Owner, The Attic & Rock Brothers Brewing; Co-Owner, Mandarin Heights (now in Seminole Heights)
A: We wanted to be in a downtown, walkable, live, work and play area, and one that had a thriving music scene. We also knew we wanted a building with character — no new construction. Only a few places checked all these boxes. We looked at spots in Downtown St. Pete, Tampa Heights and Ybor, but when a partner of ours came across our current building, we knew it would be our home. It was the perfect size for the tasting room, brewing area and concert venue, the building 125 years old with a lot of history and charm, and to top it off the streetcar has a stop right in front of our building, which is pretty incredible. We are also believers in the future of Ybor City, so we saw ourselves growing roots there.
Q: How has the Tampa community embraced both of your businesses?
A: Right away I started hearing from people that they loved our concept, were happy we came to Ybor, and that it was what Ybor needed. It was the same compliments I heard when a couple friend and I opened Mandarin Hide in St. Pete eight years before St. Pete morphed into what it is today. We also book such diverse acts in the Attic — everything from Grammy-winning artists to comedians, legendary DJs to art show — which brings such a wide array of people from Tampa Bay and beyond to our spot who give us props for bringing diverse talent in a different kind of setting. The support and encouragement has been great.
Q: This is the Restaurant Edition, so what is your favorite restaurant in Tampa?
Q: What is your Tampa Bay-area live music venue of choice?
A: A couple venues stick out, although I like them all for the niche of music they bring. You can’t beat a rare singer-song-writer show at the beautiful Tampa Theatre, like Ray LaMontagne or Iron and Wine. I also love to discover new music at Crowbar.
Q: How about the best shows you’ve ever seen in Tampa Bay?
A: Roger Waters’ The Wall in 2010 at Amalie Arena, and at the same venue Stone Temple Pilots when Scott Weiland was still alive. I’ve seen a lot of amazing shows at Jannus Live over the last 15 years as well.
Q: Where is your favorite spot to eat in the urban core?
A: As I’m thinking about the answer to this question, all I can think about is running over to Sunday’s Delicatessen down the street in Ybor for a quick Hangover Hero: eggs, sausage, bacon, ham, home fries and American cheese on a hero roll.
Q: Where do you take guests from out of town who are visiting Tampa?
A: I usually do a tour around Tampa Bay to show the diversity in concepts: maybe dinner and drinks at one of the Ichicoros, a cocktail or two at Armature Works or the Hall on Franklin, a show at The Attic, then end it at Mandarin Hide in St. Pete.
Check out our other Tampa Confidential features like this one on Kate Williams.