The History Behind Row Boat Mediterranean and R Bar
The people behind Row Boat Mediterranean Cuisine and R Bar are no strangers to the food and beverage industry. With twenty years in the business, the team behind Row Boat knows what it takes to build a successful restaurant built on quality food and service.
Ali and Jordan, two of the founding partners of Row Boat, met while working in the food industry in California. In 1991, the two friends decided they were ready to go into business for themselves and opened Baldi Café – a small gyro and falafel restaurant in downtown San Francisco.
By 2005, that small 300 square foot restaurant had bloomed into a bustling business with a second larger location in San Francisco and three locations throughout Las Vegas.
The friends, with the help of Jordan’s brother Jad, who worked in the business for five years, created a Mediterranean food concept ready to go to the west coast.
While Ali was in California and Jordan in Las Vegas, Jad was in Tampa launching himself into the Florida food and beverage scene. In 2009, Jad along with his business partner Julie, opened a small, locally-loved bar in Ybor City called The Lower Red.
Only a year later, Jad and Julie saw the larger business potential in Ybor City and decided to close The Lower Red. Because The Lower Red had limited square footage and no kitchen capacity, Jad and Julie found a space they could grow into – the old Laughing Cat location.
Ali and Jordan joined Julie and Jad in Tampa to help launch Row Boat Mediterranean Cuisine – an addition to their already successful line of Greek restaurants. Jad and Julie also brought their nightlife experience to Row Boat and created the R Bar lounge.
Now, with a larger location, excellent selection of delicious food offerings, and comfortable bar space, Row Boat and R Bar are finally able to share great food and good times with the lively Ybor community.