With a goal to create a neighborhood restaurant serving food that people want to eat all the time, Tampa natives Nate Siegel and Merrin Jenkins pride themselves on supporting their city’s locals and visitors alike.
Willa’s is located at 1700 W. Fig St., and its casual all-day café, Willa’s Provisions, is right next door.
“We found a special building in a special neighborhood that we thought was being underserved,” explains Siegel regarding the reasoning behind Willa’s location. “We wanted to build and set roots in the North Hyde Park community and grow with it.”
Willa’s got its name from William “Willie” Lowry, a Tampa Pioneer who devoted quite a bit of time making Tampa great. Jenkins is Willie’s great-granddaughter, and both she and Siegel plan to make their own mark on the city.
“What makes Willa’s unique is its connection and love for the community it serves,” says Siegel. “We have an attentive, diverse and engaging team that remembers regulars.”
Willa’s founders strive to become the best place to work in town, and currently employ around 60 people.
Willa’s recently introduced a new brunch menu at the main restaurant as well as a quick and healthy lunch menu at Willa’s Provisions. Willa’s is also offering a new “Willa’s Wing House” takeout menu for football season.
On Sunday, October 24th, Willa’s hosted a recovery brunch following the 10th annual Tampa Pig Jig and plans to continue finding ways to give back to the place it calls home. Siegel and Jenkins want the community to know that it is an essential part of what they do.
“The community of Tampa is woven into the recipe of Willa's,” says Siegel “There is no Willa's without Tampa!”
With years of experience in the hospitality industry, both Siegel and Jenkins know what it takes to be successful and create an environment that keeps people coming back. Siegel spent time in New York working for the Keith McNally Restaurant Group, Chelsea Hotels, and Tacombi. Most recently, Siegel worked as the VP of Operations at Mise En Place Hospitality in Tampa. She has also worked for several non-profits, including the Tampa Museum of Art, New York University, and the Akilah Institute. Most recently, she served as the Director of Institutional Advancement for the Akilah Institute, an award-winning women's college in Rwanda educating female leaders for a sustainable future.
Siegel and Jenkins agree that having a vision for Willa’s and seeing it exceed all expectations has been one of the best parts of opening, and they are excited to see everything Willa’s will become in the future.
You can view more about Willa’s, including menus and hours of operations here