Sparkman Wharf brings new restaurants, retail and entertainment to The Channel District

Rising along with Elevé 61 in the Channel District is Sparkman Wharf. This new outdoor waterfront destination is under a five-minute walk from Elevé 61 and will provide excellent dining, entertainment, and shopping opportunities. This project is designed by the Strategic Property Partners a partnership between Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik and Cascade Investment LLC, the capital fund created by Bill Gates.

The name and theme are a homage to Tampa Bay’s first congressman Stephen M. Sparkman who acquired $448,350 of federal funding in 1905 to dredge a shipping channel shaping Tampa Bay’s future. When asked about the project, James Nozar, CEO of Strategic Property Partners, stated, “He was a mover and shaker in Tampa. We’re using his legacy to rebrand a reimagined Channelside.” With the creative use of actual repurposed shipping containers featuring a curated blend of unexpected tastes and experiences, this is about what’s happening Tampa and in metropolitan areas around the country.

Sparkman Wharf will encompass a 1-acre outdoor lawn, 180,000 square feet of office space and 65,000 square feet of retail space with an estimated completion in early 2020. The 1-acre waterfront lawn is slated to open this month and will include a stage featuring local artists, a biergarten with local craft beers on tap, and nine restaurants housed in re-purposed shipping containers. Below are the concepts opening this month.

The Biergarten — Managed by Joel Bigham and Daniel Charley, it will include a 3,000 square-foot covered bar with comfortable seating, televisions and even a cooling mister system. This covered bar will include over 30 beers on tap with most being local Florida craft beers. Along with beer they will offer wine, natural sodas, and other beverages.

Foundation Coffee — Owned by Emily and Jason Smith, a local husband and wife duo with two current shops in the Tampa Bay area, this outlet will serve high-quality craft coffee.

Edison’s Swigamajig — As a spin off from Jeannie Pierola’s “Edison’s Food and Drink Lab,” the concept will be an excellent combination of a fish shack and dive bar. The restaurant will be housed in two of the ten shipping containers.

Flock & Stock — Brought to the Sparkman Wharf by Dave Burton, a partner of the Getaway in St. Petersburg as well as Holy Hog BBQ, Heights Melts and Heights Fish Market in Tampa Bay.  This concept will offer American roadside classics such as burgers, chicken sandwiches, tenders and fries.

BT-in-a-Box — A concept by BT Nguyen who has been creating Vietnamese dishes in the Tampa Bay area for years. She will serve portable, small plate portions with an emphasis on organically sourced local meat and produce.

Montados — This small-plate restaurant featuring Spanish tapas and wines will be run by Maryann Ferenc, Marty Blitz, and Ben Carson.

The Corners Pizza — Noel Cruz and Anthony Messina will bring a Detroit-style pizza to the garden. Detroit pizza is known for being square with crisp cheesy edges. Noel Cruz is known for Ichicoro, a local Tampa ramen restaurant that is in Armature Works (a similar downtown food hall concept).

Boat Run Oyster Co. — Co-founded by Ryan Conigliaro and Scott J. Roberts is a spin-off of SaltBlock Hospitality, another local restaurant. They will feature seasonal Florida fish including chargrilled and raw oysters, local shrimp rolls, stone crab and more.

Whatever Pops — Steve McGlocklin’s concept will feature gelato, acai bowls, waffles on a stick and many gourmet popsicle flavors. This is a Tampa classic currently available in Seminole Heights.

Gallito — Ferrel Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez will bring tacos to the garden. The partners are the masterminds behind the Rooster and the Till, a farm-to-table restaurant in Seminole Heights.