4 foodie faves add to outdoor dining experience at Tampa’s Sparkman Wharf

Already one of the top foodie destinations in the Tampa Bay Area, Sparkman Wharf is growing in size and popularity.

The one-acre waterfront park, with its dining garden and recreational lawn, is surrounded by loft-style office space and ground-level retail, and steadily attracts a broad range of talent from local entrepreneurs eager to start or expand new businesses.

So, what’s new? 

Wich, please!

Local restaurateur and Managing Partner of Burton Holdings, Dave Burton, announced that his new concept of a sandwich shop, Wich, please!, is set to open this July. Owner of Flock and Stock, Burton has become the first to operate two container concepts simultaneously at Water Street Tampa’s waterfront destination.

Starting with 10 employees, he’ll evaluate adding additional staff according to the volume of customers the shop brings in. He’s hoping to be profitable from the start but, long-term he just hopes to have fun and create a cool concept that people will enjoy. 

“Wich, please! and the menu itself was created based on feedback we received from guests that currently enjoy Sparkman Wharf. The menu is approachable, delicious, and fun, and will be executed consistently well, no need to google ingredients,” Burton says. The restaurant will focus on gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, shareables, and snacks.

“My team and I went to work [after SPP (Strategic Property Partners) asked if he’d be interested in this 2nd concept] developing a concept that we felt filled in some of the gaps of things not currently being offered at the Wharf. … I’m a Tampa native and am excited about the energy surrounding Sparkman Wharf and Water Street.” 

7th + Grove South

7th + Grove South expanded earlier this year from their first location in Ybor, bringing their southern-styled comfort food to Sparkman Wharf. With a strong emphasis on the importance of community, they focus a lot of time partnering with different organizations, events, and affiliations while celebrating diversity, inclusion, and supporting economic development. Believing that good food is enrichment to the soul, their menu is rich in flavor displaying the food pathway of the south. Love Galore, three fried macaroni and cheese balls with Thai chili jam on the side; Part-Time Lover, creamy deviled egg mix with sliced peppercorn bacon, lettuce, tomatoes; and Rock the Boat, catfish with creole sauce and apple chicken sausage, gouda grits, garnished with scallions, tomatoes, and micro greens, are just a few of the various dish’s 7th + Grove South offers. 

Murph’s BBQ

Murph’s BBQ, operated by SaltBlock Hospitality opened in January 2021. Named after one “legendary pup named Murphy,” their concept is a mixed breed, just like he was. Inspired by American barbecue, Murph’s BBQ is a mixture of Texas-style brisket, traditional South Carolina whole hog barbecue, and Kansas City inspired rotisserie chicken. Founded by best friends, Ryan Conigliaro and Scott Roberts used to spend their nights in the backyard of a Seminole Heights bungalow smoking thick hunks of beef, with Murph, their dog, who was always there beside them. You can choose a dish on their menu or build your own platter, picking your meat, sides, and one of their homemade sauces. They also offer scratch-made dog treats!

Fit Bowl Co.

Opening in Sparkman Wharf this past April, Fit Bowl Co. offers a fruit-forward menu serving nutritious superfood smoothies, bowls, and treats. Ensure your ultimate satisfaction by choosing from a large variety of fruits and toppings to create your own blend. Everything they sell is plant-based. If you’re looking for a healthy way to replenish your drained energy from the Tampa sun, try an açaí bowl. Açaí berries originate all the way from the tall palms in the Amazon floodplains and are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants, omega fatty acids, and essential amino acids. Their Sparkman Wharf location is their second opening, complementary to their shop in Davis Islands. 

For a full list of restaurants, menus, events, and hours of operation, visit Sparkman Wharf's website. Find more information at Water Street Tampa and Strategic Property Partners

Read more articles by Lauren Wong.

Lauren Wong is a graduate of the University of Tampa with a degree in journalism who is freelancing while she looks for a full-time job. Originally from the Chicago area, she enjoys travel and aspires to be a travel photojournalist. During the summer of 2019, she worked for Premier Travel Media in Chicago and as a correspondent for Input Fort Wayne, another Issue Media group online magazine based in Indiana. She loves spending time outdoors camping, kayaking, and taking pictures.