Growing up in South Tampa, the Chillura siblings half jokingly dreamed of opening an ice cream shop.
Today, they have four of them.
At the beginning of July, their latest Chill Bros. Scoop Shop location opened in Water Street Tampa, joining the curated mix of local and national restaurants in the multi-billion dollar mixed-use development downtown.
It is a pairing that has the potential to go as well together as a double scoop of key lime ice cream on a hot summer day. Water Street is the exact type of walkable neighborhood where the Chillura siblings- brothers Patton, Max and Nash and sister Hadley- think ice cream shops thrive.
“Our philosophy is that ice cream is extremely local,” Max Chillura says while seated at a table in the Water Street location that opened July 1. “We found neighborhoods throughout Tampa where there was a strong sense of neighborhood and community and where walkability is huge. I grew up in Tampa and to see a true downtown district like this, with the live, work, play atmosphere is really cool."
Since launching in Ybor City in the fall of 2019, the sibling-run small batch shop has boomed, attracting customers during the COVID pandemic and expanding to Bay to Bay Boulevard in South Tampa, the Epicurean Hotel in Hyde Park and now the ground-floor retail space at the base of the Cora Residences, 1061 Water St.
"Through COVID, we actually had a little bit more exposure," Max Chillura says. "I think people were looking for comfort food. Through delivery outlets, we were able to reach a broader range than the single location we had at the time. But we love having people in the shops. Obviously, that’s the fun of it.”
The Chillura siblings launched Chill Bros. after Max traveled to Italy to learn ice cream making and bring back lessons they could apply to American-style ice cream. His brother Patton is the business and real estate guru. Sister Hadley is a graphic design whiz. Younger brother Nash is in school and helps make ice cream.
With each Chillura sibling bringing their own skill set and experience to the table, the business has blossomed. To keep up with demand, they have a production facility at their location at the Epicurean, the culinary-themed hotel in Hyde Park that is itself set to go through a $17 million expansion as Tampa booms.
Now, they have expanded to an area of Water Street where several other eateries are set to open in neighboring street-level retail space over the next several months.
Coming to Water Street
Next to Chill Bros. at the Cora, Small Giant Bar & Restaurant, a neighborhood bar with craft beer and cocktails and Ohio-style pizza, and Wine on Water, a modern wine and liquor shop, are both planned to open in the next few months. The founders of Tampa-based Cru Hospitality Group are behind both restaurants.
Across the street, London-based Asian fusion restaurant Wagamama, which has U.S. locations in Boston and New York, is opening in the future at the base of Asher Residences, 1050 Water St. Ash, an Italian restaurant featuring a large outdoor patio, is also coming to the ground floor of the Asher, with a scheduled opening date of spring 2023. It will be the third restaurant at Water Street by Proper House Group and chef Ferrell Alvarez, joining Sparkman Wharf's Gallito Taqueria and Dang Dude. Proper House and Alvarez are also behind the award-winning Rooster & the Till in Seminole Heights.
A short stroll down Water Street, The Pearl, a restaurant, tavern and oyster room from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, the company behind Ocean Prime, and Three Corners Pizza, from local restauranter Noel Cruz, will open at the base of the Heron, 815 Water St.
For more information go to Chill Bros. Scoop Shop and Opening soon at Water Street.