Grand opening formally welcomes Portico Cafe to Tampa on Friday

Downtown Tampa's newest cafe aims to do more than serve up coffee.

click to enlarge Tampa's Portico Cafe is housed at the Portico, the former campus of First United Methodist. - theportico.org
theportico.org
Tampa's Portico Cafe is housed at the Portico, the former campus of First United Methodist.

A local nonprofit is behind downtown Tampa's latest coffee shop, whose grand opening is planned for 10 a.m. Friday.

The Portico Cafe is located at the Portico — an organization dedicated to "enhancing the social, artistic and spiritual fabric of Tampa" — at 1001 N. Florida Ave. In addition to serving up breakfast and lunch fare and a number of drinks for patrons in need of a caffeine fix, the new cafe hires some of its staff from other nonprofit agencies in the area. Doing so allows the Portico Cafe to provide staff members with a living wage and healthcare, and each food or drink purchase also helps support the Portico's homeless initiatives.

Menu items include fancy toast options that still seem to be in vogue (think toppings like avocado, lime, chili flakes and sea salt), smoothies, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, desserts, and everything from caramel macchiatos to iced chai lattes.

"We are excited to be a part of Tampa's revitalization," said the Rev. Justin LaRosa, director of the Portico, in a statement. "Our purpose is to foster important conversation, connection, and participate in community change. The Portico Cafe embodies that purpose."

Mayor Bob Buckhorn is set to attend Friday's formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, and the cafe operates 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

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