Tampa International Airport today celebrated the grand opening of three new concessions, including Ducky’s, a sports lounge part-owned by Tampa Bay Rays player Evan Longoria. The airport also marked the opening of CNBC News and Starbucks on Airside E.
“These three newest concessions bring the perfect mix of local flavor, high quality and recognizable brands to Tampa International Airport,” Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano said. “The sleek, attractive design of all three really add to the aesthetics of our Airsides and will be popular stops to eat, drink, grab a cup of coffee or a pastry and shop for gifts or magazines.”
Ducky’s, located on Airside A and patterned after the popular south Tampa restaurant of the same name, features its signature giant rubber duck and serves a full food and liquor menu. Guests can charge their electronic devices at one of the many outlets and USB ports along the bar, which is designed with graffiti artwork by the St. Pete-based artist known as Bask.
“The duck is landing at Tampa International this month and we couldn’t be more honored and excited to be part of all innovative changes at the airport,” said Longoria, who helped cut the ribbon at today’s grand opening. “Ducky’s delicious food, craft beer and cocktail menu and game watching environment will most certainly provide travelers with a reason to get to the airport early.”
The sports lounge is part of a concessions package awarded to concessionaire SSP America, which will also bring Hard Rock Café and other food and beverage offerings to TPA later this year.
“Given the local popularity of Ducky’s here in Tampa, the SSP America team is confident passengers will find the restaurant a destination in its own right,” said Michael Svagdis, Chief Executive Officer of SSP America. “The menu has universal appeal to suit every type of traveler—from families, to millennials, the business traveler and more. We’d particularly want to thank our partner, Ruben Perez, of Perez of Florida and his team as well as the ownership of Ducky’s. We couldn’t be more excited about the Ducky’s opening and are extremely grateful to the TPA team for the opportunity.”
Across from Ducky’s at Airside A, CNBC News became TPA’s first grab-and-go news convenience store to open as part of the new concessions program. The retailer, operated by concessionaire Paradies Lagardère, has partnered with the Tampa landmark bakery, Alessi Bakeries, to offer grab-and-go foods for customers.
“Paradies Lagardère is pleased to deliver a brand like CNBC to the Tampa International Airport,” said Gregg Paradies, president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère. “Through our exclusive partnership, CNBC has become one of the most sought after brands in the airport retail industry and a premier airport such as Tampa International and its passengers deserve a concept of this caliber.”
The new Starbucks at Airside E, operated by HMSHost, is the second of five expected to open at TPA, including Starbucks Reserve and Starbucks Evenings.
“We are so excited to be continuing to serve Starbucks to travelers of Tampa International Airport’s Airside E,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Michael Price. “We are proud to offer the preferred coffee brand of travelers and look forward to partnering with the airport on continually improving guest experience.”
The new concessions are among roughly 30 expected to open this year at TPA, coinciding with the Airport’s historic expansion of its Main Terminal, a new rental car facility and a 1.4-mile automated people mover.
The concessions redevelopment options include a wider variety of choices than ever before, including more local brands. Roughly 40 percent of the food and beverages options are local, featuring such staples as Columbia, Cigar City, Four Green Fields, Buddy Brew and the Café by Mise en Place. Participation in the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) also increased from three (3) companies to fifteen (15), bringing more woman- and minority-owned business to TPA.