Sadly, Bill Shumate, FRLA member and the owner of Bella’s Italian Cafe in Tampa, passed away last night, peacefully, in his sleep. He had been suffering with Lewy Body Dementia for several years and recently had a fall that badly bruised his ribs and put him in the hospital.
He was an inspiration and guiding light to us all.
Bill opened his first restaurant, “Across the Street,” in Norman, Oklahoma, in 1963. Following that were many more restaurants—including a 900-seat disco!
Bella’s was his favorite.
He has probably already started looking for a good location in heaven, catering to clientele of a higher power.
We love you, Bill Shumate.
November 27, 1930–July 7, 2020