Make us your home page
Instagram

Chef buys Dade City's landmark Kafe Kokopelli

Executive chef Steven Queen Jr. and his father have bought Kafe Kokopelli, a Dade City landmark.

Executive chef Steven Queen Jr. and his father have bought Kafe Kokopelli, a Dade City landmark.

DADE CITY — Eighteen years ago, Gail Greenfelder rescued an old Ford repair shop that was slated for demolition.

The result of her work was Kafe Kokopelli. Divided by old French doors, decorated with garlands of dried flowers and vines, a rock fireplace in the corner, stuffed moose and deer heads, and an eclectic array of chairs, the restaurant defied a label.

"We created a place like Cheers," said Greenfelder, who along with her lawyer husband, Glen, was a fixture at the restaurant. "A place where everybody knows your name."

Last week, Greenfelder gave up what she called "my baby," selling the business to Steven Queen Jr., a 28-year-old executive chef who has worked at fine restaurants in Washington, D.C.

"If you saw me yesterday, I was blubbering," Greenfelder said.

Terms were not disclosed, but Greenfelder described it as "a fair deal." She and her husband will continue to own the downtown building and land.

Greenfelder said she had received countless offers over the years to buy her out, but she wasn't interested. Now that she and her husband are older — he's 70, she's 67 — she said she wanted to "slow down" a little.

Queen, who bought the business with his father, Lake Jovita businessman Steven Queen Sr., said he plans to maintain the flavor of the place, with its taxidermy, including a jaguar that once performed on the Ed Sullivan Show. The elder Queen will handle administrative chores.

"It's good food, and it's affordable food," said the younger Queen, who graduated from Sickles High's culinary arts school and went on to earn a degree at Johnson & Wales University in Miami. Some changes will happen. Menu items will be updated and some new items will be offered. But he plans to keep signature favorites like fried green tomatoes. He also wants to create some food and wine pairings and food and beer pairings.

Next year, he would like to have an Oktoberfest.

Chef buys Dade City's landmark Kafe Kokopelli 11/01/13 [Last modified: Friday, November 1, 2013 6:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]
  2. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  3. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.

  4. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]
  5. Pinellas licensing board loses support for staying independent

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board on Monday lost its strongest supporter for staying independent.

    State Sen. Jack Latvala, a Clearwater Republican running for governor, said Monday that he will no longer support any legislation to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board independent. This photo was taken in August. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]