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Party like it’s 1905

Written By Administrator On September 19, 2008

at Columbia in Celebration Sunday

Columbia Columbia, the oldest restaurant in Florida, is celebrating its anniversary Sunday by offering limited menu items at laughingly low prices. And you don’t have to go to Ybor City, the original location, to take advantage. The deal is good at the Celebration location Sunday, September 21, from noon to 7 p.m.
Some of the available menu items include: soups to be sipped for 50 cents; chicken and yellow rice is $2.95; boliche is $2.95; sangria is 95 cents; and flan is half a buck. A couple of rules: reservations will not be accepted (take something to read while you wait), and no takeout.

Columbia claims to be 103 years old but is actually a couple of years older (they always lie about their age). After many years of observing 1905 as the date the restaurant first opened in Tampa’s Ybor City, owner Richard Gonzmart discovered a reference to the restaurant in December of 1903. But with “since 1905” plastered all over the menus and business cards, the Gonzmart family just decided to keep that quiet. Too bad — 1903 prices would probably be cheaper than 1905!
Columbia likes to thnk of itself as a Spanish restaurant, but its menu has more ties to Cuba. And much of the menu takes liberties with tradition. My experiences with the restaurant have been spotty. But give me 95 cent sangrias and I can be very fogiving.
Columbia is at 649 Front St., Celebration. Click here for the official Web site. (No, not there, here.)

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