1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Blind Tiger to open in Sparkman Wharf, replacing Foundation Coffee Co.

This will be Blind Tiger’s sixth Tampa Bay location.
A line leads to the Flock and Stock at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa. Soon, local coffee vendor Blind Tiger will take over one of the shipping container booths to serve its local roasts. ["TAILYR IRVINE  | TIMES"  |  Times (2018)]
A line leads to the Flock and Stock at Sparkman Wharf in Tampa. Soon, local coffee vendor Blind Tiger will take over one of the shipping container booths to serve its local roasts. ["TAILYR IRVINE | TIMES" | Times (2018)]
Published Dec. 10, 2019
Updated Dec. 10, 2019

TAMPA — As soon as Foundation Coffee Co. exited from its booth at Sparkman Wharf, Blind Tiger was ready to take over.

Owner Roberto Torres said Blind Tiger No. 6 will start serving its local roasts from inside one of Sparkman’s repurposed shipping container kiosks this Friday.

It will be the coffee shop’s soft opening ahead of its grand-opening celebration the following weekend.

Sparkman Wharf opened this time last year as a gathering spot inside Jeff Vinik’s and Strategic Property Partners $3 billion Water Street development project.

Related: Sparkman Wharf opens in Tampa to massive crowds. Here’s what it’s like.

Foundation Coffee Co., which has two full-service locations in Tampa Heights and Riverview, was among the original tenants. It ended its lease with the outdoor food court last week.

“So, Sparkman Wharf called us and we said absolutely," Torres said. “It’s very exciting.”

This isn’t the first time this year Torres has moved fast into a spot left behind by another coffee purveyor. One of his other recent expansions, a small Blind Tiger inside the WestShore Plaza mall, took over a former Starbucks. Blind Tiger also took over a large suburban Starbucks in Westchase. The original Blind Tiger opened in Ybor City in 2014.

Torres is used to adjusting his store model to the right scale. He already runs a small Blind Tiger counter space on the bottom floor of the Times Building on Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa.

Roberto Torres is the owner of Blind Tiger, which is about to open its sixth Tampa Bay location. [JONES, OCTAVIO | Tampa Bay Times]

Its new spot at Sparkman will be just 125 square feet.

The cafe will serve Blind Tiger’s coffee and specialty drinks, along with pastries, croissants, avocado toast and other light fare.


  1. More than 44 percent of people who searched on for the Tampa Bay area from June to December were outside the region, according to a report from Apartment List. Percentages in the “Top Three Sources” box represent the share of searches coming from outside the metro area. (Apartment List map) [Apartment List]
    The region trails only Denver, Baltimore and San Diego for the percentage of people from outside the area searching for apartments on Apartment List.
  2. To accommodate the swelling numbers of aging baby boomers, experts say we will need to make transportation more readily available, build more affordable housing, modify homes and apartments to help seniors age in place, and create programs to bring young and old people together. [Times (2011)]
    “There’s never been a time like this,” one expert says. Solutions include more health aides, taming long-term care costs and just healthier living.
  3. In this Sept. 20, 2017, file photo Oscar the cat sits in his carry on travel bag after arriving at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix. Airlines might soon be able to turn away cats, rabbits and all animals other than dogs that passengers try to bring with them in the cabin. The U.S. Transportation Department on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2020, announced plans to tighten rules around service animals. The biggest change would be that only dogs could qualify. (Ross D. Franklin | Associated Press] [ROSS D. FRANKLIN  |  AP]
    Soon mainly dogs would be allowed on planes, under plans announced on Wednesday.
  4. The sale of Tampa-based WellCare Health Plans to Centene Corp. is expected to close Thursday, the companies said on Wednesday. [File photo]
    The companies said Wednesday they have satisfied all regulatory approvals, including with the U.S. Department of Justice, for the merger to close.
  5. Power Design has a 22-acre campus in the Gateway area of St. Petersburg. [Rendering courtesy of Power Design]
    In settling the case with the District of Columbia Attorney General’s Office, the electricial contractor company denies that it violated worker classification laws.
  6. Rooker Properties of Atlanta plans to build at least 400,000 square feet of industrial and office space at what is now county-owned  land on Old Pasco Road, Wesley Chapel. Pictured is Rooker's Spartan Ridge Logistics Center, a 273,000-square-foot, Class-A industrial building in Spartanburg, S.C. It was constructed in 2018 and the company said the buildings planned for the Pasco County site will closely resemble this. [Rooker Properties]
    Rick Narkiewicz is seeking tenants for the planned Rooker Properties spec buildings known as North Tampa 75 Business Center.
  7. This home in Colonial Hills neighborhood in west Pasco has been vacant for 10 years, neighbors said. A new Pasco County ordinance would require the owners of vacant and rental residences to register their properties with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. [C.T. BOWEN  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    A new ordinance is supposed to aid sheriff’s deputies and code-enforcement officers dealing with rental or vacant properties.
  8. Four Tampa Bay businesses made Fortune’s list of “Most Admired Companies” in the world for 2020. Pictured is a Publix location in the Channelside district last year. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times (2019)] ["OCTAVIO JONES   |   TIMES"  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Four Tampa Bay businesses made Fortune’s list of “Most Admired Companies” in the world for 2020.
  9. After a spike last week, gas prices in the Sunshine State are down slightly. Pictured is the Courtney Campbell Causeway in 20098. [Times file] [CLIFFORD, DOUGLAS R.  |  St. Petersburg Times]
    Low demand and higher gas supply are bringing cheaper gas this week, experts said.
  10. Next month the Pirate Water Taxi will debut a 100-passenger vessel and two smaller taxis as part of an expansion of the company's routes and coverage of Tampa's waterfront. (Yacht StarShip) [Yacht StarShip]
    The service, owned by the operator of Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises, is investing $1.6 million in three new vessels and adding a long-desired stop near the Florida Aquarium.