December 23, 2016

Current Expansion of Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa To Require Closing of Grey Salt Restaurant

TAMPA, Fla.  (December 23, 2016) – Changes in the construction and expansion project currently underway at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa have necessitated the closing of the complex’ Grey Salt restaurant, which will close in February, 2017.

“We are disappointed to announce the closing of Grey Salt,” said Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino President John Fontana, “but changes to the design of our current expansion project leave us no choice at this time.  Chef and Grey Salt creator Marc Murphy and his team have been exceptional partners,” continued Fontana.  “We appreciate their hard work and devotion to Grey Salt, and hope our paths cross again in the future.”

“I have a first class team at Grey Salt and appreciate their dedication and hard work,” said Chef Murphy.  “I am already looking forward to finding a new home for my Mediterranean-inspired eatery.”

According to Fontana, no team members will lose their jobs.  Employees of Grey Salt are being given alternate job assignments immediately as well as priority in hiring for existing food and beverage outlets at the Seminole Hard Rock.

Guests at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa can continue to enjoy a wide array of food and beverage offerings, including Council Oak Steaks & Seafood, Hard Rock Cafe, Fresh Harvest, Rise Kitchen & Bakery and many more.

The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa has been undergoing a construction and renovation project since June.  The project includes an additional parking garage with 750 spaces, a new 30,000-square-foot premium gaming area, a new state-of-the-art poker room and a new, expanded porte-cochere entrance.’

Marc Murphy owns the Grey Salt brand.  For more information and to stay up to date, please visit

About Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa
Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa is the premier entertainment destination of Central Florida.  Owned and operated by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the property is one of the most successful and largest casinos in the world.  Located off I-4 at North Orient Road and Hillsborough Avenue, about 10 minutes east of downtown Tampa, the casino features high stakes table games, thousands of the hottest slot machines, as well as a new smoke-free slots area offering 250 popular games.  The hotel is AAA Four Diamond-rated and offers award-winning Zagat-rated restaurants, including the fine dining venue Council Oak Steaks & Seafood.  A newly renovated Rock Spa® is also available along with a plethora of VIP services.  For more information, please call 866-502-PLAY or visit us online and via FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

About Marc Murphy
Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he’ll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Washington D.C., and Rome. For some, growing up the son of a globetrotting diplomat might have been stressful, yet for Murphy, this dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, and afforded him the luxury of learning from a young age just how much he loved the world of cooking and of restaurants. Since then, Murphy has logged more than 20 years in the restaurant business, working in some of the world’s most highly esteemed kitchens, including Le Miraville in Paris, and Le Cirque in New York. He was also the Executive Chef at Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World in the World Trade Center, La Fourchette and Chinoiserie.

In March 2004, Murphy opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Murphy opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007, Murphy was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the prestigious Time Warner Center where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013, Murphy opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York’s iconic West 57th streets serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Murphy’s restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as Executive Chef and Owner. In addition to the restaurants, Murphy also heads up the company’s catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations.

Today, Murphy’s involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on The Food Network’s highest rated hit show, CHOPPED as well as appearances on IRON CHEF AMERICA, GUYS’S GROCERY GAMES, BEAT BOBBY FLAY, WORST COOKS IN AMERICA, UNIQUE EATS, THE BEST THING I EVER ATE, THE BEST THING I EVER MADE, THE RACHAEL RAY SHOW and THE TODAY SHOW among others. He is the President of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School’s Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012, Marc joined the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc’s debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking was released in April 2015.


Nikki Yourison, Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, (813) 627-7623, [email protected]
Gary Bitner, Bitner Group, (954) 849-9201, [email protected]