Splitsville Tampa reopening with menu curated by celebrity chef Art Smith

Southern hospitality mixed with Florida's local bounty has arrived at Sparkman Wharf.

click to enlarge Chef Art Smith. - Courtesy of Splitsville
Courtesy of Splitsville
Chef Art Smith.

Before expanding in the Sunshine State and beyond, Splitsville first introduced its reimagined take on bowling to Tampa’s Channelside Bay Plaza. The original location, launched in 2003, plans to maintain a presence at 615 Channelside Drive, reopening with a refurbished identity — with help from celebrity chef and two-time James Beard Award winner Art Smith.

Smith has partnered with Splitsville to curate the new menu for Splitsville Southern + Social, which will debut in October at the buzzed-about development taking over Channelside Bay Plaza: Sparkman Wharf. According to a statement from co-owner Guy Revelle, the place — featuring an updated look and bar, alongside the bill of fare — has “an old meeting house vibe.”

“We have worked with Chef Art Smith, a six generation Floridian, on other projects. When we decided to recreate our concept for a one-of-kind experience in downtown Tampa, Art was our immediate choice to add a slice of Southern hospitality to Splitsville,” Revelle said.

Taking inspiration from his North Florida roots, Smith is set to roll out his signature flatbreads and poutine, Cheddar biscuits, short rib sliders and, of course, fried chicken.

“As a chef, I am known for fried chicken and putting my Florida twist on classic Southern fare,” he said. “The menu at Splitsville will reflect the diverse bounty of the Sunshine State and pay homage to its farms and ranches.”

Smith added that he’s looking forward to becoming a part of what Sparkman Wharf — one big outdoor hangout made up of an open-air biergarten, al fresco dining garden and recreational lawn — has started to create along the Garrison Channel.

“The caliber of culinary talent assembled at Sparkman Wharf is truly exciting,” said the chef, who was Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef for a decade and has cooked for two Florida governors. “I have been following the careers of BT Nguyen of BT, Maryann Ferenc and Marty Blitz of Mise in Place [sic], and Ferrell Alvarez and partner Ty Rodriguez of Rooster & the Till. I can’t wait to experience what they are bringing to Sparkman Wharf.”

Splitsville also operates in Orlando and Miami, plus California, Massachusetts and Virginia.

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