Naked Farmer, a fast-casual and locally focused seasonal restaurant, will expand with a third Tampa Bay location at Water Street Tampa this fall.
It’s the latest move for the local restaurant group, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary this month. The company’s owners have voiced ambitious plans to expand across the state with an additional 15 to 20 locations planned within the next three to four years. Naked Farmer founder Jordan Johnson said the company will open its first South Florida location later this year in Miami’s Coral Gables neighborhood.
The restaurant, which opened during the pandemic, operates with a similar assembly line ordering format as other fast-casual models. Diners get a choice of several bases, vegetables and proteins with ingredients that are at least partially sourced from local producers. According to the restaurant’s website, the company currently sources roughly 60 percent of its food locally — from within 500 miles of the restaurant.
The restaurant’s menu changes seasonally, and the company is currently wrapping up a spring menu, where ingredients like green beans, radicchio, mint and bok choy were featured, before transitioning to a summer spread.
“This is a Florida story as we work with farmers all over the state who we source our food from,” Johnson said in a prepared statement. “We’re investing in our state’s economy by buying from local growers and as we grow, that purchase power grows and more of every dollar spent in our restaurant stays local.”
Johnson, who was previously the COO of SoFresh, said the company was able to secure enough funding to fuel a “rapid expansion” throughout Florida and that the interest in South Florida was piqued by the growing number of people relocating to the southern part of the state.
The restaurant’s flagship location in downtown St. Petersburg opened at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and temporarily operated as a digital farmers market where guests could source local produce. A second location opened at Tampa’s Sparkman Wharf last summer, and the new Water Street space is currently slated to open in October on the ground floor of the office and retail building Thousand & One at 1001 Water St.
“The Water Street Tampa project is a game-changer for Tampa Bay, and also for our new restaurant group,” Johnson said.