The Tampa Tribune’s food writer since 2005, Jeff Houck covers the way people live through their food. He also hosts the Table Conversations food podcast and believes that everything crunchy is good.
Most Recent Entries
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- This Haiku Contest/Is All About The Fruitcake/Get To Writing, Stat! [Guess Who’s Judging?]
- Five Edible Christmas Gifts To Buy For Friends and Loved Ones [Black Friday Comes Just Once A Year]
- Giving Thanks For Alternatives To Thanksgiving [Turkey, Shmurkey.]
- Taking A Bite Of The Pillsbury Bake-Off [Fear And Baking In Las Vegas]
- Sea Urchin Crostini, Tiger Beef Salad And Faked Alaska [This Week’s Weekend Eats]
- A Way To Eat Kale For People Who Hate Kale [Chef John Besh Cooks From The Heart]
- The Sip: 3 Daughters Brewing Comes To Live [Pumpkin Tap, Carmel Cafe Cocktails, Great Sips]
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- James Villas’ New Book ‘Southern Fried’ Should Be Battered, Eaten [Everything Crunchy Is Good]
- Prepping For A Pop-Up [Chad Johnson Turns SideBern’s Into Elevage For One Week]
- Putting The Wine [And Other Drinkables] Into The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- FishHawk Loses Park Square Cellar [Mary And Shawn Sarkisian Get Their Lives Back]
Gary and Amy Moran Out At Wimauma Restaurant In South Tampa
Posted May 3, 2013 by Jeff Houck
Updated May 3, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Chef Gary Moran and his wife Amy are no longer a part of the ownership of Wimauma restaurant on South MacDill Avenue in Tampa.
Amy Moran says a dispute with a major investor led to the couple to sell their stake in the restaurant after a meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday. The couple, she says, own 83 percent of the business. The choice was to either buy out the investor or take their money out and move to a new project, she says.
“It was time to go in a new direction,” she said this afternoon. “We had a disagreement with our investors, a difference of opinion on where to go with the restaurant.”
The couple opened Wimauma in December 2011 after walking out of the former Knife & Co. on Kennedy Boulevard four days after opening in November of that year. The restaurant eventually reopened as Edison Food + Drink Lab with chef Jeannie Pierola.
The Moran’s received favorable reviews for their “cracker meets cuisine” food, which focused on using Florida ingredients. In 2012, the restaurant on a Best New Restaurant award from Florida Trend magazine’s Golden Spoon Awards.
On Feb. 1, Amy Moran took over management of the Winthrop Barn, an event facility on Bloomingdale Avenue in Brandon. That arrangement ended this week as well. Earlier this week, Gary Moran held a Spanish dinner demonstration at the facility.
Without her thee to manage and market the restaurant, business dropped by about 30 percent at Wimauma. The drop was acceptable, she said, because the barn operation was highly profitable. Also, their rent had recently been lowered and they were planning to expand into an adjoining space and pick up a full liquor license.
“We were doing more in a day at the barn than we were in a week here,” she said. “But we were still doing good volume.”
Moran said they plan to open another restaurant, just not like the quick turnaround that created Wimauma.
“I promise you I’m not going to work at our quick, crazy pace,” she said. “I’m going to take at least a couple weeks.”
Then she added, “Although we did go look at one last night.”
Here’s a gallery of photos I’ve shot at the restaurant since its opening:
(Photo at top from Wimaumafoods.com)