The Columbia Restaurant, the oldest continually operating restaurant in the city of Tampa, can be found in Tampa's historic Ybor City neighborhood. The beautiful old restaurant is famous for serving traditional Cuban dishes in an environment inspired by Spanish and Cuban architecture. The mosaic tiles on the walls, the brick archways, the many palm trees, and the antique-styled fountain in the center of the courtyard all invoke the look of an upscale Cuban restaurant. The restaurant in open every day of the week, though hours differ depending on the day, and offers Flamenco Dance Shows with a six dollar cover charge on Monday through Saturday evenings.
Backstory and Context
The restaurant is today owned by Adela and Cesar's two sons, Casey and Richard, making this a historic business that has stayed in the family for four generations. The restaurant encompasses over an entire city block and seats up to one thousand and seven hundred people. It also has several additional franchise restaurants, including the Columbia Cafe in the Tampa Bay History Center and the Columbia Restaurant Cafe at the Tampa International Airport. Along with the typical Cuban fare, such as caramel flan or black bean soup, the restaurant also offers 1905 salad, made with its signature 1905 Salad Dressing, and sangria that is made right at the customer's table.