Columbia, Ulele restaurants start reopening in Tampa Heights and Ybor City next week

Ulele opens on May 20, Columbia Ybor City opens on June 1.

click to enlarge Columbia, Ulele restaurants start reopening in Tampa Heights and Ybor City next week
Keir Magoulas

UPDATED: 05/15/20 9:55 a.m.

It’s been two weeks since Richard Gonzmart reopened South Tampa’s Goody Goody Burger for takeout, but he’s ready to let people into his Columbia and Ulele concepts, too.

A press release says two of Gonzmart’s Sarasota restaurants—Columbia and Cha Cha Coconuts, both on St. Armands Circle—will open with new social distancing policies on May 18 and May 15, respectively. The release also announced the reopening dates for dining rooms at several Tampa Bay restaurants owned and operated by Gonzmart’s Columbia Restaurant Group (CRG).

  • Ulele (pictured), located at 1810 N. Highland Ave. in Tampa Heights’ Water Works Park, opens on Wednesday, May 20.
  • Columbia Café at the Tampa Bay History Center, located at 801 Water St. in downtown Tampa, opens on Wednesday, May 20.
  • Goody Goody Burger, located at 1601 W. Swann Ave in South Tampa’s Hyde Park Village, opens on Thursday, May 21.
  • Clearwater Beach’s Columbia restaurant, located at 1241 Gulf Blvd. on Sand Key, opens on Thursday, May 21.
  • The flagship Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City—located at 2117 E. 7th Ave.—opens on Monday, June 1 (Columbia Restaurants in St. Augustine and Orlando also open on June 1)

“We made a conscious decision to wait until we were confident we could offer a safe and healthy environment for our staff members and our guests,” Gonzmart, who closed his restaurants on March 20, wrote in the release. “We are very much looking forward to this. We’ve missed everyone.”

A social media post regarding Sarasota openings said “tables at the indoor-outdoor restaurants will be socially distanced and staff will follow state and local health and hygiene guidelines, including face masks for staff members.”

“Guests are asked to observe social distancing guidelines as well, but masks will not be required,” the post added.

A rep for CRG showed Creative Loafing. Tampa Bay some health and safety messages being posted in the restaurants as public service announcements.

At Columbia, where dining room capacity has been reduced to 25%, employees' temperatures are being taken daily (anyone sick or with a high temperature is being sent home). Menus will be single-use and disposable, and staff will wear masks.

Of note is that all table-side food and sangria prep is being temporarily discontinued.

Columbia is also asking patrons to refrain from sitting or standing at the bar, respect social distancing guidelines and stay home if they're sick.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Want to know everything going on with Tampa Bay's food and drink scene? Sign up for our Bites newsletter.

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
Scroll to read more Openings & Closings articles


Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.