Foundation Coffee Co. is moving into the old Bunker location in Ybor City

The Bunker closed in July, and Foundation shuttered its Tampa Heights shop in March.

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click to enlarge Foundation Coffee Co. is moving into the old Bunker location in Ybor City
Joe D'Acunto

In July, when beloved Ybor City coffee shop The Bunker closed after 14 years, owner Dale Swope told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that he hoped to see the space reopen soon with “someone other than us in charge."

The search didn’t take very long.

Windows at the shop—located at 1907 N. 19th St., just a block away from Seventh Avenue and across the street from Centennial Park—are now adorned with the logo of Foundation Coffee Co., along with “Coming Soon” messaging.

Foundation, which still operates a location in Riverview, closed its Tampa Heights shop in March when an Instagram post cited the coronavirus outbreak and issues with the landlord for the closing. CL emailed Swope to get additional details on the new tenant taking over “Ybor City’s living room,” and he referred us to a rep from Foundation. We'll update the post with any comments.

When Swopes detailed his hopes for the Bunker space, he said that ownership was in talks "with people who have demonstrated a commitment to the community about just taking over, rent free and with no obligation other than to do their best."

"We are thinking there may be people who have real training in hospitality management who are now suddenly out of work who would love the chance to jump in and make it their own, perhaps with our financial support," Swope said. "The Bunker survived the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, two world wars, and being abandoned for a decade, so I’m sure it will survive this. For now, though, we are going to let it rest."

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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