Egypt Shrine will keep renting out A La Carte Event Pavilion while waiting for buyer

Published Oct. 9, 2015

TAMPA — The "for sale" sign will stay up. But until a deal is struck, Egypt Shrine will rent its popular A La Carte Event Pavilion on its own.

Starting Feb. 1, event planners may rent the meeting space, the covered terrace and outdoor barbecue area at what will be renamed A La Carte Shrine Pavilion.

While the property remains for sale, the venue will become more of a DIY-operation for weddings and social events.

Brides, charities, krewes, and anyone else reserving the space will need to hire from a list of approved caterers, florists, deejays and other vendors. The Shriners hold a liquor license and will handle alcoholic beverages at the banquet hall.

The asking price for the 13-acre property on Dana Shores Drive, west of Tampa International Airport, remains $15 million.

A dozen developers and two religious organizations expressed interest in the catering facility after longtime operator Bloomin' Brands announced it would let its lease expire Dec. 31.

"Two verbal offers and two letters of intent didn't get off the block," said James Lich, the Shriners' second vice president.

Lich said the renting the pavilion will be a short-term solution to generate income for the Shriners' transportation fund until the property is sold.

Rental rates are being finalized, Lich said. He suggested prospective clients could save thousands of dollars by sourcing their own food and entertainment.

"We will honor all community commitments through 2016," Lich said. "We'll see about 2017."