Ybor City-born Blind Tiger grows again

For Tampa's Blind Tiger, the goal is to make coffee culture accessible to all.

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Having a coffee shop in every neighborhood is "paramount," at least for Roberto Torres of The Blind Tiger.

With Blind Tigers in Tampa's Ybor City and Seminole Heights, Torres teamed up with Peter Davidson of Zeal Coffee Roasters to establish a North Hyde Park coffee shop and roastery in April: The Lab. During a recent tour of the young caffeinated concept, Torres told CL he's set to open up a third Blind Tiger location in this neck of the woods.

click to enlarge Plans for Torres's second Blind Tiger, moving to a new location off Florida Avenue. - Carlynn Crosby
Carlynn Crosby
Plans for Torres's second Blind Tiger, moving to a new location off Florida Avenue.

Across the courtyard from The Lab, located at 1703 W. State St., the latest Blind Tiger space is about 2,000 square feet and will feature 48 seats. The new cafe at 910 N. Rome Ave. will serve bagels, coffee and tea, as well as a limited selection of beer and wine. Its targeted opening date is Labor Day weekend.

Torres is also moving The Blind Tiger's Seminole Heights cafe from 6500 N. Florida Ave. to 4304 N. Florida Ave. The relocation will allow for more seats and food options, and designer Josh Pearson, of Pep Rally Inc., showed CL his plans for the building, which include an open bar and room for 30 seats.

According to Torres, who said he believes in introducing coffee culture to neighborhoods where there's an underserved market to "propel [the neighborhood] forward," his business model and goal is to be accessible to everyone.

The owner puts it simply: "We're in the people business."

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