This week our agency team had an opportunity to get a sneak preview – and taste – of the new Sparkman Wharf. Hands down, this re-energized space lives up to the hype. Excited about what Sparkman Wharf brings to our city, we’ve highlighted some of our personal favorites that you should keep an eye out for when you visit.
Eats: Although we have a diverse group of selective eaters that include vegans and vegetarians, we all found something to enjoy. Colorful food kiosks built from renovated shipping containers line Sparkman Wharf’s entrance. The space features 12 eateries and a biergarten in its center. We didn’t try everything but the highlights included: the nori fries from Boat Run Oyster Company, the chicken tenders from Flock and Stock, and the grilled cheese with spicy tomato sauce from Whatever Pops. Yes, this popsicle stand sells grilled cheese and it’s great!
Drinks: I mean, we’re an ad agency – of course we had drinks. The drink options at Sparkman Wharf are expansive. We counted well over 50 beers, wines and ciders on Fermented Reality Biergarten’s menu. You can stick with the classics, but we ventured into the more eclectic samplings. Favorites included the biergarten’s Florida Ave Neapolitan Sour and the wine spritzers at Montados by Mise en Place.
Hangs: Our creative spirits were at home! Also – no shame in our Instagram game. We snapped countless pics in this social media-worthy setting. The waterfront space feels like it has transformed into what it was always meant to be. Large swings, a giant chess set and cornhole boards are set up throughout the space. And the big screen on the lawn is sure to be perfect for watch parties. It’s easy to spend a few hours lounging, and that’s exactly what we did.
A final note: If you’re an Ybor local – like we are – or want to add some whimsy to your visit, we recommend parking in Ybor and riding the free trolley. It runs every 15-20 minutes and drops you right in front of Sparkman Wharf. Plus, you’ll have the perfect view of the newly uncovered hidden tunnels.
Today the long-awaited Sparkman Wharf officially opens, and our entire agency was thankful for the sneak peek. If you’re not familiar with this transformative project, be sure to check out the story behind the former Channelside Bay Plaza’s transformation into a spectacular dining garden, craft biergarten and recreational lawn. The grand opening will be a week-long celebration packed with local musicians and entertainment – we hope to see you there!