Café con Tampa moves to Willa's in North Hyde Park

 Café con Tampa, the long-running Friday morning speaker and community conversations series, is on the move.

Starting Friday, March 10th, the event will meet at Willa’s restaurant, 1700 W. Fig St., in the North Hyde Park neighborhood. In a message announcing the move, Café Con Tampa President PJ Summerville says the new venue is in a bustling urban area with a thriving foodie scene and that will provide a new experience for the weekly event. Summerville notes that   Café Con Tampa has moved before to support and be part of emerging urban areas. The event started at Hugo’s when the South Howard Avenue and Hyde Park areas were evolving and then moved to the Oxford Exchange.

The new location offers ample free parking and room to grow the event, Summerville says. The cost to attend will remain $12 and includes breakfast. For those who cannot pay, scholarships are available to cover the cost. The event is open to the public.

The Café Con Tampa series brings in a weekly guest speaker to discuss cultural, social, political and civic issues. 

“We provide conversation each week that we hope will be insightful and informative for whoever attends,” Summerville says. 

Historic preservation has been a common topic over the years. But Summerville says one issue comes up more than anything else.

“Transportation for the longest time has been our number one issue that people keep saying they want to learn about,” she says. “And it still is. If it’s a contentious issue, we get people pro and con to provide insight on what the points of view are in the city.”

Each week, anyone attending for the first time is given an opportunity to stand and introduce themselves. Going around the room, attendees also get 30 seconds to make any community announcements they’d like to share with the group.

“That informs everyone in the room,” Summerville says.

The topic for this Friday’s Café Con Tampa is “The Incubation of Stageworks at Grand Central: A Model for Growing the Arts, Real Estate & Community.” The speakers are Karla Hartley and Andrea Graham of Stageworks Theatre and Ken Stoltenberg, one of the developers of Grand Central at Kennedy.

For more information go to Café Con Tampa.
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Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.