A Historic Transformation: Abandoned Water Works Building Becomes Destination Restaurant

“Not a day goes by without a guest commenting on the quality of lighting in the restaurant.”
~ Keith Sedita | Managing Partner | Ulele Restaurant and Spring Brewery


Ulele Restaurant and Spring Brewery began as the dream of Richard Gonzmart, an established restaurateur with deep roots in Tampa, Florida. His vision was to renovate the city’s abandoned Water Works building located along the downtown waterfront, an area that could be a showcase for the city, but had been neglected for years. Gonzmart’s goal was to protect the historic significance of the building, while giving it a new purpose as an iconic Tampa destination restaurant. The menu would feature locally grown, raised, or caught foods, their own craft beers (brewed on site), and a nightly Florida sunset that punctuates the indigenous Tampa theme.


LumaStream designed a turnkey lighting system that meets the most stringent energy efficiency standards and worked with the contractors and architects to ensure the building maintained it’s historic status. Our low-voltage distribution system powers the front of house and back of house, as well as their brew house and centerpiece wine case, all of which are tied into a control system that automates complex lighting changes with the simple touch of a button. We also designed and manufactured unique, original fixtures that utilized existing historical elements of the building for this special project.

“The best feature so far has been the system’s ease of use. Virtually everything is automated, which allows our team to focus on providing a memorable experience for our customers.”
~ Keith Sedita | Managing Partner | Ulele Restaurant and Spring Brewery


  • Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing. LumaStream was able to quickly design and manufacture multiple custom fixtures which enabled the owner’s to reach their creative vision for the space. (see image right)
  • Design Engineered Light. LumaStream provides detailed design support, including photometrics that visually illustrated how Ulele’s LED lighting would look within their specific floor plan. This approach optimizes for energy efficiency, and improves ambiance, rather than simply flooding their high-end renovated space with light.
  • Art and architecture are featured with strategically designed downlight and uplight placement that accentuates the space and highlights the color and texture of plated food.
  • Lighting for Sunsets. Ulele restaurant features large windows that can be opened nightly to take advantage of beautiful sunset views. LumaStream’s low- voltage distribution technology eliminates issues with LED flicker, allowing for seamless transitional diming as the night progresses, which ensures a pleasant dining experience at Ulele and keeps the customer engaged in the local flavor.
  • A Hint of Color. Color LEDs were installed in the brewhouse, reflecting cool blue light off stainless steel fermenting tanks, and emphasizing their brewed on-site craft beer selection.
  • Touch-Button Control. Ulele’s managers make their daily lighting changes with a single touch of a button like “lunch,” “dinner,” or “cleaning.” These settings can be tweaked digitally, with no hardware changes, to ensure the managers maintain full control of the environment.



Since it’s opening Ulele has received tremendous press, both for the food and ambiance. There has been an outpouring of excitement from the community for it’s potential to revitalize this previously neglected portion of Tampa’s waterfront.

Beck Architecture crafted a modern, clean and green design, with a high-end ambiance that equals the exceptional menu, while also maintaining the historic feel of the building. LumaStream’s low-voltage LED lighting system has been dialed-in to highlight Beck’s dazzling design work within an energy efficient, highly controllable lighting design.

Lighting System: Scene Station
Location: Tampa, FL
Year: 2013
Photography: Mike Payne Photography
Artist: Beck Architecture
Designer: Daniela Marginean-Littell
Installation: Tri-City Electric