New restaurant from Columbia group, Casa Santo Stefano, opening in Ybor this year

“Roughly 60 percent of Ybor’s Italian early immigrants came from one Sicilian village: Santo Stefano Quisquina. We’re honoring that,"

click to enlarge CASA SANTO STEFANO/FACEBOOK
CASA SANTO STEFANO/FACEBOOK

Columbia Restaurant Group is back at it again, debuting a new concept this year.

Casa Santo Stefano is set to take over the former historic Ferlita Macaroni Factory at 1601 N. 22nd St. in Tampa. That's a two-minute walk away from its sister concept Columbia Restaurant.

Although little has been shared about the forthcoming joint, its social media pages have exposed that diners can expect the menu to “celebrate Ybor City’s Sicilian flavors.” A representative from the Columbia Restaurant Group confirmed that the menu is inspired by Richard Gonzmart’s memories of Sunday supper at his Sicilian best friend’s house. 

“Roughly 60 percent of Ybor’s Italian early immigrants came from one Sicilian village: Santo Stefano Quisquina. We’re honoring that,” the rep said in a direct message to CL.

As far as an opening date goes, there hasn’t been one quite nailed down, and it doesn’t look like the restaurant group is in any rush. A Facebook post by the restaurant on July 21 of the storefront with the caption: 

Day by day, we get a bit closer to celebrating Ybor City's Sicilian heritage at the table. When will Casa Santo Stefano open? When it is ready," Richard Gonzmart says. "Thank you for your patience.”

Until then, local foodies can slide by the Columbia Restaurants stationed around Tampa Bay, or Ulele parked in Tampa Heights serving up native-inspired food and spirits. More details to come when an official opening date is announced.

UPDATED: 07/31/20 1:30 p.m. Updated to show the new spot is a two-minute walk away from the Columbia.

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