Sparkman Wharf opens to the public on Friday, bringing something entirely new to the Tampa waterfront and anchors Strategic Property Partner’s $3 billion Water Street development.
In addition to an open-air biergarten and event lawn, the multi-concept dining garden will feature new food kiosks from many of Tampa’s most celebrated chefs and restaurateurs, many of whom are getting outside of their comfort zone and trying something entirely different from their flagship restaurants.
Here’s the lineup of what to expect from Sparkman Wharf, really a circle of a dozen lavishly painted shipping containers inspired by the Florida habitat and painted by local design firm Pep Rally. Each holds a discrete and hopefully synergistic concept.
• Montados by Mise en Place is a Spanish tapas concept paired with sangria by Master Chef apprentice Marty Blitz, longtime owner of Tampa’s Mise en Place.
• Gallito Taqueria, the brainchild of chef Ferrell Alvarez of Rooster & the Till in Seminole Heights, is a modern taco shop with fun twists on classic Mexican street food.
• edison’s Swigamajig is a no-frills shanty that’s all about cocktails and the catch of the day (modeled after seafood restaurants from chef-owner Jeannie Pierola’s childhood on Anna Maria Island). Look for Pierola’s serious seafood menu and playful cocktail list.
• BT in a Box, created by chef BT Nguyen, is a fusion concept that puts a twist on classic French and Vietnamese dishes. As at her flagship Restaurant BT, Bistro BT and BT To Go, Nguyen focuses on foods that are nutritious and affordable with a keen eye to sourcing local ingredients.
• The Corners Pizza brings Detroit-style (think square slices) pizza to Tampa’s waterfront. This is a collaboration between chefs Noel Cruz (of Ichicoro, Ichicoro Ane and Ichicoro Imoto) and Anthony Messina. The ace in the hole is Messina’s Sicilian grandmother’s original dough recipe.
• Boat Run Oyster Company, developed by SaltBlock Hospitality, is a sustainable tide-to-table concept featuring farm-raised, raw oysters from Cedar Key.
• Flock & Stock focuses on American roadside favorites such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, tenders and fries.
• Foundation Coffee, owned by Jason and Emily Smith, showcases a craft coffee menu as well as breakfast sandwiches and locally baked pastries.
• Whatever Pops, masterminded by Steve McGlocklin, serves house-made gelato, acai bowls, and ice pops.