Buddy Brew Coffee gearing up to open next shop in downtown Tampa

Ask and you shall receive.

click to enlarge In downtown Tampa, the new Buddy Brew Coffee is on the bottom floor of Park Tower. - Jenna Rimensnyder
Jenna Rimensnyder
In downtown Tampa, the new Buddy Brew Coffee is on the bottom floor of Park Tower.

After numerous requests and a little finesse, Buddy Brew Coffee founders Dave and Susan Ward are gearing up to open their latest craft coffee shop in downtown Tampa. The husband-and-wife duo’s sixth location (and sleekest one yet) officially starts keeping the neighborhood caffeinated Monday, Feb. 11.

Customers will find it on the bottom floor of the Park Tower office building at 400 N. Tampa St.

This new Buddy Brew has been in the works for nearly two years. After the Wards signed their lease in summer 2017, renovations on the shop’s 2,000-square-foot space — and the tower itself — went into full gear.

Cool gray and black tones mingle with leather accents throughout the location. The steel cutout of the Buddy Brew logo seems like the perfect backdrop for latte art photos. And coffee beans, mugs and branded socks and tees keep the merch wall shelves fully stocked.

Max del Monte, a local artist who goes by the name No Reserves™, has even created a 10-foot-by-10-foot custom piece illustrating the coffee roasting process. His work will be unveiled during the launch next week.

But the best part just might be the full-length glass doors that serve as the lobby and street entrances. They make the shop easy to find, which was difficult prior to Park Tower’s multimillion-dollar revamp.

“Years ago, people wouldn’t have known about this building if it weren’t for Lucky Dill in the back corner,” Dave said. “Now the space is much more inviting.”

The owner of the building, Larry Feldman, wanted to incorporate the community, as Dave puts it, and he knew Buddy Brew could fit the bill.

Offering full coffee and espresso service, plus sandwiches and pastries, 15 Buddy Brew employees are set to work the floor and wrap-around marble espresso bar. Dave predicts the location will fill lots of catering orders for the surrounding high-rises.

The shop features seating for up to 40 customers in a variety of forms, including a lounge area, stools at the bar and a couple of high-top community tables. It also pairs free wifi with many outlets and USB ports for keeping laptops and other portable devices charged.

“Once people are in the downtown area [and find parking], they don’t leave, so we’re ready to fill their needs to get through the workday,” he continued.

Once the doors open, cups of joe will flow from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The shop is closed on weekends to start, but it expects to expand hours of operation to meet the needs of downtown Tampa.

What’s next for the specialty roaster?

“If we don’t do something in St. Pete soon,” Dave said, “there will be a revolt.”

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