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Bay News 9 - 'Classics reinvented for South Tampa Epicurean Hotel retail spaces' - 08.12.2013

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TAMPA-The Epicurean Hotel has released information on their planned retail sites on their lower floor and their rooftop bar.

The long-stalled construction moved ahead last fall thanks to the economic upturn.

The owners of the Bern's Restaurant group and the Mainsail Hotel group threw a ‘show and tell’ reception at SideBerns Restaurant, just down the street from hotel's South Howard Avenue location.

Their planned restaurant Elevage will serve old favorites with a modem treatment.

'The inspiration behind the Elevage is basically nostalgia and classic cuisine,” said SideBerns Executive Chef Chad Johnson, who will also become the Executive Chef for Elevage.

“It is all food that we want somebody to sit down, look at the menu, and be like I haven't had his since I was a little kid," explained Johnson.

Reinventing classics is also the theme for their French Bakery Chocolate Pi.

"It's a place where you'll be able to go to grab a box of pastries to take home to family or grab a cup of coffee and a pastry in the morning," said Tom Haines, the Epicurean Hotel General Manager.

The culinary classroom, named the Epicurean Theatre, will focus on food and wine education, and their spa Evangeline will focus on food inspired and botanical treatments.

Cutting edge drinks are the concept behind the rooftop bar the Edge, to “really deliver something different for the South Tampa crowd.’ according to Haines.

And finally Bern's fine wine and spirits, part of SideBerns, will move into a shop off the lobby of the hotel.

"A very unique amenity for a hotel guest to work with a wine expert and bring it to their room or bring it to their table and have it in the dining room," said Haines.

“Most hotels focus on being a hotel first and then try and bring in the local community we're gonna focus on the community first and people are gonna want to come and be part of the excitement," said Haines.

The owners are projecting a December opening for the retail spaces and the hotel.

The hotel will begin taking reservation on August 13th for March 1st and beyond.