The Family-Owned Columbia Restaurant: Fl’s Oldest Restaurant Creates a Beautiful Background For Your Passionate Minutes

The small type: Since 1905, the Columbia eatery features offered Spanish and Cuban-inspired meals and drinks that portray a long-standing genealogy and family history. Created by a Cuban immigrant in Tampa, the Columbia continues to be an area favored due to the standard ingredients and personable solution. Over the years, individuals from all over the world came toward attractive restaurant to celebrate involvements, wedding anniversaries, birthdays, alongside monumental times. Now, the fourth and 5th years associated with the family owns and operates 13 various restaurants throughout Fl. If you’re girls looking to fuck for free for good dinner with a good conventional household sense, possible reserve a table in the stunning and enchanting eating areas for the Columbia Restaurant.


Over the past thirty years, my loved ones’s favored vacation destination might an oceanfront hotel in Sand Key, Florida. We’ve eliminated there over a dozen times to construct sand castles, spot dolphins, and eat tasty meals on patios overlooking the gulf coast of florida.

We thoroughly explored the city’s bistro variety, searching from best neighborhood joints about, nevertheless just therefore occurs the one bistro everyone enjoy most is actually within walking distance your lodge. The Columbia Restaurant’s white-linen tablecloths, mindful solution, and mouth-watering meals allow the go-to spot for lunch.

Whenever we happened to be children, my personal moms and dads would get you a parmesan cheese pizza while they checked out this passionate Spanish bistro alone; but we now enjoy tapas and drink just as much as they carry out, so we’ve started crashing their unique date night — sometimes bringing along times in our own.

Since 1905, the Columbia Restaurant has actually wowed clients with Spanish and Cuban dishes and an old-world ambiance. Although itis the oldest bistro in Fl, the organization is still operate because of the descendants in the original creator. Every item in the eating plan has a story behind it, and many on the meals have now been handed over from one generation on the Hernandez Gonzmart household to the next. Family custom is a huge part of the Columbia’s diet plan, background, and way of solution.

“the employees can somewhat like family members,” stated Michael Kilgore, the Chief advertising Officer for your Columbia. “a number of our employees stay for 20 or three decades. Among the many things we like about our very own class is how much time they stick to you. They come right here in order to find property.”

You can enjoy this comfy and pleasant environment on your after that date night by going to any of the Columbia’s seven various restaurants. The Columbia Restaurant at this time acts friends in Tampa, Sarasota, St. Augustine, Clearwater Beach, and party. Whether you’re sipping drink on a picturesque balcony or viewing flamenco performers light the stage whilst you take in tapas, you are guaranteed to have a memorable evening during the Columbia.

In 1905, a Cuban Immigrant Ran a Saloon That Became a Sensation

The Columbia Restaurant can trace their background returning to Dec. 17, 1903 — alike day the Wright brothers effectively tried worldwide’s first airplane. That was whenever a Cuban immigrant known as Casimiro Hernandez Sr. began running a saloon for a nearby making business in Tampa’s Ybor City.

In 1905, the industrious business person switched the saloon into a well known 60-seat cafe known for the authentic Cuban coffee and sandwiches. Following their success, Casimiro purchased a cafe or restaurant nearby and changed it into an attractive dining area. In 1930, their boy got over possession and procedure regarding the thriving bistro.

Throughout the Great anxiety, their boy Casimiro Jr. created the very first air-conditioned kitchen in Tampa. He hoped their trendy appearance and raised dancing floor would draw men and women to the restaurant and help all of them forget their unique worries for every night. The Don Quixote place had been a success, and the Columbia managed to keep its doorways available even though many some other businesses collapsed.

In 1953, Casimiro Jr. passed the Columbia on to his only youngster, Adela Hernandez Gonzmart, an accomplished artist that has fulfilled her spouse, Cesar Gonzmart, on Tampa bistro. This theatrical set brought entertainment and artistry to your Columbia, creating a showroom that managed a lot of skilled Latin dancers and artists. Under Adela and Cesar’s management, the Columbia expanded to Sarasota and various other places in Florida.

Nowadays, among Adela and Cesar’s two sons has brought the reins and kept his family members’ business going. Richard Gonzmart happens to be operating at their family’s restaurants since he had been 12 years of age, very he is closely knowledgeable about their environment and record. Richard may actually suggest the dining table at the Columbia eatery in which he with his wife had their own basic time more than 43 years back.

“there are many relationship here, therefore we have actually outstanding tale,” stated Michael. “around 15 restaurants in the United States are family-owned and more than a century old, therefore we’re in pretty elite company.”

Florida’s oldest restaurant features a proud and enduring record grounded on meals, family, and enjoyable. Michael informed you the 5th generation for the founding household is getting groomed to take control of someday. Richard’s daughters and nephew have taken in active administration parts at restaurants and tend to be prepared keep your family practice choosing a lot more years to come.

The Columbia has become acknowledged with a few from the highest prizes during the bistro sector, including induction into Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Fine dinner Hall of popularity,” gained the “Distinguished Restaurants of united states (SiRoNA) Award of Excellence,” Fl Trend’s “Golden Spoon Hall of popularity,” and Wine Spectator’s “good honor of Excellence.”

Search In! A Delectable Menu of Sharable Tapas & Indulgent Desserts

The Columbia Restaurant establishes a luxurious dining table and offers an enjoyable getting away from every day life. It seduces your sensory faculties as soon as you walk in the doorways. You are surrounded by greenery, drinking water fountains, and artwork as noise of fun in addition to smells of new seafood meals waft through the air. Before my purchase also gets to myself, my personal mouth is watering with anticipation. The good news is, each guest becomes his or her very own newly generated loaf of Cuban loaves of bread, therefore I have actually something to meet my preferences while we wait.

The 14-page eating plan is filled with good food but provides simple dialogue starters for daters merely getting to know the other person. Each entrée, appetizer, and dessert boasts an enticing description and fascinating history details. Including, the restaurant’s coconut frozen dessert was a well liked of ice-cream entrepreneur Gustavo Hernandez, the next son of this original Columbia president, and today this sweet plate is actually served within his respect.

From the veggie paella (Spanish grain blended with hearty veggies) for the shrimp great (shrimp covered with wafer-thin bacon), the meals in the Columbia are bursting with taste. The shareable dishes, called tapas, get this to bistro well suited for couples on a romantic date because you may come closer with each other by revealing tiny dishes of empanadas, sliced chorizo, croquetas, or packed peppers. It is possible to make a budget-friendly dinner by ordering some of the appetizers together — just remember to truly save space for treat!

The Très Amigos churros would-be an outstanding selection for lovers since they are tactile, nice, and merely a tiny bit messy. You’ll dip the piping-hot churros in chocolate, caramel, or guava sauce generally there’s something for everybody. In addition, Columbia’s signature light Chocolate Bread Pudding is actually an indulgent dessert excellent for splitting with a romantic date who has a taste for white candy and rum sauce.

In 2017, the Marriott Traveler blog site named the Columbia Restaurant among St. Augustine’s leading date-night places, promoting lovers to “start off with Columbia’s well-known 1905 Salad, assembled table-side with much panache, immediately after which share an enormous platter with the Paella a la Valenciana, overflowing with shellfish, aromatic grain, and chorizo.”

Your romantic night will be-all more enjoyable should you set with your dinner one glass of the Melanie Chardonnay, an abundant wine named after Melanie Gonzmart, Richard’s high-school lover and spouse.

Plus, in the Columbia eatery, the sangria is die for. Severely, referring from the cup you could also split a pitcher of white or yellow sangria with a romantic date to boost your own dining experience. Nicely big cuts of good fresh fruit float from inside the wine and infuse it with wealthy flavors. Whether you’re buying this classic sangria or one of many cafe’s family wines, the high-caliber drinks usually do not let you down.

Michael told united states the group tends to make an effort to provide affordable however top quality wines to whet visitors’ appetites. “Our wine choice is completely suited for the foodstuff we serve and your cost,” the guy said.

Many Couples & groups Have Shared specialized times Here

When i do believe of this Columbia, I think of the evening we chose to have treat for dinner, and my parents ordered churros, crucial lime pie, mango mousse meal, white candy bread dessert, and five spoons. I believe of my twin-brother attempting grouper for the first time on our twentieth birthday celebration and saying excitedly, “just take my image” because he planned to show their girlfriend (who’s now their spouse) that he loved taking in fish just as much as she performed.

In so many means, the Columbia feels as though all of our spot, but my children isn’t really truly the only family to possess produced memories during that restaurant and its own six sister places across Fl. People started to the restaurant anyway phases of life because it provides a particular atmosphere that sets really with any event.

Notoriously, Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio had been regular friends of this Columbia in early 1950s. The Columbia team paid tribute to your pair and loving recollections they provided at the cafe by naming a dish after all of them. The Marilyn & Joe “Salteado” — a sautéed combination of tenderloin ideas, boneless chicken, shrimp, and pork — is a tasty note of the very long reputation of romance into the Columbia’s eating areas.

Whether you are happening a primary go out or celebrating a wedding anniversary, you’ll find closeness and love flourish in the soft candlelight associated with the Columbia Restaurant.

“It really is one of the objectives,” Michael said, “to possess folks feel as if the Columbia is the perfect place to come quickly to commemorate life’s goals.”

The Columbia eatery has group Values to the Table

The Columbia Restaurant charms daters with authentic dishes, divine atmospheres, and personable service. The hosts, at the least at the Columbia in Sand Key, focus on their unique guests and so are fast to express “Welcome right back” to loyal customers whom, like my loved ones, are going back to the classy eating spaces time and again.

This long-standing dinner institution has grown and changed through the entire many years, nevertheless hasn’t ever forgotten about its century-long household origins. Richard provides committed intentions to serve diners and daters throughout Fl inside years into the future. “our very own holder does not sleep,” Michael said with fun. “he is usually thinking upwards something new.”

The Columbia group intends to open at the very least two brand-new restaurants from inside the upcoming many years. One will end up being easily positioned appropriate across the street from initial Columbia in Tampa. Casa Santo Stefano, set-to open up in autumn 2018, will probably pay homage to a small community in Sicily in which most Tampa’s Sicilian immigrants emerged from — the real selection will deliver these people a tasty reminder of residence.

Suffering authority and high quality styles improve Columbia eatery and all of its sibling restaurants undoubtedly great spots in which singles and partners can invest a night in the company of those they love most readily useful.