Counter Culture making progress on former Pach's Place site in South Tampa

Chef Jeannie Pierola gives CL an update on the all-day restaurant.

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click to enlarge Counter Culture will feature a kitchen with a wrap-around counter (left) and a full-liquor bar (right). - Jenna Rimensnyder
Jenna Rimensnyder
Counter Culture will feature a kitchen with a wrap-around counter (left) and a full-liquor bar (right).

In South Tampa, diners have been patiently waiting for the next culinary project from Jeannie Pierola. The local chef and restaurateur behind Edison: Food+Drink Lab originally hoped to premiere Counter Culture in Bayshore Center at 2909 W. Bay to Bay Blvd. in October. However, asbestos issues and permitting setbacks delayed the restaurant’s arrival.

Counter Culture is now aiming for a late spring debut, but luckily, its identity as a modern ode to Pach’s Place remains the same. After all, Counter Culture will occupy the building that the relocated neighborhood staple called home for almost three decades.

According to Pierola, politicians and various members of the city’s elite would regularly gather at Pach’s for a meal and to trade ideas.

“That’s what we’re hoping to replicate here,” said the four-time James Beard Award semifinalist, “by incorporating a counter that wraps around the kitchen stationed in the back center of the floor plan.”

Pierola recently gave CL a sneak peek of Counter Culture, walking us through what her third concept (edison’s swigamajig divebar and fishkitchen at Sparkman Wharf is the second) will look like once it’s no longer a construction zone.

To start, Chancey Design has taken the lead on the interior aesthetic; a color scheme of white, charcoal and gold is set to complement the new Italian terrazzo flooring. The 3,700-square-foot restaurant will also feature a 14-foot wood-fired grill customized with wood-fired oven and cast-iron plancha stations, alongside roll-up garage doors up front that create an indoor-outdoor full-liquor bar when raised.

The bar’s fans and heaters should keep diners comfortable while they brave the unpredictable Florida weather for vibrant craft cocktails developed by Edison bar manager Alex Artishenko.

Counter Culture made sure to preserve a trio of iconic palm trees outside, too. As tall as giraffes, the palms will frame the signage hung above the patio awning.

“We’re shooting for modern and minimalist. We want it to be a beautiful backdrop to the food,” Pierola added.

Speaking of food, Counter Culture will focus on lunch and dinner, plus a first for Pierola: breakfast. She won’t approach the task lightly, either. The chef has been working on the menu for more than three years, evolving the seasonality of the lineup as opening day was pushed back.

Expect more details on the dishes to emerge when the launch gets closer, though Counter Culture’s website does tease photos of silver dollar pancakes topped with fresh fruit and apple pie à la mode.

The restaurant will begin serving all-day breakfast at 7 a.m., followed by lunch. Dinner options will then join both lunch and breakfast at 5 p.m. As for brunch, that’s reserved for weekends.

“This is the greatest location I’ve ever been associated with,” said the chef. “As someone who was born and raised in Tampa, there’s nothing better.”

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