Midtown Tampa update: Ponte construction progress, William Dean now open and True Food Kitchen opens

One of the most anticipated openings, Ponte Tampa, is still under construction but is beginning to take shape showcasing Chef Chris Ponte’s vision for what is anticipated to be one of Tampa’s premier dining reservations to score.


Ponte Tampa originally had an open date of late 2021 but due to some design changes, construction completion has been pushed back until later in 2022.Summit Design + Build, the contractor on the project, says that when working with a client like Ponte, being nimble is necessary.

“At the end of the day, we do exactly what the owner wants,” says Victoria Auger, director of business development for the southeast at Summit. “We love complicated projects because we’re smart.”

Since beginning the project, entire parts of construction have had to be broken down and restarted. Ponte gets the final say on everything, down to how high a door archway is to the spacing of the bar.

The kitchen design is all according to Ponte’s vision including $60,000 of custom equipment, placed strategically by Ponte himself.

When open, the restaurant will be able to seat a little more than 200 people. It will have a VIP meeting room, a bar and outdoor seating.


True Food Kitchen opened at Midtown Tampa this week. Christine Barone, chief executive officer of True Food Kitchen, was in Tampa hosting media, friends and family last week as the restaurant prepped for its formal grand opening.

Barone, a Tampa native who went to Plant High School, now lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

The clean eating, scratch kitchen chain is also backed by Oprah Winfrey.

True Food Kitchen’s Midtown Tampa location will be its 40th in the United States.