Restaurant returns historic Ybor City building to original use
Carne ChopHouse opens in El Centro Espanol’s former cantina
The 100-year-old building that housed Ybor City’s first Latin social club is once again the talk of the town. Proprietor Jason Fernandez recently opened Carne ChopHouse in the historic El Centro Espanol building (now part of Centro Ybor) in the heart of Ybor City.
Built in 1912, El Centro Espanol served as the social and cultural hub for Spanish immigrants working in Ybor City's thriving cigar making industry. The first floor, where 242-seat Carne ChopHouse is located today, was originally used as a cantina. The building’s architecture - French Renaissance Revival with Spanish and Moorish influences - is beautifully preserved.
Fernandez developed a classic chophouse menu based on traditional preparations, which allows the flavor of quality ingredients to stand out. The menu offers an affordable selection of steaks, chops and seafood. Most dinner entrees range from $14 to $22 and are served with a salad and one side dish.
Fernandez has long been a successful restaurateur. His first venture, Bernini of Ybor, has been in operation since 1996. Fernandez then became a franchisee for Bernini neighbor Green Iguana Bar & Grill. Last year, Fernandez added Hot Willy’s Sausage and Italian Beef Superstore to the mix. The 6,000 square foot Carne ChopHouse is his newest concept.
“Knowing Jason Fernandez’s successes and passion for Ybor City, we were adamant that his next concept be in Centro YBOR,” said David Harvey, senior vice president of sales and acquisitions for M&J Wilkow, Chicago-based owner of Centro YBOR. “With patio seating along 7th Avenue and close proximity to the Centro Ybor parking garage, the location was a perfect fit.”
Fernandez hosted a grand opening celebration on Tuesday, June 19 from 6 - 8 p.m. City of Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
About Carne ChopHouse
Located at 1523 E. 7th Avenue in the heart of Ybor City, Carne ChopHouse is a classic chophouse - unfussy and excellent. The menu is focused on quality cuts of meat and traditional preparations, which allows the food’s true flavor to shine. House specialities include bone-in rib eye, pork shoulder pot pie, beef brisket, prime rib, lamb shank, and trout almandine. To view menus, hours and location, please visit www.carnechophouse.com.
About M & J Wilkow
M & J Wilkow's approach to commercial real estate has been honed over 70 years in the business. It is based on the philosophy that value is first created and then enhanced by the implementation of a thoughtfully conceived strategic plan. The portfolio consists of 27 properties, which includes 12 office buildings with 3.2 million square feet and 15 retail properties with 1.7 million square feet including Centro Ybor (currently 91.5% occupied). The aggregate market value of the portfolio is estimated to be in excess of $825 million. For more information on the Chicago-based company, please visit www.wilkow.com. For more about Centro YBOR, visit www.centroybor.com.