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Tampa's Epicurean Hotel Will Cater to Foodies

Construction is under way on the Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa. The so-called foodie hotel is the latest offshoot of Bern's Steak House and will be located just across the street from the famed restaurant.

On Monday night, nearby SideBern's restaurant held a preview of the food and drinks the new hotel will feature. Several hundred people stopped by the invitation-only event.

"The Epicurean is not just a regular hotel. It's a hotel that's food- and wine-centric," said David Laxer, president and owner of Bern's Steak House. "Everyone that has the foodie in them is going to be able to go there, enjoy unique dining experiences at our restaurant, which is called the Elevage."

Chad Johnson is executive chef at SideBern's. He'll also oversee the kitchen at Elevage, which is more casual than SideBern's and Bern's.

"Stylistically they're all different, but it doesn't matter if we're buying foie gras and truffles or a potato and spinach, we're going to buy the best that we can get of each item," Johnson said.

The Epicurean Hotel will also feature a wine shop, pastry shop and classroom for food and beverage seminars. It's scheduled to open in mid-December.

"I host a food podcast" is a great icebreaker at parties.
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