Sparkman Wharf plans weekend-long grand opening on Tampa waterfront

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click to enlarge Ten chefs and restaurateurs developed concepts for Sparkman Wharf inside shipping containers. - Courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
Courtesy of Strategic Property Partners
Ten chefs and restaurateurs developed concepts for Sparkman Wharf inside shipping containers.

Sparkman Wharf has unveiled the grand opening date for its main highlights on the Tampa waterfront. Originally scheduled to debut as part of the larger Water Street neighborhood in October, the highly anticipated mixed-use redevelopment's intimate dining garden, open-air biergarten and spacious recreational lawn will formally launch the weekend of Nov. 30.

Dining garden grub from the new culinary concepts — developed inside repurposed shipping containers by nine local chefs and restaurateurs, including BT Nguyen (BT in a Box), Ferrell Alvarez and Ty Rodriguez (Gallito), and Jeannie Pierola (edison's swigamajig divebar and fishkitchen) — is available during Sparkman Wharf's multiday grand opening, as is the Fermented Reality biergarten with 30-plus taps that put an emphasis on Florida craft beer.

Live music, pop-ups and fitness events on the lawn round out the celebration.

To determine its grand opening date, the ambitious project, which replaces Channelside Bay Plaza at 615 Channelside Drive, took logistics into account, including ongoing construction, tenant requirements, Thanksgiving and programing availability.

Hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, plus any time there's a Tampa Bay Lightning home game or an event going on at Amalie Arena.

"We are thrilled to announce the grand opening date of Sparkman Wharf and celebrate the first of many milestones for the Water Street Tampa neighborhood," said James Nozar, CEO of developer Strategic Property Partners, in a statement. "We anticipate that Sparkman Wharf will become a focal point and gathering place not only for visitors and the neighborhood, but the city and region at large. Sparkman Wharf celebrates Tampa Bay — the culinary talent, the craft beer scene, the weather, and the waterfront, and we could not be more excited to share Sparkman Wharf with the larger community."

Eventually, Sparkman Wharf will also feature 180,000 square feet of office space and 65,000 square feet of ground-level retail.

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