Q: You are a partner in multiple St. Petersburg businesses, but this is your first Tampa concept. How has the city changed in recent years to be more ready for modern concepts like yours?
A: Tampa is coming into an identity and developing its neighborhoods. They each have their own character. Tampa has a lot of momentum right now, and it’s starting to become more unified. Things like the Riverwalk and Armature Works, have been galvanizing items that have brought a lot of passion into Tampa. With that passion you attract a lot of people willing to try new things and do interesting concepts.
Q: What is your favorite Seminole Heights restaurant?
A: There are a lot of great spots, and I couldn’t name all the ones I enjoy going to. I’ve gotten to know the owners of Rooster & the Till, The Refinery and Ichicoro, and I sit in between those three. They are all doing great stuff and have been supportive. I would do a progressive dinner between those three locations, starting at Ichicoro and making my way up. I did the chef’s menu at Rooster & the Till, and the flavors of everything were incredible.
“I LOOK AT TAMPA BAY AS A REGION, AND EACH ONE OF OUR COMMUNITIES ALL HAVE STARTED TO DEVELOP THEIR OWN IDENTITIES.”
Q: How about your favorite restaurant elsewhere in the urban core?
A: Even though it’s something a lot of people say, Armature Works has so many concepts in it that it’s pretty exciting. It’s like being a kid in a candy store there. I love having a cocktail at Fine & Dandy and taking in the design of the historic armature building juxtaposed with the modern amenities.
Q: Where else do you go to relax with a cocktail?
A: My true honest answer is just having a classic martini at Bern’s bar talking to Marco, the bartender there. Marco is iconic. He’s been there for so long, and he makes a great martini.
5901 N. Florida Ave. | mandarinheights.com
Thurs to Sun, 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. Tues-Sat: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. | Sun: 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.