The Columbia Restaurant, Florida’s Oldest Restaurant, was founded in 1905 in Ybor City.   In 1902, Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., the “Don” of the Hernandez-Gonzmart generations had  left his home in Havana for a new life in Ybor City, Fla., the cigar capital of the world, with his wife, Adela, and four sons, where he started the Saloon Columbia. Grateful to be in the land of opportunity, he adopted the name of his new café from the popular song “Columbia, Gem of the Ocean”.

To honor the first and second generation family members of the 106-year-old Columbia, Richard Gonzmart, a fourth generation family member of The Columbia,  created a private label spirits line:

don casimiro rum bottleDon Casimiro Classic Silver Rum $18                                                                                                                                                              chacho bourbon bottle

Chacho Bourbon Whiskey $36: a smooth tasting, small-batch that is aged in oak 121-proof bourbon. Evelio “Chacho” Hernandez, the youngest son of Casimiro Hernandez Sr., roasted coffee for the family business for over 55 years. Chacho, short for “muchacho” or “the kid,” was known for his youthful warm-heartedness and zest for life. But his love of bourbon sometimes surpassed his love of roasting the best coffee in Ybor City.

Don Casimiro Classic Silver Rum and Chacho Bourbon Whiskey are made by Terressentia in Charleston, South Carolina.used in the bars and kitchens and  served in all seven Columbia locations in Florida, and sold in gift shops adjacent to the Columbia in Tampa’s Ybor City, and in Sarasota on St. Armands Circle.

All Columbia Restaurants are owned and operated by 4th and 5th generation members of the founding family. For additional information:  www.columbiarestaurant.com

 

 

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