Midtown Tampa lands Oprah-backed Health Restaurant True Food Kitchen

Midtown Tampa, the mixed-use development under construction at the intersection of Dale Mabry Highway and Interstate 275, has landed a healthy restaurant concept backed by Oprah Winfrey.

True Food Kitchen will occupy a 5,000-square-foot standalone building off of the Himes Avenue entrance into Midtown and is slated to open in early 2021, the developer of Midtown, New York-based Bromley Cos., said Wednesday.

Midtown spans 22 acres bound by I-275 to the north; Himes Avenue to the east; Cypress Street to the south and Dale Mabry to the west. Bromley started assembling the land almost two decades ago; infrastructure work is underway, and vertical construction is slated to begin this quarter.

“We’re thrilled that True Food Kitchen chose Midtown Tampa for its first restaurant in the region,” Bromley CEO Nicholas Haines said in a statement. “True Food Kitchen will be an incredibly positive environment for the residents, employees and visitors of Midtown Tampa, and a destination for people throughout the Tampa Bay area looking for delicious, healthy dining.”

The restaurant, in which Winfrey took an equity stake in July 2018, is only the second commercial tenant Bromley has confirmed. Whole Foods Market, currently in the nearby Walters Crossing shopping center, will relocate to Midtown. WeWork, which is looking to expand throughout the Tampa Bay region, is said to be considering a location in Midtown.

Bromley said True Kitchen — whose menu is based on the “anti-inflammatory food pyramid” — complements a wellness theme throughout the development (other features include a walking trail around a 3-acre lake, and open spaces with regular “healthy lifestyle activities”). The restaurant has other Florida locations in Boca Raton, Jacksonville and Naples.

Menu items include grass-fed steak tacos, an “inside out quinoa burger” and an ancient grains bowl.

“From nutrient-dense staples and responsibly sourced proteins to little-known superfoods, True Food Kitchen is committed to sourcing the most creative and freshest in-season ingredients,” Midtown said in a news release.

A conceptual Midtown site plan that circulated among commercial real estate brokers in 2018 showed Midtown aiming for an e-commerce resistant mix of restaurants and fitness studios. True Food Kitchen wasn’t among the tenants named on that site plan.