Tampa International Airport today celebrated the grand opening of two new concessions, including The Gasparilla Bar, which is modeled after a pirate ship, and a Tampa Bay Times newsstand, named after Tampa Bay’s newspaper of record.
“With every new opening, Tampa International Airport better reflects the flavor, feel and region we serve,” said Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “The Gasparilla Bar invites travelers to unwind, Tampa style: on a boat with a cold beverage in hand. The Tampa Bay Times newsstand exposes visitors to one of the nation’s best newspapers as well as a wide variety of local products and merchandise.”
Gasparilla Bar, on Airside F near gates 78 and 79, is named in honor of legendary pirate José Gaspar. It’s designed like the famed pirate ship, and serves an abundance of delicious grub, grog and specialty cocktails.
The ship itself is as much art as construction, with the hull and aerial cross beams made up of more than 1,000 linear feet of reclaimed oak. There is also more than 900 feet of rope coiled around the mast and hanging off the structure.
“We are proud to have opened The Gasparilla Bar with Tampa International Airport to give travelers an experience worth saying ‘Arr!’ over when they visit the airport,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Michael Price. “It is exciting to be able to offer this lively restaurant that celebrates one of Tampa’s oldest and most exciting traditions with great food and drink.”
The Tampa Bay Times newsstand, located on Airside E near gates 62-68, will be the first new grab-and-go news convenience store to open on the airside. The retailer, operated by concessionaire Paradies Lagardère, has partnered with the Tampa landmark bakery, Alessi Bakeries, to offer grab-and-go foods for customers.
“We are thrilled to debut Paradies Lagardère and the Tampa Bay Times at the Tampa International Airport,” said Gregg Paradies, president and CEO of Paradies Lagardère. “We are excited for the passengers in this market to experience this unique store and the Tampa Bay Times brand, which has had an amazing presence regionally and beyond for more than 130 years.”
The newsstand also has reproductions of the Times front pages over the years, giving customers a sense of Tampa Bay area history as they browse the store.
“Tampa International Airport is the gateway to the best part of Florida, so we’re delighted that travelers will find Florida’s Best Newspaper when they get here," said Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash.
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.