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Original Busch Gardens Hospitality House gets makeover as taproom

Springs Taproom replaces the Garden Gate Cafe, an evolution of the park’s original Hospitality House when it opened in 1959.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay opened Springs Taproom, a new casual and laidback lounge located in the Bird Gardens area of the park. Springs Taproom replaces Garden Gate Café, an evolution of what once was the iconic Hospitality House, available to guests when Busch Gardens made its grand opening to the public in 1959.
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay opened Springs Taproom, a new casual and laidback lounge located in the Bird Gardens area of the park. Springs Taproom replaces Garden Gate Café, an evolution of what once was the iconic Hospitality House, available to guests when Busch Gardens made its grand opening to the public in 1959. [ Busch Gardens ]
Published Jan. 3|Updated Jan. 3

The last vestiges of the original Hospitality House at Busch Gardens, an original building when the park opened in 1959, has gotten a modern makeover as the Springs Taproom, a laidback lounge with small bites and 12 draft beers on tap.

When Busch Gardens opened more than 60 years ago, it featured a lush, admission-free garden to promote the products of the Anheuser-Busch brewery. There were free tours of the brewery and free samples of beer in the Hospitality House.

The park has since evolved into a zoo-like setting with 10 thrill rides, the most of any theme park in Florida.

Related: What a wild ride: A look back 60 years of Busch Gardens thrill rides

The opening of the Springs Taproom is another evolution, as theme parks adapt to visitors’ taste for craft beers, cocktails and small Mediterranean bites.

“The new venue, located in the Bird Gardens area of the park, features a calm pond and exuberant landscaping, which will provide a relaxing setting for guests to sip different types of brews,” a news release from the park said.

Busch Gardens has opened the Springs Taproom, a makeover of the Garden Gate Cafe. It keeps its mid-century vibe in the architecture but adds a modern evolution of craft beers, cocktails and small Mediterranean bites.
Busch Gardens has opened the Springs Taproom, a makeover of the Garden Gate Cafe. It keeps its mid-century vibe in the architecture but adds a modern evolution of craft beers, cocktails and small Mediterranean bites. [ Busch Gardens ]

Springs Taproom replaces the Garden Gate Cafe, itself an evolution of what once was the iconic Hospitality House when Busch Gardens opened to the public in 1959.

The new venue has been rethemed with a mix of modern decoration and classic photos, “taking guests on a journey down memory lane,” the park announcement said.

A total of 12 draft beer options, some available year-round and others rotating seasonally, as well as frozen beverages they call “frosé” and “frojito,” will be served daily. Some of the food items available to pair with the beer and cocktails selection include a Mediterranean sampler, fresh fruit and other snack options.

The Garden Gate Cafe, shown here in 2019, is the former Hospitality House at Busch Gardens when it opened in 1959. It has gotten a new makeover as the Springs Taproom with a dozen beers on tap, cocktails and small bites.
The Garden Gate Cafe, shown here in 2019, is the former Hospitality House at Busch Gardens when it opened in 1959. It has gotten a new makeover as the Springs Taproom with a dozen beers on tap, cocktails and small bites. [ Busch Gardens ]