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About Square 1


The Birth of the Square 1 Burgers & Bar Concept

Once upon a time (1964) in Norman, Oklahoma, Bill Shumate opened his first restaurant, a burger joint called "Across the Street" (it was located across the street from the University of Oklahoma). Many years and restaurants later, he yearned to go back to his restaurant roots: burgers. In 2006, he and his partner, Joanie Corneil, began developing a new concept for a burger restaurant in Tampa and named it "Square 1 Burgers." Bill is back to Square 1.

Awesome: The History Pt. 1

Many years before the American plains flowed with wheat and corn, before the great gold rush and railroad west, before manifest destiny and Louis and Clark, there was AWESOME the humble cow. Not too pretty, not too dowdy, she was a girl of integrity and adventure. Awesome spent her days in the sun in the rolling hills of American anywhere, chewing the vibrant grass and breathing the wind. She charged head long into the horizon with abandon and hope of adventure she could not see. Then she would return to her peaceful patch, seeking rest and comfort, but always looking to the sky for a key to what lay beyond the scope of her world. A twinkle. A spark. Anything that bade her welcome to a new world the likes of which none of her herd had seen. This was her everyday. Pushing a little further beyond...

One night, after many hours and leagues thru the grass, she nestled down in her cool dirt bed, waiting for the sleep and dreams to come. Though on this night, a spark in the sky like a razor of flame scorched the night from where the sun set to where the sun rose. Awesome knew, as the bright orange streak reflected in her big black eyes, that this light was a sign for the rest of her life. And she MUST follow. She kicked herself from her home and fell hellbent on all heels after the spark that would change her life. To be continued...

Awesome Cow

So wait, why is Square 1 so good?

Of course, the quality and popularity of Square 1 Burgers is no surprise, since Bill Shumate and Joanie Corneil have owned and operated Bella's Italian Café, the ever-popular restaurant in Tampa's Hyde Park, for nearly 30 years.

In 2010 Joanie and Bill partnered with Tampa businessman Ray Leich to develop the Square 1 brand. Together they have expanded to nine locations across West Central Florida in under four years.


Bill Shumate, Joanie Corneil & Ray Leich

Vice President of Operations

Bill Milner

Bella Cow

More About Bella's Italian Café

Bella's Italian Café, located at 1413 South Howard Avenue in South Tampa, is one of the longest-standing and most popular establishments in the area. Outlasting many trends and come-and-go concepts, Bella's continues to be a favorite destination for those seeking the distinct flavors of Italy.