TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - A young man’s drive to succeed has led him to start a new concept in fine dining.
“Is it your first time here? Okay so you are in for a pretty good experience,” said the welcoming Jamal Wilson.
“It’s the first food hall in the country and yes I am the owner and developer behind it,” said Wilson, the 44-year-old entrepreneur who started the Hall on Franklin about two years ago.
“I decided I wanted to have a full service food hall where you can come in and sit down,” added Wilson. “The server will come to you, you can order from any restaurant and you only swipe your card once.”
Wilson was born in New Jersey and came to Tampa when he was 15. He played basketball at Tampa Prep and after college, played professional basketball overseas for five years. “I’m almost basically Tampa bred and raised. I love Tampa, I love the community,” he said.
After basketball, Wilson started a real estate business and sold it in 2013 to start the food hall. “I’m just thankful that I had this opportunity. I’m really humbled by the fact that people continue to support us because there are so many options now in Tampa,” continued Wilson.
Wilson says his inner drive has led him to success. “For me, failure is the problem. It's wanting to do something and not doing it. It was stressing me out not trying it, so for me, I was willing to take the risk to see if what I thought in my mind would work physically and in reality,” said Wilson.
Jaclyn Tondreault loves the concept of six restaurants under one roof. “If you are not quite sure what you want to eat that day, you know there are plenty of options to choose from,” she said.
“I’m very proud of the fact that we are in the first food hall in Tampa. You can't ever take that away,” said Wilson.
Wilson is changing the Tampa landscape with his innovation and commitment.
He plans to open halls in St. Pete and Orlando later this year.
For more information about the Hall on Franklin visit here.