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Working from home? Spots around Tampa Bay to break the monotony

From the offbeat to the outdoors, here are plenty of options to switch up your remote work setting.
An interior look at Flower Crown Kombucha, 1607 N Franklin St, on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in Tampa. 
Flower Crown Kombucha is Tampa's first kombucha tap room. It opened in January 2021 in the former Tampa Heights Foundation Coffee location.
An interior look at Flower Crown Kombucha, 1607 N Franklin St, on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in Tampa. Flower Crown Kombucha is Tampa's first kombucha tap room. It opened in January 2021 in the former Tampa Heights Foundation Coffee location. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Jun. 9

Maybe you’re anxiously counting down the days until you can return to the office. Maybe you just heard that you won’t be heading back there at all.

Just because you can’t go back to your cubicle yet doesn’t mean that you have to stay home. We sought out places where you can sneak in some human interaction and people watching into the work day.

While this isn’t an extensive list of every co-working spot in town, hopefully these ideas will help you shake up your remote work routine.

The unusual

Jeanne Egan, who is a restaurant consultant, uses the co-working space at BE Athletic Thursday, May 27, 2021. Egan, who also works out at the gym, heard about the remote work areas from a friend who also uses a room.
Jeanne Egan, who is a restaurant consultant, uses the co-working space at BE Athletic Thursday, May 27, 2021. Egan, who also works out at the gym, heard about the remote work areas from a friend who also uses a room. [ JOHN PENDYGRAFT | Times ]

BE Athletic — A few months before the pandemic hit Florida, the Body Electric Yoga Company introduced a new gym, the Body Electric Athletic Company. Space was set aside for a cafe, where owners hoped to serve acai bowls and smoothies during the day and wine at night.

“We had all these big dreams to fill this space and then the pandemic hit and that wasn’t available,” said tech manager Allison Azcui.

That extra space is now a co-working zone, featuring cozy furniture, flowery wallpaper and funky artwork. Membership packages include perks like free parking, filtered water and discounts on merch. For $25, guests can drop in for the day and work from the lobby of The BE Athletic. 665 31st St. South, St. Petersburg. thebodyelectricyoga.com/co-work.

Dog Bar — If you want to bring your pet to work, check out Dog Bar, a combination off-leash dog park and full service bar. A day pass costs $5 per dog, and each animal must be registered to ensure that it has proper shots. There’s no cost to hang out if you’re dog-free. 2300 Central Ave, St. Petersburg. dogbarstpete.com.

Sunshine Kitty Catfe —You don’t need to be a dog person to work among animals in St. Pete. Sunshine Kitty Catfe, which opened last year, sells co-working day passes for $25. This option is only available from noon to 6 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, but Wednesdays are being added at the end of June. Remove your shoes, slip on a pair of socks, and choose from three different offices on the second floor, which come with secure WiFi and if you’re lucky, kitty cuddles.

“The cats wander in and out of the office,” said Amanda Jones, owner and “CE-MEOW” of the Sunshine Kitty Catfe. “That’s the perk of coming to co-work here, because you have kitty assistance.”

Memberships are available for $95 a month, and include eight credits for the day passes to use or share with a friend. 1669 1st Ave. S., St. Petersburg. sunshinekittycatfe.com

The great outdoors

The outdoor patio at Flower Crown Kombucha, 1607 N Franklin St, on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in Tampa. 
Flower Crown Kombucha is Tampa's first kombucha tap room. It opened in January 2021 in the former Tampa Heights Foundation Coffee location.
The outdoor patio at Flower Crown Kombucha, 1607 N Franklin St, on Thursday, March 11, 2021 in Tampa. Flower Crown Kombucha is Tampa's first kombucha tap room. It opened in January 2021 in the former Tampa Heights Foundation Coffee location. [ DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times ]
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Explore all your options

Head to the park — Many outdoor spots in Tampa and St. Pete have public WiFi available, as well as benches. The city of Tampa added WiFi to downtown parks along the river in 2014. For a list of locations in St. Pete, visit stpete.org/connect/st_pete_wi-fi.php

Related: Free WiFi now available along the river in downtown Tampa

Spaddy’s Coffee Co. — The Seminole Heights coffee truck (5206 N. Florida Ave.) is parked by a lush outdoor courtyard filled with chairs, tables and fans. Spaddy’s South Tampa brick and mortar location (6102 S. MacDill Ave.) has a mix of indoor and outdoor seating. Both have a full coffee menu, plus treats like toasts and bowls. spaddyscoffee.com

Flower Crown Kombucha - Tampa’s only kombucha taproom, which opened in Tampa Heights at the beginning of the year in the former Foundation Coffee location, has ample seating options inside and throughout its outdoor courtyard. To cater to remote workers, it also offers a “reverse happy hour” deal: $1 off drinks from 10 a.m. to noon. 1607 N Franklin St., Tampa. www.flowercrownkombucha.com

Related: Peek inside Tampa’s first kombucha taproom

For the bookworms

Team member Courtney Richards works to unpack boxes of books and display them on the shelves at Book + Bottle, 17 6th Street N., on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in St. Petersburg.
Team member Courtney Richards works to unpack boxes of books and display them on the shelves at Book + Bottle, 17 6th Street N., on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 in St. Petersburg. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]

Local libraries around Tampa Bay are an excellent free option, with WiFi and air conditioning (multiple Times staffers recommended the Gulfport Public Library, which boasts a charming courtyard and unlimited browsing and working time.) Call your preferred library first, as some still have pandemic restrictions. Locations in the St. Petersburg Library System, for example, are only open for 45 minute sessions for browsing and checkout or computer use, said library services manager Beth Lindsay.

“We are not yet set back up for personal laptop use inside the libraries, but the Wi-Fi does reach outside at all of our libraries and patrons are welcome to sit outside to use the service,” she wrote in an email.

Book + Bottle — The St. Pete bookstore-meets-coffee and wine bar has a variety of cozy seating options, plus a variety of drinks and treats from Curious Cat Bakery. 17 6th St. N. bookandbottlestpete.com

Mojo Books and Records — The space has WiFi and public restrooms, plus a recently expanded menu featuring fresh-squeezed lemonade and butter beer lattes. 2540 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. mojotampa.com

Some tips...

  • With businesses changing the way they operate, you may want to call ahead for the latest pandemic precautions and to make sure preferred amenities, like WiFi, are available.
  • Spectrum customers can set up their personal devices to access WiFi hotspots around town.
  • Arrive early, or book ahead if you can, to secure a prime spot. Many spots are still operating with reduced seating to let patrons spread out.