Restaurant Buzz: Columbia owner opening craft brewery restaurant - WFLA News Channel 8

Restaurant Buzz: Columbia owner opening craft brewery restaurant, new First Watch coming

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An artist rendition of the new Ukele restaurant. Photo courtesy Ukele Facebook page An artist rendition of the new Ukele restaurant. Photo courtesy Ukele Facebook page

No doubt, dining out is a popular pastime here in Tampa Bay. We're here to keep you informed. Here's this week's "dish" about what's happening at Tampa Bay restaurants.

Tampa Heights will soon have a new dining and craft beer option. “Ulele” is a new restaurant that is part of Tampa’s famed Columbia restaurant group that is scheduled to open sometime this spring.

The restaurant is named after the nearby Ulele Spring and will feature locally grown food and fish caught from local waterways. Its menu will feature Native American and multicultural influences.

The restaurant’s owners say that you won’t find black beans and rice or Columbia’s 1905 Salad on Ulele’s menu, but the restaurant will have the same “attention to service and history,” according to the Ulele website.

Ulele will also include an on-site craft brewery, which will be the first brewery in Tampa Heights. The wine list will include wines from American, family-owned vineyards.

The new restaurant will be located north of downtown Tampa on the Hillsborough river next to Water Works Park. The location is significant because the restaurant will be four blocks away from a former Gonzmart family residence on 7th Avenue at Central Avenue, where Columbia-owner Richard Gonzmart’s grandparents lived and 300 yards away from the original St. Joseph’s Hospital location where Richard Gonzmart born, according to the Ulele website.

Ulele will be located at 1810 North Highland Ave. A specific opening date for the restaurant has not been announced. Learn more about Ulele. 

First Watch plans to open its tenth Tampa Bay area restaurant in Largo this fall. The restaurant will be located at 13100 Seminole Blvd. in a shopping center that has not been developed yet. The location is near the busy Largo Mall located at Ulmerton Road and Seminole Boulevard.

The new 3,425-square-foot restaurant will have outdoor dining, according to a news release. First Watch serves breakfast brunch and lunch. First Watch places importance on fresh foods in its entrees. There are 42 First Watch restaurants in Largo. Learn more about First Watch

Have you heard of a new restaurant coming to your community? Has a restaurant near you closed? Send us an email to let us know!

Be sure to check out the 8 On Your Side Restaurant Ratings section on to find restaurants with the highest number of violations and restaurants with no violations.

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