The new Pickford Sundries in Tampa, Florida.c/o Ben Pomales

UPDATED: 03/12/20 5 p.m.

There’s a number of mystique and nostalgia surrounding 2606 W. Hillsborough Ave., and Adrianna Siller fell underneath its spell, too.

“Right away I just liked the idea of Marie,” Siller advised Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. The 26-year-previous chef is speaking about Marie Lesiak Haley, whose grandfather, Casimir Lesiak, constructed Pickford Sundries and named it after silent movie star Mary Pickford in 1949 (a neighborhood bluegrass band named themselves after the shop, too). The retailer carried somewhat little bit of every part and was a gathering place for numerous folks in Tampa’s historical past; it received handed down from technology to technology, and Marie acquired it in 2001. Siller was very shut with her grandmother, who immigrated to Florida from Monterrey, Mexico someday in the mid-1940s.

“All of my family is in Dade City, my grandmother had 14 children,” Siller mentioned. That large group made frequent journeys to Tampa, and Siller grew to become very acquainted with native delicacies. Siller’s final place in a kitchen was as sous-chef at Gallito Taqueria in Lakeland, however she will get a brand new title—Chef de delicacies of Lesiak’s Counter at Pickford Sundries—this summer time.

That’s proper. Pickford Sundries, located in the Wellswood neighborhood, simply two miles from Hillsborough High School, has new life.

Siller—alongside with David Hansen, proprietor of Seminole Heights’ Urban Bungalow, and Benjamin Pomales, whose final place was as chef de delicacies at Rooster & the Till—is in talks to lease 2606 W. Hillsborough Ave. from Marie.

Collage(Clockwise L-R) Adrianna Siller, David Hansen and Benjamin Pomales, who’ll run Pickford Sundries and the accompanying Lesiak’s Counter in Tampa, Florida.Photos c/ Ben Pomales

“A year ago, David mentioned something about a historic building on Hillsborough that he’d been loosely talking to the owner about getting into,” Pomales, who’ll be Executive Chef at Lesiak’s Counter, advised CL.

Hansen advised Pomales there’d be a reasonably large cafe house, including that it’d be there if he wished to do pop-ups or supply recommendation on learn how to run it. But then Pomales, who’d finished pop-ups at Urban Bungalow, and Siller visited the house two months in the past after Hansen cleaned it up in preparation for a June transfer in. He painted the image for Pomales and advised him the historical past.

“I’d seen it a million times and thought, ‘Man something needs to be in there,’ but that history made us all in love,” Pomales, 26, defined. So he and Siller determined to reopen the cafe and name it Lesiak’s Counter, a nod to the constructing’s historical past.

Hansen and enterprise associate Martin Aldaz Casanova will run the Pickford Sundries storefront that includes the identical stock Urban Bungalow carried at its six-12 months-previous Seminole Heights store (that house formally closes on the finish of June).

“It’s always been a dream to run a sundries type store, something like the Kress buildings, or a Woolworth, with lunch counters in them,” Hansen advised CL, including that he began renovating the Pickford house in March, proper because the coronavirus pandemic began messing up everybody’s lives and livelihoods.

He received no PPP assist, regardless of making use of for it through SunTrust—a financial institution he labored for earlier than moving into retail. He was compelled to furlough some workers throughout Urban Bungalow’s 45-day closure, however stored many round to assist with the hours of labor it took to make the Pickford house, which sat empty for 12 years, operable. Casanova additionally spent one other 40 hours restoring the unique acrylic paint signage.

Many Urban Bungalow consumers shall be unhappy to see the shop transfer out of the Heights, however Hansen, who’ll maintain dwelling in Seminole Heights, couldn’t resist the possibility to broaden into, and renovate, a constructing that’s an important a part of Tampa historical past.

“We had to do it,” Hansen mentioned, including that it has been a pleasure to work with Marie, who’s been dedicated to holding the long-lasting constructing standing. “We couldn’t see this important piece of Tampa history just sit there with no tenant.”

When a gentle open occurs in mid-July, the brand new Pickford Sundries may have a piece honoring the previous house; there’s even previous leftover product—together with previous Ponds Cold Cream, Kodak movie, Hanes youngsters’s underwear and Tampa cologne—in shadow containers.

And in the again shall be Siller and Pomales’ cafe, a throwback to a 1940s soda store. It’ll have a stroll up counter with eight seats. There’ll be an extra 24-30 seats inside, and the constructing has greater than 2000-square-toes of house in the again (Lesiak’s Counter at Pickford Sundries will naturally comply with regardless of the CDC requires come opening time). Pomales and Siller suppose that 4 to 5 workers can run the again of the home, with 4 extra working the entrance.

The meals menu options 4 sections together with “Breakfast Served Until It’s Gone” (watermelon brulee, avocado egg salad, thick-lower toast, buttermilk biscuits, sizzling desserts, rice flour waffles, extra), “Things You ‘Could’ Share” (French onion soup dumplings, mole wild mushroom guisado, extra), “All For Me” (traditional sizzling canines made at Cass St. Deli, a hoagie, grilled cheese and Calabrian chile lacquered hen) and “Sweets” (muscovado milkshake, banana cut up sundae, egg cream and fruit cobbler). Joshua Weaver, from St. Petersburg’s Bandit Coffee Co., is partnering with Lesiak’s Counter to develop and run its espresso and low-ABV cocktail program.

Pomales likens the Lesiak’s Counter vibe and philosophy to that of New Orleans’ Turkey and the Wolf the place badass cooks come collectively to simply prepare dinner actually good consolation meals.

“So we’re making a [Cavatappi] mac ‘n’ cheese, or we’re doing a meatloaf [tomato Vindaloo, with herb creme fraiche],” Pomales mentioned, “but we’re doing it kind of our way, and just having fun with it.”

Siller advised CL that she moved to Tampa from Dade City to get immersed right into a metropolis and culinary scene she’d come to like. Marie, that granddaughter who’s now Siller’s landlord, even linked with her to inform her that a few of the previous Pickford Sundries regalia is in an vintage store in San Antonio close to Sillers’ hometown. Siller mentioned she’s going to cease in and attempt to discover it to hopefully carry these reminiscences again for Marie. But in the meantime she, Pomales, Hansen and the whole Lesiak’s Counter and new Pickford Sundries staff get to put in writing their very personal web page in that story.

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