Saturday, June 23, 2018
Business

From tater tot trailer to toasting first cafe

In March of 2012, Damion and Heather Davis started selling tater tots out of a food trailer.

Five years later, almost to the day, they will celebrate the grand opening of their first Hott Mess Café storefront in South Tampa.

"It was my wife's dream," Damion said. "I was active duty military when we started and then retired two and a half years ago."

Though everyone told the couple their dream wouldn't work they pursued it anyway.

"We went from starting with a food trailer, to a food truck and now a restaurant," Damion said. "I think we were able to get to the point of a brick and mortar because of the combination of the type of food we serve.

"We are from Iowa and when we got down here no one did tater tots. We wanted to do a Midwest theme with bacon wrapped hot dogs, etc."

The atmosphere inside the new restaurant will encompass the same edginess of the food truck.

"It's the same image, the pin-up look," Damion said. "It will be set up like Chipotle where customers walk in and pick their base either tater tots, cilantro lime rice or a bed of mixed greens and then they will go down and pick the protein and vegetables."

More space in the 860 square-foot storefront means the Davis's were able to bring back a menu item from the past: pork tenderloin, which will be available every day.

The Hott Mess Café has been operating in soft operating stages since Feb. 3 and will host a grand opening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 4 at 6102 South MacDill Ave.

Though the celebration ends at 3 p.m., the restaurant will remain open until 8 p.m.

There will be music by mix DJ, Jake Dela Cruz and a raffle giveaway for a television, a blue ray player and a small tablet.

For more information call, (813) 400-0837 or visit, hottmessfoodtruck.com.

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