Midtown Tampa lands bay area’s first True Food Kitchen

The 5,000-square-foot restaurant, co-founded by integrative medicine advocate Dr. Andrew Weil, is expected to open on Himes Avenue in early 2021.

TAMPA — The $500 million Midtown Tampa development announced Wednesday that it’s getting the Tampa Bay area’s first True Food Kitchen, a health-conscious restaurant co-founded by Dr. Andrew Weil, known for combining traditional and alternative approaches to medicine, and backed by an investment from Oprah Winfrey.

True Food Kitchen has a seasonal menu that the company says is built on an anti-inflammatory diet emphasizing wholesome, simple ingredients, nutrient-dense staples, responsibly sourced proteins and little-known superfoods. The menu’s signature dishes include an ancient grains bowl, grass-fed steak tacos and a vegetarian “inside-out” quinoa burger.

Construction on Midtown’s Tampa’s first phase is scheduled to begin soon. The 5,000-square-foot True Food Kitchen will include an outdoor covered patio and is expected to open on Himes Avenue in early 2021.

“A destination for people throughout the Tampa Bay area looking for delicious, healthy dining,” Nicholas Haines, chief executive officer of The Bromley Companies, the New York-based developer for Midtown Tampa, said in an announcement.

True Food Kitchen has locations in 15 states. In Florida, it’s open in Boca Raton, Jacksonville and Naples, with additional restaurants planned for Miami, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens. Last July, the Phoenix-based chain announced that Winfrey was investing an undisclosed amount in True Food Kitchen and would join the company’s board of directors and act as a consultant.

“When I first dined at True Food Kitchen, I was so impressed with the team’s passion for healthy eating and, of course, the delicious food, that I knew I wanted to be part of the company’s future,” Winfrey said in a statement reported by CNBC.

At Midtown Tampa, Haines says, developers are targeting “first-to-market” retailers and restaurants.

“True Food Kitchen is an example of how Midtown Tampa will showcase restaurants new to Tampa Bay and elevate the dining and entertainment options in the region,” Haines said. In February, he told the Tampa Bay Times that he expects Midtown Tampa’s mix of office, hotel, retail and multi-family residential to include stores and restaurants that offer a distinctive enough experience to draw customers from Sarasota.

Bromley studied the combination of product and programming at well-regarded mixed-use projects like Avalon north of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Ga., Santana Row in San Jose, Calif., and North Hills in Raleigh, N.C. as it planned Midtown Tampa. As a result its plans include:

• 1.8 million square feet of development in nine buildings and three parking garages on 22 acres at the southeast corner of N Dale Mabry Highway and Interstate 275. The entire $500 million project is targeted to open for Tampa’s next Super Bowl in February 2021.

• District-wide valet parking, concierge service for office workers and private streets that can easily converted into pedestrian plazas for festivals and events.

• A three-building, 390-unit Crescent Communities apartment complex, with the bay area’s largest Whole Foods at the base of one of the buildings. The project will include a total of 220,000 square feet of retail.

• Midtown One, the first of several office buildings, with 150,000 square feet of offices, plus 25,000 square feet of retail.

• A seven-story, dual-branded hotel with 220 rooms and a 20,000-square-foot rooftop with a pool, lounge, bar, meeting space and a dedicated elevator that will allow people to get to the roof without having to go through the hotel itself.