Columbia Restaurant Group launching new Sicilian restaurant, Casa Santo Stefano


*Featured image via Casa Santo Stefano

Casa Santo Stefano is set to be the next big thing in Tampa’s food scene — and owner Richard Gonzmart, and the team behind the Columbia Restaurant Group just announced the restaurant will open on Thursday, November 19.

“We have to add some finishing touches — an edible landscape garden, Nana’s House next door for groups — but it’s a beautiful work in progress. ‘A poco, a poco, tempo al tempo (Little by little, it all gets done)’ is one of our favorite Italian sayings.” said owner Richard Gonzmart I na statement on Facebook.

“Initially, we’ll be open with limited capacity for dinner only 4-10 p.m. seven days a week, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.We’ll follow social distancing guidelines and our servers will masks. We will ask our guests to wear masks to and from their tables.Reservations are available at 813.248.1925 or www.OpenTable.com

Columbia Restaurant Group is one of the most celebrated food purveyors in the state of Florida. The historic group of restaurants includes The Columbia, and Goody Goody, two names with deep roots in Tampa history.

After more than 100 years of operation the CRG is now expanding with a Sicilian concept called Casa Santo Stefano in Ybor City.

Owner Richard Gonzmart recently sat down with Visit Tampa Bay to talk about the new concept that has been years in the making:

A hand painted bar top is done on volcanic rock. Gonzmart also spent two years importing water from Sicily too.

Every inch of this restaurant is meticulously designed because Casa Santo Stefano is about the experience of dining.

Graduates of Jesuit High School (Tampa) may recognize stained-glass panels installed in early August on Casa Santo Stefano’s second floor.

The stained glass was created by well-known local artist Joe Testa-Secca for St. Anthony’s Chapel at Tampa’s Jesuit High School. The windows were given to Jesuit graduate and donor Richard Gonzmart when the chapel was replaced in 2018 by the Chapel of the Holy Cross.

More artisanal touches are in the works as the restaurant prepares to offer an unparalleled dining experience in Ybor City.

The restaurant is taking over the historic Ferlita Macaorni Co. building in Ybor City at 1607 N 22nd Street.

Follow Cafe Santo Stefano on Facebook for updates.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of thatssotampa.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@thatssotampa.com.