The Hall on Franklin will no longer be Tampa Bay’s Freak Shake headquarters.
Bake'n Babes—the bakery that’s home to Sleazy Brownies, insane chocolate chip cookies and Freak Shakes good enough for Lizzo to come try—is moving out of the Tampa Heights food hall, which has been temporarily closed since March 20.
“After much deliberation we made the difficult decision not to reopen our location at The Hall on Franklin. We’re eternally grateful to the community for coming together to support us over the years and look forward to the day that we can get together over a Freak Shake again,” Bake'n Babes owner Julie Curry told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay.
Curry also told CL that for the foreseeable future, she’ll keep baking for UberEats delivery from her temporary kitchen at downtown Tampa’s GenX Tavern, where she’s been since the Hall closed in response to the novel coronavirus.
“We’re extremely thankful to Dave Burton and the team at GenX Tavern for providing us a space to bake during these difficult times,” Curry, who cleared out her stall at the Hall on Tuesday, told CL.
She added that she’s also looking for a new home “with a little more space to grow.”
The announcement is bittersweet for Curry, as it sees her closing the chapter on a period of growth that saw Bake'n Babes evolve not just into a spot for over-the-top dessert, but as a community favorite that donated profits to breast cancer research and children's foster homes.
Six other concepts—Poke Rose, Xilo Mexican, Fork & Hen, Top 10 Restaurant, Kōfe_Tampa and North Star Eatery—also call the Hall on Franklin home. CL reached out to both Jamal Wilson (the investor behind the Hall on Franklin) and Maureen Ayral (the landlord who refurbished the historic Farris Building that is home to the Hall), to get updates on the other concepts.
Full disclosure: Creative Loafing Tampa Bay rents the second floor of the Hall on Franklin, located at 1701 N. Franklin St., and uses the space for events and offices.
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