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Up a tree: Eatery looks to California redwoods for inspiration

Thee Tree House is south Tampa's latest unique restaurant concept.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. December 7, 2018
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At Thee Tree House, customers can get cocktails made with CBD oil. Courtesy photo.
At Thee Tree House, customers can get cocktails made with CBD oil. Courtesy photo.

Want a unique dining experience? Try looking up.

That’s what Mike Piper did. Inspired by a trip to California and its majestic redwoods, he’s created a treehouse-themed restaurant in south Tampa.

The eatery, Thee Tree House, is Piper’s first go at restaurant ownership after he helped to create successful concepts like Jackson’s Waterfront Bistro in downtown Tampa and the recently opened WTR Pool at the Godfrey Hotel in Rocky Point.

“I was like, ‘Wow, you could put a real house in these trees, even maybe a restaurant,’” Piper tells Coffee Talk about his California trip. “It triggered something in my head.”

Thee Tree House will open for business Dec. 7, at 1809 W. Platt St., nestled between the popular SoHo and Hyde Park Village neighborhoods. It replaces the Platt Street Borough Bar & Eatery.

The "420" cocktail. Courtesy photo.

Piper has completely renovated the property, adding overgrown foliage, exposed wood and decorative artwork by local artists such as Michael Vahl, whose work appears in the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, and muralist Mike Jenney. Its outdoor bar is fitted with rope swings for seating instead of stools, adding to the treehouse image. 

Though he declined to disclose the budget for the project, Piper says “seven figures” have been put into acquiring and renovating the property. He’s the sole owner but has a couple of silent partners.

It’s not just the décor that’s unique. Thee Tree House's menu features drinks and dishes made with CBD oil, extracted from low-THC hemp plants, including a cocktail dubbed “420” that releases a safe, non-toxic fog.

“There are a lot of great places in Tampa to eat, but they don’t necessarily give you a fun experience,” Piper says. “Obviously the food can be an experience, but we wanted to go beyond that. We’re trying to be a little more creative, a little more fun. We’re not fine dining — we’re fun dining.”


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