The building that housed one of Seminole Heights’ most iconic restaurants has new owners. Today, Michelle and Greg Baker leased the former home of the Refinery and Fodder & Shine parcel over to Flocale Holdings LLC.
After the signing, Joe Dodd, founder of King of the Coop, and Travis Masters, CEO of Westshore Pizza, told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that they—along with Flocale partner and Cigar City Brewing founder Joey Redner—will turn 5910 N Florida Ave. into a new sit-down concept where Tampa Bay can come get Nashville hot chicken plus Westshore grub like ‘za, subs, salads and wings. Dodd envisions patrons ordering via QR code menus, with staff around to answer questions, run food and help bus tables.
Redner founded Cigar City Crewing in 2007, sold a controlling stake in the company in 2016 and is currently involved with Rock Brothers Brewing in Ybor City. This new venture brings his efforts to Seminole Heights where Dodd is the king of Nashville hot chicken and Westshore Pizza once had a presence.
Rock Brothers, where Masters is an investor, will run the bar and team up with local promoter FWD Thinkers to bring music to an indoor stage in the southwest of the nearly 9,000-square-foot property.
Some minor renovations are in order, but Masters said there’s a plan to be open by Dec. 1, adding that Seminole Heights’ Flocale will be home to 4-5 concepts. At one of the concepts, 50% of the proceeds will go to an employee rainy day fund while the other 50% goes towards King of the Coop’s new nonprofit dedicated to addressing childhood hunger.
Dodd is breaking the lease on King of the Coop’s current location at 6607 N Florida Ave., where he’s currently running as a takeout-only restaurant, and plans to be operating completely out of the new Flocale location by Oct. 1. “We just outgrew the place,” Dodd said.
As the ink dried on the paperwork, the Bakers told CL that they’d definitely made some good memories at the address where they opened Fodder & Shine in 2014,before moving their flagship Refinery concept into the building in 2018. After entertaining other offers for the building—which they’d been converting into an event space before the pandemic struck—the Bakers were happy to hand the keys to Dodd, Masters and as especially Redner who Greg Baker has known for decades.
“We’re excited about this group.These guys know what they’re doing,” Michelle Baker said. Dodd shared the respect and enthusiasm.
“Greg has James Beard nominations on the wall somewhere in here,” Dodd said, alluding to how the pioneering Tampa chef was a Beard Best Chef semifinalist five times. “He’s gonna take those, but we're going to take pictures, and hang them up on the wall—he’s achieved what a lot of people spend their careers striving for.”
The new Flocale concept won’t have a sports bar feel, but Dodd said there will be TVs throughout the room. The group will keep—and add onto—the “We Are Seminole Heights” mural on the northern wall of the property. And in a nod to a Nashville trip Dodd, Masters and Redner took to Tennessee's Ole Smoky Moonshine and Yee-Haw Brewing Co., Flocale will feature an “I Believe in the Heights” mural in the style of the prevalent “I Believe In Nashville” murals.
“This new spot is about the community,” Dodd said.
UPDATED 09/02/21 10:15 a.m. Updated with details on Redner's history with CCB and Rock Brothers and to show the building was leased, not sold, to Flocale Holdings.
Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team works tirelessly to bring you news on how coronavirus is affecting Tampa Bay and surrounding areas all while giving you the food and drink news you crave. 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.