Lepley’s Kitchen and Lounge is on the verge of its soft opening in the former Social House location in Seminole Heights. The establishment, named after its owner, Tyler Lepley, renowned for his roles in “Harlem” and “P-Valley,” will make its debut at the end of this month, with a soft launch scheduled for Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29.
Tyler Lepley, a Los Angeles-based actor, was introduced to Tampa by a friend and business collaborator. Amid his nationwide travels, he discovered a welcoming atmosphere in Tampa, coupled with the city’s promising growth, prompting him to select it as the location for his inaugural restaurant venture.
Lepley’s Kitchen and Lounge offers a delectable fusion of Southern comfort cuisine with a Caribbean twist. Expect mouthwatering dishes like spicy jerk lamb chops served over creamy mashed potatoes and asparagus, along with blackened salmon Rasta Pasta. The restaurant also boasts a well-stocked liquor bar.
Lepley and his associates collaborated closely with a Bahamian chef, drawing on Lepley’s Jamaican heritage from his father’s side. The restaurant’s staff and other proprietors also have Caribbean roots.
While Tyler Lepley portrays a chef in “Harlem,” the decision to open a restaurant was not solely influenced by his on-screen role. However, he did find joy in the experience of working in the kitchen, stemming mainly from his passion for hosting home game nights filled with food, beverages, and music.
“My love of food and giving people love through food and an experience is really what led me to opening my first business,” he said.
With delays in production due to writers and actors’ strikes affecting the shows he’s involved in, Tyler Lepley found the opportunity to concentrate on bringing his restaurant to life.
The restaurant venue offers both indoor and outdoor seating, along with a rooftop bar. Its exterior, painted in a deep midnight blue, will showcase a striking mural of a gold flower crafted by the local artist duo, Pep Rally. Inside, the space is adorned with a bright atmosphere, featuring a bar with a marble-like finish and accents of gold.
While the soft opening is scheduled for the end of the month, Lepley mentioned that the grand opening will take place closer to December. He and his team are actively seeking a charitable organization to partner with, aiming to support causes such as homelessness and foster care.
Tyler Lepley envisions the restaurant as a hub for hosting various events, including watch parties for the shows he stars in. He aims to draw a diverse crowd of tastemakers, influencers, fellow actors, and celebrities.
“I think it’s good for the city because if you’re not from here, you don’t realize how much potential and how much Tampa really has,” he said “So bringing some of these stars here is going to let them understand that hey, we got something special here in Tampa, too.”
Lepley’s Kitchen and Lounge is situated at 6310 N. Florida Ave., Tampa. The soft opening is scheduled for 4-11 p.m. on both Saturday, October 28, and Sunday, October 29.