Friday, September 21, 2018
Dining

Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant will be tented for termites

Ringling Brothers may have been put to bed, but there’s another serious big top soon to be erected in Tampa.

Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant is said to be the oldest restaurant in the state, as well as the largest — a whole city block in historic Ybor City. It stays open for most major holidays, but from Sept. 2 to 4, it will go dark and the 1905 Salad will cease production.

Why? It will be termite tented (and no, it’s not a restaurant inspection infraction, we checked).

"We’re sorry for the inconvenience," said Richard Gonzmart, fourth-generation "caretaker" of the 113-year-old restaurant. "But historic buildings — and parts of this one date to 1903 — need special care from time to time. We’ll be back on Sept. 5 to make new memories."

Those with existing reservations on those dates have been contacted by the restaurant staff, and the Ybor City location is the only one to be affected. Yes, some folks will have to forego their Cuban sandwiches for a couple days, and the Gonzmarts will incur the massive expense of such an undertaking, but what precisely is involved?

Haskell Termite & Pest Control in Tampa is on the job. It will take 12 to 15 people to snug the tenting over the building, and it will require 600,000 cubic feet of tenting. That’s about ten-and-a-half football fields and almost twice as big as the big top Ringling Brothers’ roustabouts would erect (406 feet long, 206 feet wide and 400 feet tall, it weighed 28,000 pounds and was retired in 1956 because it was too cumbersome).

Richard Gonzmart doesn’t do anything small. So, for a few days, what started as a little 60-seat sandwich-and-coffee joint will loom against Ybor City’s skyline like a draped Christo installation. But after the unwrapping, it’s business as usual.

Contact Laura Reiley at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley.

Comments
Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Joe and Son's Olive Oils, a legacy Ybor business, finds new roots in Carrollwood

Andrea Gebbia grew up in Carrollwood, and now she is bringing the family business to the neighborhood of her youth.In late fall, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils is slated to open a second location."I feel so blessed having the ability to grow my...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea looks to succeed where others failed

RIVEVIEW – Amy Lin knows that her newest Chi Chop + Kung Fu Tea store is in a location where previous businesses have not lasted.The short-lived Tap’s Brewhouse & Deli and even shorter-lived Top Shelf Sports Bar and Grill tried to r...
Updated: 2 hours ago
New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

New restaurants: Olivia from Chris Ponte, Crabby Bill’s Off the Hook

COMING SOON: OLIVIA Chris Ponte, right, has been a steady and notable culinary leader in our area for more than a decade with his flagship restaurant Cafe Ponte in Clearwater. A couple of years ago he mixed things up a bit by debuting On Swann in Hy...
Published: 09/19/18
Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

Restaurant review: The Local doesn't stand out enough above its Tampa neighbors to make an impact

TAMPA Do you have this debate? "Florida is not in the South." "Um, look at a map." I guess I am in the former camp: It seems Florida gets more Southern the more north and west you go, accents only creeping in as reliably as boiled peanuts up on the ...
Published: 09/17/18
Updated: 09/18/18
Chefs offer up a taste of what’s coming to Sparkman Wharf

Chefs offer up a taste of what’s coming to Sparkman Wharf

TAMPA — On Wednesday night, about 60 people got a sneak preview of what Tampa diners soon will experience at Sparkman Wharf, part of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa neighborhood that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners are developing in what...
Published: 09/14/18
What’s new in food: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week, National Cheeseburger Day

What’s new in food: Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week, National Cheeseburger Day

DINE AROUND: CLEARWATER BEACH RESTAURANT WEEKPromoted by the Clearwater Beach Chamber of Commerce, Clearwater Beach Restaurant Week is celebrating its ninth year Friday through Sept. 23. The culinary celebration offers foodies an opportunity to exper...
Published: 09/12/18
Restaurant review: Part fish shack, part high-end cocktail bar, Trophy Fish in St. Petersburg thrives on a fresh approach

Restaurant review: Part fish shack, part high-end cocktail bar, Trophy Fish in St. Petersburg thrives on a fresh approach

ST. PETERSBURGI value restaurants and people the same way, I suppose. I like those with a take. They don’t have to be the smartest or the prettiest, but the ones I like have a unique perspective, something that differentiates them from everybody else...
Published: 09/10/18
Updated: 09/11/18
Tampa’s Fly Bar and Restaurant will move locations

Tampa’s Fly Bar and Restaurant will move locations

TAMPA — Restaurant announcements for Sparkman Wharf and Strategic Property Partners’ 50-acre Water Street Tampa project have come fast and furious the past couple weeks. With a price tag of more than $3 billion and reading like a who’s who of Tampa B...
Published: 09/07/18
James Beard winner Anne Kearney to open Oak & Ola in Armature Works

James Beard winner Anne Kearney to open Oak & Ola in Armature Works

TAMPA — It was always part of the plan for the 22,000-square-foot Heights Public Market at Armature Works to have two anchor restaurants in addition to the fourteen quick-serve vendors. The developers debuted Steelbach, a sprawling steaks and chops b...
Updated one month ago
What’s new in food: The Artisan, Big Ray’s Fish Camp, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils

What’s new in food: The Artisan, Big Ray’s Fish Camp, Joe and Son’s Olive Oils

COMING SOON: THE ARTISANGulfport is heating up. I’ve been hearing raves about Golden Dinosaurs vegan deli, and now it seems that seasoned restaurateurs Michael Stewart, left, and Tom Golden will open an art and food collective called the Artisan in G...
Updated one month ago