Right now, the Channelside Bay Plaza is under construction, with several restaurants were recently demolished, leaving families with fewer dining or shopping options while they visit the cultural centers in the area, such as the Florida Aquarium, the Tampa Bay History Center, Amalie Arena (where the Tampa Bay Lightning Play), Port Tampa Bay, Tampa's Convention Center and the Tampa Riverwalk.
But now we're getting a better idea of what's coming to the Channelside Bay Plaza thanks to recently filed permit plans filed by EWI Construction.
The paperwork filed with the City of Tampa over the past several months reveals plans for an outdoor park that includes a "beer garden" and "pop-up" food stations that will serve from a series of shipping containers.
The renderings submitted to the city describe 12 shipping containers which, as a "description," lists some of the following possible options for sale: tacos, doughnuts, sandwiches, ice cream, açaí bowls, noodle dishes/steam buns, oyster bar, Asian street food, burgers, grilled fish, alcohol bars, and more.
The designs were created with Charlotte-based Boxman Studios, which specializes in converting old shipping containers into the hospitality industry.
The setup might resemble the newly-opened and wildly-popular Heights Market at Armature Works, in the Tampa Heights neighborhood, in which privately owned and operated restaurants and bars serve customers from semi-permanent kiosk locations.
This new arrangement appears to open the Plaza up towards the Ybor Channel and Ybor Turning Basin.
The Channelside Bay Plaza currently includes a Hooters Restaurant and Precinct Pizza.
The EWI Construction is handling some of the much-publicized "Water Street Tampa" project, a Channelside district renovations plan by Strategic Property Partners (SPP), the real estate development firm controlled by Tampa Bay Lightning owner Jeff Vinik. SPP's plans include two new hotels, new office space, new housing, USF's new Morsani College of Medicine, and new retail and entertainment space.\
A spokesperson for SPP says the plan is to have the park open by late Summer.