brew Bus tours are fantastic, inexpensive, and wholly unique. If you are looking for a 100% authentic Tampa Experience, then hop on a bus and drink around the city! Your liver may not thank you, but your memory bank will.

 

Craft Brewing is not unique to Tampa, but there are a few spots that are getting it 100% right. If you are sick of drinking Bud Lights by the pool and want to try something a bit more interesting while learning something along the way, check out any of these fantastic Brew Tours to taste the passion, creativity, and exuberance that makes up the Tampa Craft Beer scene. The next time you travel, look out for Florida Cracker and Unholy on craft menus, and remember what it is like to be behind-the-scenes at these operations. The Tampa Bay Beer Scene has something for everyone – go find your favorite brew!

 

 

Other great local Breweries in Tampa:

Hidden Springs Aleworks: “Locally Crafted”

81Bay Brewing Company: “Founded in 2016 in Tampa, Fla., 81Bay Brewing Company was established by three native Floridians and longtime friends with the idea of crafting an environment to celebrate beer, relaxation and recreation. Open seven days a week, the indoor taproom specializes in quality craft beer and features an immersive communal setting, multi-media murals, taproom games and live music. Whether you are looking for relief from responsibility and daily stress, your favorite liquid treat or just the satisfaction of trying and finding something new – we welcome all into our home.

Angry Chair Brewing: “Everyone has an angry chair, even if you think you don’t… you do, trust us. You don’t like sitting in traffic after a long day at the office? That’s your angry chair. You can’t stand listening to people talk while chewing on their food? That’s your angry chair. You have one spot of hair on your head that just stands up all crazy no matter how much gel you put on it and it makes you want to rip all of it out? Angry chair! The angry chair is symbolic of a place, time, or situation that you have experienced. It is something you have had to overcome or something that sparked a change in your lifestyle. Your angry chair is unique and is something only you can conquer. We don’t intend on being a one-note brewery and are constantly pushing ourselves to do more. At any given time our tap list will feature a variety of styles, stouts, and IPAs being more common, but we make a lot of sours and porters as well. We don’t serve flights but do have 5oz. pours. Our staff is very knowledgeable and can help you find the perfect beer for your taste.”

Southern Brewing & Wine Making: “Southern Brewing & Winemaking was a vision born from Kelly and Brian’s passion for craft beer and wine. Coincidentally, they met in 1996 at a Belgian beer festival at Atlanta Brewing Company, where Brian was the brewmaster. Five years later, they moved to Tampa, where Brian accepted another head brewer position with Ybor City Brewing. In 2008, the demand for products from local homebrewers prompted the owners to open a homebrew shop. Kelly left her 25-year banking career and ventured into the retail aspect of craft brewing and winemaking. Borrowing 2,000 sf of warehouse space from the wholesale company, Southern Brewing & Winemaking opened its doors to the home brewers and winemakers of Tampa in June of 2008.”

Six Ten Brewing: “We offer a selection of great beers brewed right in our brewery as well as guest taps. We gladly fill growlers of 32, 64 or 128oz sizes of most of our tap selections. Six Ten Brewing offers a variety of hand-crafted ales and lagers made with the finest quality malted barley, hops, yeast and water. These delicious brews are served in our tasting room which offers a great view of the brewery. We are pet-friendly so feel free to bring Fido – Maggie is usually around and loves the company!”

5 Awesome First Date Ideas in Tampa

First dates are an exciting, sometimes anxiety-inducing affair. Putting yourself out there in the dating world means opening yourself up to another person and to new experiences. A good first date can set the tone for an entire relationship. What you choose to do communicates to this person that you don’t know very well what your interests are, where your values lie, and what kind of taste you have.

If it sounds like a lot of pressure, that’s because it is! Or at least it can be. To avoid stressing out over a good way to get to know someone new, keep a list of go-to first date ideas. That way you won’t wind up drawing a blank when a potential new match asks what you would like to do.

Below are 5 awesome first date ideas in Tampa. So pick which ones resonate the most with you – or maybe even try them all!

 

If you want to do something trendy…

Tampa has a lot of fantastic venues to choose from. New and inventive restaurants and bars are cropping up all the time. But if you really want to show someone a cool side of Tampa, grab a drink or dinner at The Hall on Franklin. Located in Tampa Heights on the edge of downtown Tampa, The Hall on Franklin has a super cool dining concept. There are several different food vendors located around the space. Once you get a table, you will receive menus from every vendor. You can order from any of the kitchens, mix and max your courses, and eat in whatever order you’d like to. Your waiter will place your order for you and run to pick it up from each kitchen. It also has a pretty fantastic craft bar. Once you’re done with dinner, consider taking a stroll down the Riverwalk. It is lit up at night, and it is a great place to walk along, take in the view, and discuss your other favorite spots in Tampa. This first date agenda allows you to get to know someone over some food and drinks, and then during a walk together. It truly encapsulates everything Tampa has to offer.

 

If you are a foodie…

Take your date to Berns! Not for a full steak dinner, that might be a little intense, but at the bar. For those who don’t know, Bern’s Steakhouse is a Tampa institution. This legendary steakhouse is the epitome of fine dining in the bay. The menu is extensive, and the wine cellar is truly legendary. Some claim that it is the largest private collection in North America! Dining here is an absolute must if you live in Tampa, but it is definitely too much for a first date. Instead of making a reservation and shelling out for a full dinner, ask your date to meet you at the bar. Here, you can order off of a truncated menu. The steak sandwich isn’t listed, but it is available for those who know the bar menu’s secrets. Taking someone here demonstrates that you are tapped into the food scene in Tampa, and ordering an off-menu item will definitely seem cool! The environment at the bar is louder and more casual than it is in the dining rooms, and seats turn over quickly. This is a fantastic way to introduce someone to your tastes and interests, without breaking the bank on a fancy dinner!

 

If you have a small budget…

Dating doesn’t have to be expensive. If you want to take someone somewhere special without breaking the bank, consider bringing them to happy hour! Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club offers drinks 50% off from 5 pm to 7 pm on weekdays. Ciro’s is a true speakeasy, in that you cannot get in without a password. Make sure you call ahead to get the code word and bring your date to this super cool spot located at the bottom of a condo building at Howard Ave. and Bayshore Blvd. The cool-factor here will make the date feel more expensive than it is. The happy hour menu even offers some bar snacks. So bring a date here for some craft cocktails in a secret bar, and impress the hell out of them without wasting your entire paycheck.

 

If you aren’t a big talker…

Getting to know someone often requires a lot of talking, and that isn’t easy for everyone. If you want to take someone on a date, but the prospect of small-talking and chatting for several hours fills you with dread, then take them to a movie! The Tampa Theatre, located in downtown Tampa was built in 1926, and it is a beloved community landmark. The interior is insanely lavish. The ceiling is painted to look like a starry night sky, and the walls are decorated to look like a Mediterranean courtyard, which includes columns, statues, and gargoyles. The theater regularly plays old and independent movies, for ticket prices that compete with the local AMC. This is a great way to show someone a unique and interesting place in Tampa without the pressure of conversing the entire time. If you both enjoy the film, you can walk over to Anise for a drink after, or to Dio Modern Mediterranean for a late-night bite to eat.

 

If you are into adventure…

An adventurous streak can be important to share with a new date up-front. If you like to spend your free time trying new and potentially risky things, you probably want a partner who will join you in those pursuits, and grabbing a drink or a bite for the first few dates may not communicate that effectively. Instead, bring your new date to Vertical Ventures, an indoor climbing gym! If you are both new to it, you can take an introductory class together. It is a great way to bond over a new and difficult experience. If you have both climbed before, then take advantage of Friday and Saturday night deals. Friday you get 2-for-1 admission from 8 pm to midnight, and on Saturdays, you get 2-for-1 from 6 pm to 10 pm. Vertical Ventures is an incredibly friendly and inclusive place filled with newbies and experienced climbers alike. If you are looking for something new, challenging, and exciting to try on a first date, then you can’t go wrong here.

 

So put yourself out there. Meet new people, and try some new things!