Ybor City's best-known restaurateur, Richard Gonzmart of the Columbia, tipped his hand today on Facebook, announcing that the tentative opening date for Ulele is July 15.
Teaming up with Keith Sedita, who was with OSI for 13 years, Gonzmart has spent the last year rehabbing the Tampa Heights steam-powered pump house that dates to 1902. With the city of Tampa's good graces (and a lease of $1), they will debut something all new: cuisine inspired by early Florida Native Americans, but also that of later Florida pioneers.
The Beck Group preserved the historic exterior and oversaw a tremendous reimagining of the interior space. Chef Eric Lackey is still shy to announce menu items, but early ideas included novelties like swamp cabbage and smoked mullet along with crowd-pleasers such as blue crabs and oysters. The 6,800 square foot space will also house a beer garden and microbrewery headed by brewmaster Tim Shackton.