An award-winning kitchen whiz recognized by the James Beard Foundation many times over is headed south, bringing her latest restaurant to Tampa. Planned for the historic neighborhood of Tampa Heights, Oak & Ola is the new culinary adventure that chef and restaurateur Anne Kearney has embarked on — and based off the name, CL's pretty sure you can guess where it's going.
According to the Dayton Business Journal, Oak & Ola is scheduled to take shape inside the restored (and now buzzing) Armature Works, the former maintenance barn for TECO streetcars and trolleys at 1910 N. Ola Ave. The building along the Hillsborough River has been teasing a second eatery that's "coming soon" since it premiered back in February.
Kearney — who most recently co-founded Dayton, Ohio's Bar Dumaine (fka Rue Dumaine), closed last year after a decade-long run, and Peristyle in New Orleans before that — is relocating to Tampa from her hometown of Dayton to pursue Oak & Ola, which she aims to open in late 2018 or early next year. During her time at Peristyle and Rue Dumaine, the chef earned a number of prestigious James Beard nods, including the Best Chef: Southeast award in 2002.
Keeping busy as a private and special-event chef, Kearney specializes in French-influenced American cuisine. The Dayton Daily News reported on Tuesday that Oak & Ola is a Euro-American restaurant with more than 100 seats. Construction on the addition to Armature Works should commence soon.