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Blind Tiger owner acquires Cass Street Deli, opens Embarc Collective cafe

The new year may have just started, but Roberto Torres already has two new business ventures.

TAMPA — Roberto Torres has had a busy start to the new year. Not only has the Blind Tiger founder opened his seventh coffee shop, but he’s now added a deli to his list of business ventures.

Torres first opened Blind Tiger in Ybor City in 2014. This year, the local entrepreneur expanded outside his signature brand with Endeavr Coffee and now with the Cass Street Deli.

Related: Blind Tiger to open coffee concept, Endeavr, at Vinik’s Embarc Collective

Endeavr is located inside Jeff Vinik’s new space for budding tech companies, Embarc Collective. The cafe had a soft opening on Monday at 802 E Whiting St. Torres told the Tampa Bay Times he acquired the New York-style Jewish deli, Cass Street Deli, at the beginning of the month.

Torres will use Endeavr and the deli, which is located at 1331 W Cass St., together to fulfill catering orders at the startup space, where his team is the preferred caterer.

“Everything that Mr. Vinik does is gold,” Torres said, “and we want to make sure we have the support of a full-service kitchen.”

Torres said Endeavr already has 100 catering orders through 2020 because of Embarc events. Prior to the deli purchase, Torres only had access to a small food prep area inside the new startup building.

Cass Street Deli first opened in North Hyde Park in July. Torres did not share the specifics of the purchase and new partnership, but said co-founder Sean O’Brien will continue as the deli’s general manager.

Cass Street has already won over Tampa Bay with its tasty New York deli classics. The menu has staples like matzo ball soup, corned beef sandwiches and, of course, pastrami.

Cass Street Deli, which has a new owner, sources the links for its hot dogs from local favorite Tambuzzo Sausage Company. [Courtesy of Cass Street Deli]
Related: Cass Street Deli is now open in Tampa's Hyde Park

Torres said the deli expanded its menu last week and is now open on the weekends from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., but closed Monday and Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Endeavr is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although it’s inside of Embarc, the coffee shop is open to the community.