Here’s a one-two punch for the NoHo area of Tampa: Willa’s, an easygoing neighborhood restaurant and bar with around 100 seats, and Willa’s Provisions, a more casual 12-seat cafe inside Willa’s. Tampa natives Nate Siegel, who has worked in hospitality for almost a decade, and Merrin Jenkins, who has worked for several nonprofits, will steer the sibling eateries.
During lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, eclectic-meets-familiar recipes and daily specials — among them rotisserie chicken, lots of salads, steak frites and gulf seafood — will lead the restaurant side of Willa’s at 1700 W Fig St. The bar will carry a rotating list of organic, biodynamic and natural wines by the glass, carafe or bottle, draft beers presented in frosty glasses and mostly classic cocktails but also playful creations on tap.
Meanwhile, Willa’s Provisions at 310 N Rome Ave. will have an extensive coffee program (we’re looking at you, house-made almond milk) built upon cups of locally roasted King State coffee. Juices, pastries and additional food items such as tacos and toasts are in store, too. Once the evenings roll around, the cafe will transition into an aperitivo bar with aperitifs and digestifs and light bites.
The eateries get their name from co-founder Jenkins’ great-great grandmother William Lowry, a pioneering 19th-century Tampa figure. The news release announcing Willa’s said of Lowry: “Her devotion to the city and civic involvement still reverberates throughout Tampa: she convinced Andrew Carnegie to help fund the first public library in Tampa, established what would become the second Girl Scouts of America troop, and improved educational opportunities for children by forming the Free Kindergarten Association.”
The projected opening of Willa’s Provisions and Willa’s is early 2020 at a 4,700-square-foot restored warehouse that will, through its design, reference traditional brasseries with Floridian touches.