The Columbia Restaurant Cafe Opens at Tampa International Airport


TAMPA, Fla., May 30, 2012 - - The Columbia Restaurant Café in the Tampa International Airport opened Sunday, May 27th, in partnership with HMSHost, offering over 107 years of a taste of Tampa with their newest location. The original Columbia Restaurant was founded in Tampa’s Historic Ybor City in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr. The Columbia is Florida’s oldest restaurant, the oldest Hispanic restaurant in the United States, and is one of only thirteen restaurants in the U.S. celebrating more than 100 years of continuous operation that is still owned and operated by descendants of the founding family.

“For the last 17 years we have anticipated being part of the finest and most convenient airport in the country. As Florida’s oldest restaurant, we are proud to announce that our newest location, The Columbia Restaurant Café, is open for business at Tampa International Airport. We are looking forward to serving both locals and visitors a taste of Tampa,” said Columbia Restaurant scion Richard Gonzmart, president and fourth generation family member.

Casey Gonzmart Jr., fifth generation family member, has been selected general manager of the Columbia Restaurant Café, and continues the legacy of his family’s business.

The Columbia Restaurant Café is located in Concourse E with Delta and Air Canada. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily, offering family recipes that have made the Columbia famous for over a century, like the Original Tampa Cuban Sandwich (recently proclaimed by Tampa’s City Council as the City’s “Signature Sandwich”), steaming hot bowls of Spanish Bean Soup and Black Bean Soup, and the too good to miss, Original "1905" Salad,™ named “One of the 10 Best Salads to Make a Meal Out Of” by USA Today. Other menu favorites include Miranda’s Ybor City Devil Crab Croquettes, Chicken and Yellow Rice “Ybor” and Picadillo “Criollo.” Breakfast choices include Eggs Malagueña, Tortilla Española, Torreja’s and the Ybor City standard breakfast of Café con Leche and Cuban toast.

Customers can dine at a scaled version of the original Brunswick bar, built over a century ago at Columbia Ybor City. A full bar is available, along with selections from the Columbia’s private label wines from Spain, California & Argentina and Columbia’s private label spirits including Don Casimiro Classic Silver Rum, Screaming Richard Tequila and Chacho Bourbon.

For those looking for the perfect souvenir, they can choose a taste of The Columbia with signature packaged food items including “1905” dressing, Sangria mix, Columbia all-purpose seasoning, hot sauce, and Columbia Cuban and American coffees.

The original Columbia Restaurant was founded in Tampa’s Historic Ybor City in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., and is Florida''s Oldest Restaurant. It began as a 60-seat corner café known for its Cuban coffee and authentic Cuban sandwiches, frequented by the local cigar workers. Additional locations include St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, the Historic District in St. Augustine, Sand Key on Clearwater Beach, Central Florida''s town of Celebration, the Columbia Café on the Riverwalk in Tampa and the Columbia Restaurant Café at Tampa International Airport. All Columbia locations are owned and operated by 4th and 5th generation members of the founding family; except for Columbia Restaurant Cafe at Tampa International Airport which is operated in partnership with HMSHost.

Contact: Angela Geml at 813-248-3000 ext. 17 or colsaug@columbiarestaurant.com