TAMPA, Fla. (April 2016) — Caledon Concepts, the Tampa Bay company that operates four upscale restaurants in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando, today announced the addition of three top-level restaurant professionals to its management team.
“These three professionals are high achievers and the best of the best in our industry,” said Joe Orsino, a Caledon Concepts partner. “They will lead new initiatives for the restaurants in food, wine, spirits, ambiance and guest service.”
Caledon Concepts’ restaurants include Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant locations in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando, and Rococo Steak in St. Petersburg.
The three new team members are:
LEE KARLINS: President; Lee graduated from Johnson & Wales University. He has more than 26 years of restaurant industry leadership experience, beginning with Bennigans /Steak and Ale, along with eight years at Outback Steakhouse. He then joined Stonewood Grill & Tavern in Ormond Beach, where he became East Coast Regional Director of Operations. He also served as Beverage Director, where he re-designed the company’s beverage program. Most recently he was with 2BHospitality, which owns BellaBrava and Stillwaters Tavern on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg, Florida. “I appreciate the opportunity given to me and look forward to working with the entire team to deliver exceptional hospitality to each and every guest.”
DAVE MADERA: Director of Development; A Tampa native, Madera has 22 years of experience in the restaurant business, including 15 years as a general manager. He was General Manager and Wine Director at Mise en Place, one of Tampa’s most popular fine dining restaurants. Dave also created and managed the wine list at First Flight, a wine bar at the Tampa International Airport. Pursuing his passion for wine, Dave has traveled to France, Italy, Spain, Oregon and California. “I have a commitment to excellence and want to provide enlightened hospitality to each guest.”
RO PATEL: Director of Development; Patel’s career began at London’s iconic Atlantic Bar & Grill in the early 1990s, where he mastered the fine art of cocktail making and bar management. He has consulted on concepts including Enigma in the Bahamas, Grand Pacific Blue Room in Sydney and Felix in Washington DC. Ro was part of the team that helped relaunch Virgin Atlantic Airways multi award winning flagship project ‘Clubhouse’. More recently, he relocated to Tampa Bay, where he has been involved in a number of bar concepts, including Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club – well known for its award winning bar and cocktail culture. Ro has won many local and national awards including a nomination for ‘Best new bar in the world’ at Tales of the Cocktails.
“Lee, Dave and Ro bring an amazing level of talent, skills and energy with them,” Orsino said. “We now have a team in place that truly understands our market – they have experience that is diversified, and talent, creativity and vision that is unmatched.”
The three, along with current members of the Caledon team, will work on new initiatives for the four existing restaurants as well as possible new projects in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Orlando and elsewhere.
The Ceviche and Rococo restaurants have been named top dining destinations in Florida by such national publications as the New York Times, Forbes, and USA Today. Ceviche holds the Guinness World Record for the largest pitcher of sangria ever produced; Rococo Steak was awarded the coveted “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator for its prestigious wine collection.