Tampa Marriott Waterside getting makeover from chef-restaurateur Richard Sandoval

The culinary pioneer will lead the development of two new concepts.

click to enlarge Richard Sandoval is a restaurateur and Culinary Institute of America-trained chef. - Courtesy of RS Hospitality
Courtesy of RS Hospitality
Richard Sandoval is a restaurateur and Culinary Institute of America-trained chef.

Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina has joined forces with a renowned chef and restaurateur to give its food and beverage offerings a makeover. Richard Sandoval, a modern Latin cuisine pioneer known for fresh, vibrant and interactive dishes, will lead part of the downtown property’s multiphase renovation by developing two new concepts on the ground floor: Garrison Tavern and a not-yet-named venue.

Both are billed as original to Tampa Marriott Waterside, and they also mark the first Bay area ventures for Sandoval’s international RS Hospitality group.

“We are excited to be part of the growing scene that is Water Street Tampa,” said Richard Sandoval, CEO of RS Hospitality, in a statement. “More importantly, we feel honored to work with the exceptional team at the Tampa Marriott Waterside and be a part of its transformation.”

Slated to open early next year, Garrison Tavern is the gastropub replacement of Champions Sports Bar, which closed over the summer. But its “social house” vibe will offer a nod to sports culture through a couple of indoor Topgolf bays with a hockey function.

Approachable and contemporary comfort food drives the menu — built upon shareable plates like crispy fried chicken bun sliders, build-your-own mains, and sides like sprouts with pumpkin seed honey butter.

In addition to four wines on tap and 20 local drafts (among them an exclusive beer from Ybor City brewery Coppertail), Garrison Tavern plans to offer crowler fills and outdoor patio seating.

As for that second venue off the rear lobby, a new outdoor terrace and bar are in store. Sandoval and RS Hospitality will sink portions of the existing patio to pull off covered lounge spaces that front onto the Riverwalk and overlook the waterfront.

“We are honored to be partnering with a chef of the caliber of Richard Sandoval, as this will offer an exciting, truly one-of-a-kind culinary experience within Tampa Bay’s hospitality space,” according to Tampa Marriott Waterside General Manager Ron McAnaugh.

The property has completed improvements on its 727 guest rooms and 50,000 square feet of meeting and event areas. All renovations are expected to end in mid-2019.


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