Savor the Local Flavor at Tampa International Airport

May 30, 2012

HMSHost and Tampa International Airport celebrate new full-service and fast casual restaurants

TAMPA - Tampa International Airport (TPA) travelers joined in the celebration as airport officials and HMSHost today welcomed six new restaurants to the airport’s dining offerings. Brought to TPA by HMSHost, a world leader in travel dining and shopping, the new restaurants reflect the best of Tampa Bay. 

“We couldn’t be happier about bringing these local concepts to the airport,” said airport CEO Joe Lopano. “They really say to people as soon as they land here, ‘Welcome to Tampa.’ And they let people who are leaving sample a final taste of their time here.” 

Located in the Main Terminal, the new First Flight, is a sophisticated wine bar by one of Tampa’s premiere restaurants, Mise en Place. Wine and food flights demonstrate that an authentic pairing can be a life changing experience. More than 35 wines from the major wine growing regions of the world are complemented by an inspired menu of classic European appetizers with Chef Blitz’s Modern American interpretation. Charcuterie flights and cheese flights are features in a menu ranging from Allepo Sea Salted Marcona Almonds to Harissa Poached Shrimp, and Biscotti with Chocolate Fondue. The wine and cocktail lists offer an enticing selection that travelers won’t find anywhere else.

The new Green Iguana Bar & Grill is now open on Airside A. Green Iguana is a recent winner of Best Burger at Tampa's “Annual Burger Showdown”, and is known and lauded for its lively atmosphere, great food, and outstanding customer service. This popular eatery has been providing award winning dining to the Bay area for more than 20 years. Now, Tampa’s airport guests are enjoying many favorites that make Green Iguana a local dining destination—from award winning burgers like The Original and The Mambo King, to appetizers like Iggy’s Coco Shrimp, Lava Martini, and Ybor City Mojo Nachos, and more. The Famous Green Magarita in a two-fisted goblet headlines the cocktails at the Tiki Bar.

HMSHost operates new Airside C restaurants with Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) joint venture partner, George Tinsley. The new Cigar City Brewing showcases great beer selections and Tampa’s fascinating cigar-making heritage. The brewery uses the highest quality local ingredients to make beer that reflects the culture of Tampa Bay. The airport brewpub serves breakfast, lunch and dinner along with Cigar City Beers on Tap, such as Jai Alai IPA, Maduro Brown Ale, and Hotter Than Helles Lager, along with a rotating selection of craft beers. The new airport brewpub brews beer on site, offering Tony Jannus Pale Ale created exclusively for Tampa International Airport.

Also serving travelers on Airside C is the third Florida airport location of Shula’s Bar & Grill, where travelers can enjoy the best burgers, salads and signature appetizers in addition to cocktails and wines all offered in a modern, energetic bar setting. Shula’s Bar & Grill provides enticing menu offerings including: The SHULA CUT Filet Mignon, Sweet Chili Chicken Bites, Premium Black Angus Beef burgers as well as a veggie burger. Travelers in a hurry can opt for a bite from Shula Burger, a fast-casual burger concept with a walk-up counter. The menu also features fresh salads, sandwiches and sea salt fries. 

Airside E is where travelers will find The Columbia Restaurant Café, offering over 107 years of taste with the opening of its new airport location. The original Columbia Restaurant was founded in Tampa’s Historic Ybor City in 1905 by Cuban immigrant Casimiro Hernandez, Sr., and was named an “All-American Icon” by Nation’s Restaurant News, one of only fifty restaurants in the U.S. chosen for this honor. The Columbia Restaurant Café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, offering family recipes like the Original Tampa Cuban Sandwich (recently proclaimed by Tampa’s City Council as the City’s “Signature Sandwich”), steaming bowls of Spanish bean soup and black bean soup, and the too good to miss Original "1905" Salad™, named “One of the 10 Best Salads to Make a Meal out of” by USA Today. A full bar is available, along with selections from the Columbia’s private label wines from Spain, California, and Argentina, and Columbia’s private label spirits including Don Casimiro Classic Silver Rum, Screaming Richard Tequila, and Chacho Bourbon. 

The airport’s recent restaurant openings also include HMSHost’s custom brands Ciao Gourmet Market and BACARDI Mojito Bar on Airside A, and a new Papa John’s in the Main Terminal, operated by ACDBE partner PJ Benton of Uniworld Management Services, Inc.

The concessions remake at Tampa International Airport also includes new retail outlets, such as the Swarovski brand which also celebrated its TPA opening in the Main Terminal. Operated by HMSHost’s ACDBE partner, Susan Stackhouse, the merchandise selection includes the brand’s stunning crystal jewelry and fashion accessories. 

In the Main Terminal, HMSHost‘s retail division opened Radio Road, a women’s apparel boutique, and unveiled Airside C’s Tampa Bay Marketplace featuring Tampa Bay News, Sunglass Icon, Kiehl’s, and Under A Silver Moon. Rounding out the Airside C retail offerings is a new Tech Interaction operated by ACDBE partner Iris Goldschmidt of Airport Wireless. 

“HMSHost is very proud to continue our successful partnership with Tampa International Airport. We’re committed to making the Tampa traveler’s day better by bringing the best dining and shopping the region has to offer,” said Renée Tedesco, Vice President, Business Development for HMSHost.

HMSHost employs 835 associates in 50 restaurants and retail shops at Tampa International Airport. A total of 150 new jobs resulted from these new airport openings. HMSHost is a five time recipient of the Airport Revenue News award for Best Overall Operator for Food & Beverage.

Brand Quotes

“It is amazingly exciting that after 25 years Mise en Place is experiencing perhaps our most meaningful career highlight. Tampa International Airport's invitation to a local Tampa business to share our vision of food, wine and hospitality with the world by entertaining their travelers is a phenomenal opportunity. Yes - it is possible to put Tampa Bay on the global culinary map! Our gratitude to TPA and HMSHost,” said Maryann Ferenc, CEO/Proprietor, Mise en Place.

Founder of Green Iguana, Rick Calderoni said, “We are honored to be invited to be one of the first impressions that travelers see coming into Tampa."

Dave Shula, President of Shula’s said, “Shula’s Bar & Grill was designed especially for airports to offer a modern and energetic space. Our newest concept, Shula Burger, was adapted to offer the most popular menu items in this airport location. Travelers can count on getting great food from a legendary restaurant brand when dining at these locations.”

“Cigar City's brewery is located less than 10 minutes from TPA. As neighbors we are thrilled to be partnering with HMSHost and Tinsley Family Concessions to bring Cigar City's award winning Tampa-centric ales and lagers to Airside A via this unique brewpub concept,” said Joey Redner, Founder and CEO of Cigar City Brewing. “The Cigar City Brewpub menu was designed both to reflect Tampa's rich culinary traditions and pair well with our beer. I can't wait to take my next flight!” 

“For the last 15 years we have anticipated being part of the finest and most convenient airport in the country. As Florida’s oldest restaurant, we are proud to announce that our newest location, The Columbia Restaurant Café, is open for business at Tampa International Airport. We are looking forward to serving both locals and visitors a taste of Tampa,” said Richard Gonzmart, president and fourth generation family member of Columbia Restaurant Group.

“We at Tinsley Family Concessions are very excited to be a part of the new business development at Tampa International Airport. As a joint venture partner with HMSHost, together we operate the Shula’s Bar & Grill, Shula Burger, and Cigar City Brewing Company now open on Airside C. We hope travelers will enjoy these great new local and national brands,” said George Wm. Tinsley, Sr., President & CEO of Tinsley Family Concessions.

“We are delighted to add Swarovski, the world renowned crystal and jewelry brand, to our five store operation in Tampa.” Susan Stackhouse, CEO Stellar Partners, Inc.

About HMSHost
HMSHost is a world leader in creating dining and shopping for travel venues. HMSHost operates in more than 100 airports around the globe, including the 20 busiest airports in North America. The Company has annual sales in excess of $2.7 billion and employs more than 34,000 sales associates worldwide. HMSHost is a part of Autogrill Group, the world’s leading provider of food & beverage and retail services for people on the move. With sales of over €5.8 billion in 2011, the Group operates in 35 countries and employs some 62,800 people. It manages over 5,300 stores in more than 1,200 locations worldwide. Visit for more information and find us on Facebook at HMSHost Making the Traveler’s Day Better. 

About Tampa International Airport
The Aviation Authority began in 1945 as an independent special district governed by the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority Act. The act provides the Authority with exclusive jurisdiction, control, supervision, and management over all public airports in Hillsborough County. Although empowered to levy ad valorem property taxes, the authority has not collected any tax funds since 1973. Recognized as an industry leader in efficiency and convenience, Tampa International Airport continues to earn the most prestigious awards and honors and ranks among the top airports in the United States. With 200 daily departures and service to over 70 nonstop destinations, Tampa International Airport is the Gateway to Florida’s West Coast and your next great vacation.


Share This: