Red Elephant Cafe Opens In South Tampa

Red Elephant Pizza lovers, you're in luck.

A fast casual version of the already-popular Red Elephant Pizza restaurant opened on April 30th at 111 S. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. The 3,000-square-foot, 80-seat space encompasses the first Red Elephant Cafe.

“Obviously the fast casual concept has grown a lot and become very popular over the years. Everyone has busy lives and a lot going on, but still want good food,” says Red Elephant Pizza VP Carl Sahlsten. “People are looking for fresh, high quality meals in a much quicker environment than a full-service restaurant and our cafe certainly offers that.”

Although much of the cafe menu is similar to the original more than 60-item Red Elephant Pizza menu, there are some differences. For instance, the cafe offers quick and healthy rice bowls: homemade saffron rice with sauteed onions, carrots, corn, your choice of topping (chicken, steak or veggies) and a drizzled sauce, including unique options such as roasted cream, mojo, balsamic wine, Asian and Mediterranean.

Offering free WiFi, to-go services and a catering menu, the Red Elephant Cafe hired approximately 40 employees prior to opening. Currently, the cafe is fully staffed with friendly faces offering a quick meal in South Tampa.

“South Tampa is a great market to open the first cafe location,” Sahlsten says. “We're trying to create a community cafe where people from the neighborhood or local businesses can get a great meal, hang out and run into friends. We're really trying to create a community within the restaurant -- a neighborhood spot that people enjoy.”

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Carl Sahlsten, Red Elephant Pizza
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