ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Another food hall is set to open in St. Petersburg in 2021.
Tampa chef and restauranteur Natalia Levey is looking to turn the space that housed the former Dome Grill into an eatery with different concepts among its three stories.
The new business will be called “Central Park Food Hall,” in honor of Levey’s time in culinary school in New York City and the hall’s location on Central Avenue in St. Pete.
“I love the culture and it’s really, really special to me,” Levey told 8 On Your Side. “I love Central Park and I think Central Park will create that special ambiance for St. Pete.”
She called the building a “treasure,” saying she and her team began exploring different ideas as to how to utilize the space.
The second floor will feature a Tampa Bay area favorite – Speaks Clam Bar, also owned by Levey.
Speaks currently has locations in Lakewood Ranch and Sarasota.
“Our restaurant – our Speaks Clam Bar – is performing so well, we always get requests. I just got an email, ‘please, please open on the east coast of Florida!’ So it seemed like St. Pete was going to be a natural place for Speaks,” Levey explained.
The bottom floor is 8,000 square feet and will house a bar and several different eateries. Levey explained some of those will be very health conscious and others will offer international flavors.
The first-floor concepts have not been announced or named.
Levey told us the roof is going to be what’s really special. It will feature a new restaurant concept all her own.
“So the concept (is) it’s going to be very small and it’s going to be inspired by my travels all over the world and exploring different cultures. And it’s going to be a celebration of the diversity of taste,” she explained. “In going with the whole theme of Central Park, my restaurant will be sharing the roof space. So the bar will be accessible from inside the restaurant and from the roof side, or that’s the intention….If we can make it actually come to reality, hope. One can dream. We have big dreams.”
The roof will feature private dining rooms for meetings, fun celebrations and weddings.
Levey has studied different aspects of maintaining health and eating well and that will be incorporated into Central Park Food Hall.
“I know St. Pete has Healthy St. Pete initiatives, so being able to offer a lot of healthy options and contribute to that initiative is something I’m most excited and proud of,” she said.
As for the other food halls opening in the city in the next few years, Levey said she is happy to work with them and bring the culinary community together.
“Oh I absolutely don’t think of them as competition,” she said. “We’re all colleagues. I feel like chefs will collaborate and we’ll all work together. I’m all for working together and welcome everybody to cooperate and join hands and providing more dining opportunities for people.”