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Historic steeple in Seminole Heights is saved by Ella’s Folk Art Cafe

photo of a large white steeple with a blue sky in the background

Ella’s Folk Art Cafe is an absolute gem. The restaurant itself is a work of art, with large scale murals surrounding you in the quaint parking lot out back. Firefly lights, and a spacious outdoor courtyard also offer a dreamy dining experience. In addition to feeding their community, Ella’s also loves its neighborhood’s history.

The owners of Ella’s worked hard to preserve a piece of the now demolished Seminole Heights Baptist Church. A large white steeple now rises over the neighborhood just across the street from Ella’s Folk Art Cafe. Tampa Bay artist Jenni Kosharek just completed one of her signature murals on the steeple in January 2022. Her signature black and white design is a striking bit of art to encounter as you turn onto Nebraska Avenue.

Next time you’re in the neighborhood, make sure to show the folk art cafe some love. Their Soul Food Sundays are now legendary in Seminole Heights, as well. The eclectic eatery does it all as it also serves as an art gallery, and a music venue.

My personal favorite menu items include:

Seminole Heights Strong: Pan Seared, Butter Basted Chicken Breast stuffed with Parmesan, Mushroom & Garlic Confit. Served with Fettuccini Alfredo, Sundried Tomatoes, Pancetta, & Portobello

The Good Burger: Ella’s Fried Veggie Patty with Sweet Mustard, Guacamole, Lettuce, Tomato & Fried Onions 

Sulu’s Curry: Vegetable Panang, Jasmine Rice, Tamari & Cilantro slaw, fried Garlic. Choose 2 Proteins: Shrimp, Fried Pork Belly, Mushroom, Tofu

No one should leave this restaurant without having at least one slice of Ella’s Key Lime Pie.

See a full menu, and order online on Ella’s Website.

The church property was bought for $6.9 million back in 2020. HCA, the national company that bought the church for millions, razed it and plans to build a medical clinic, to be run by Memorial Hospital. 

Tall steeple featuring black and white mural art

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