The Mac & Byrd — a fried chicken sandwich topped with macaroni and cheese — will replace macarons in Hyde Park Village.
The South Tampa shopping district said Thursday that it has landed Better Byrd, a fast-casual chicken-based restaurant, to fill a space vacated by Piquant Epicure & Cuisine earlier this year. The new restaurant is slated to open in the fall.
Better Byrd is known for its zany side — over-the-top fried chicken creations, mini doughnuts and neon branding — but also offers healthier options via made-to-order bowls. The brussels bowl, for example, comes with roasted and pulled chicken, mixed greens, crispy brussels sprouts, apple, red onion and a choice of either quinoa, mixed greens salad or pearl couscous with bacon horseradish vinaigrette.
The Hyde Park Better Byrd will be the concept’s flagship location, offering an exclusive full bar and sit-down, full-service option in a portion of the restaurant. It will be open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch.
“The menu appeals to a wide range of tastes and offers an inviting environment that creates the perfect setting for group get-togethers which is ideal for our customers,” Gabby Soriano, a spokeswoman for Hyde Park, said in a statement.
Better Byrd is a Ciccio Restaurant Group concept that debuted in St. Petersburg in 2016. CRG is the parent company of Fresh Kitchen, Green Lemon, Daily Eats, Ciccio Cali, Ciccio Water and the Lodge. It is also behind Camp, a fitness studio in South Tampa.
“While we offer convenience and speed, we also offer a good time,” Better Byrd co-founder James Lanza said in a statement. “We have both healthy and indulgent options, craft sodas and beers, frozen cocktails and a weekend brunch with a mimosa bar. We are very excited to bring it to Hyde Park.”
Better Byrd was originally slated for the former SoHo Tavern, which CRG purchased in 2015. The restaurant group is planning another concept for the SoHo Tavern space but isn’t ready to reveal its plans, Jeff Gigante, a partner in CRG, said.
Better Byrd is the latest new business to land in Hyde Park Village. WS Development, the Boston-based group that owns the property, has brought in a number of new-to-market restaurants and retailers since embarking on a redevelopment effort in 2014.
The tenants in Hyde Park are a mix of local and national companies. Better Byrd is the latest locally owned food concept to join the lineup — Goody Goody, Buddy Brew and On Swann opened in Hyde Park in 2016.
It is under construction on a building that will house Meat Market, a South Florida-based steakhouse. WS demolished what was previously known as Block H, the building home to offices and Nature’s Table, to make way for that development.
Ashley Gurbal Kritzer is senior reporter for the Tampa Bay Business Journal.