Local restaurants set to open at Tampa International Airport

Posted at 5:49 PM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 17:49:07-05

Right now, local businesses are hoping their new locations inside Tampa International Airport with help boost business.

Forget the chains when you're traveling. Now five local spots are open in one place.

“We wanted local businesses and the local community to get involved in the airport, and it was important to us that we reflect what it is that people get out on the street,” Director of Concessions Laurie Noyes said.

Tampa Bay staples Buddy Brew Coffee, Square 1, Bella's, Yogurtology and Fitlife Foods, are all opening at The Eatery in the International terminal this weekend. Now, about 40 percent of the airport's businesses are local.

“We’re excited for what the airport is doing with local, and that these local brands such as Buddy Brew could be one of the first tastes that people have of Tampa Bay or one of the last tastes,” Susan Ward, co-founder of Buddy Brew Coffee, said.

This is Buddy Brew Coffee's fifth location, but the first with an international platform. It was tough to get chosen.

“It was extremely competitive to get Buddy Brew into this space in the airport we went through many many pitches,” Ward said.

Folks running Square 1 and Bella's hope visibility in the airport will translate outside the airport.

“We want them to be able to travel through here, maybe say hey I went through square one through the airport, now I’m going to go when I visit Tampa, or Brandon or St. Pete,” Bill Milner , VP Operations Square 1, said.

This upscale food court idea is already in the works for Terminal C, with different local choices.

“Ulele, Café con leche, Goody Goody Burger, Bavaro’s, Louis Papa’s and Fitlife Foods,” Noyes said.

That section will open in a few months. The Eatery opens Saturday.