Inspired by an old-school lunch counter and soda fountain concept — but a new-school approach to quality ingredients and work-life balance for the culinary team — Pickford’s Counter opened late this summer in northwest Tampa. It shares the historic Pickford Sundries building, which operated as a general store from 1949 to the mid-2000s, with the newly relocated Urban Bungalow (formerly in Seminole Heights). The business breathes new life into the 20th century idea of a restaurant within a store. “[Chef de cuisine] Adrianna [Siller] and I felt it was only right to kind of stay true to brand and create a hip food counter with really good coffee and food,” says executive chef Benjamin Pomales.
Pickford’s does creative spins on diner staples, like a “fancy” breakfast sandwich topped with marinated green tomatoes, potato sticks and spiced aioli, and serves locally made Bandit Coffee. For lunch, specialties include the Chicago Dog (a Providence Cattle hot dog with the full Chicago spread of toppings), a Brussels sprouts melt, and salsa macha fried rice.
Pomales says they took special care to cater to vegetarian and vegan diets, including offering plant-based homemade ice cream for their milkshakes. While the pandemic pushed back Pickford’s opening and has limited their ability to hire a full staff, Pomales says it has given them the opportunity to take things slowly and introduce Tampa to their concept bit by bit. “We just want to have fun doing what we love.”
WHAT TO KNOW:
2606 W. Hillsborough Ave. | 813-308-9668
Mon-Thu 8a – 5p | Fri-Sun 8a – 8p | Sun 10a – 3p