A Tampa staple, Nicko’s Diner in Seminole Heights, closed late last year to the dismay of so many in the community.  A diner has been at that location since 1951, when it opened as Ayres Diner.  On August 8th, the Chop Chop Shop announced they were moving into the location and would keep the existing structure.

Here’s the official announcement from the Chop Chop Facebook Page.

BIG news!

We’re happy and honored to announce the Chop Chop crew will be taking the reigns at the historic, iconic to SH/Tampa, Nicko’s Diner. Originally Ayres Diner (1951). A quick history, it’s a Mountain View Diner built in NJ and shipped to Tampa (just the front service/dining area), and is the last remaining of four shipped to Tampa for the Ayres Diner company. Built to “..last a life time”, according to the makers. Just a bad*ss restaurant/kitchen. Also, yes, Elvis ate there in 1956, and yes, there will always be an Elvis Booth.

The diner’s character will be preserved, of course, and updated to fit our style and operations. Almost all of the original diner design elements will remain in tact, and it will still feel like you’re in a diner, but definitely in Chop Chop Shop. That’s right, this means red and black everywhere! Haha. But now with some serious original 50’s style stainless steel work.

Improvements will be ongoing as we work to restore/improve the space, but we’ll be cooking at the Diner at the beginning of October! Official date will be announced as soon as it is definite.

New stuff: PARKING (32+ on site parking spaces), 50+ seats, food runner/busser service, fountain drinks, beer (coming soon), adjusted hours, menu additions/changes

Regarding the original Shop location, this will be the LAST TWO months to eat Chop Chop Shop in its ORIGINAL location. We’re keeping this original space for another concept (TBA), but damn, this is/was the spot. Many lifetime memories made in it and many more to come in its next journey.

Further details to come.


This is a great outcome for that historic spot and we know the community will come out in force to support the Chop Chop Tampa.