New & Improved Hangout Spots Near Campus

By Alexandra D’Eramo

Over the past few years, our favorite city, Tampa, has grown into one of the most desirable and competitive areas. Looking for beautiful scenery, a laid-back beach lifestyle and the amenities of a largely populated city? Look no further.

Tampa’s transformation over the years has sparked a lot of interest as it’s packed with an array of vastly different restaurant options, killer breweries, a great music scene, and incredible outdoor and water activities—making it a hot-spot destination for travelers, students, and younger generations.

Amid the chaos that has absorbed the year 2020, Tampa continues to add a variety of hotspots to their map. Among the city’s most popular hubs—Kennedy Blvd, SoHo, Armature Works, Downtown, and Channelside—new hang-out spots and desirable destinations to check out flourish throughout! 

Dwntwn Social

1000 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33606

A local cafe opened right across the street from The University of Tampa in April 2020: Dwntwn Social. This cafe serves healthy gourmet shakes, acai bowls, bubble waffles, energizing teas, and protein coffee. Not to mention, UT students received a 10% off discount when they show their student ID. LindseyMarzo.DwntwnSocial2

Martha Agramonte, an owner of the cafe, said that the concept behind the cafe was to create “a space where people can gather to work, study or socialize while enjoying guilt-free treats, plus there’s no denying our vibe is everything. We are also looking forward to hosting monthly events like trivia nights, open mic, and a possible market.” 

There’s no denying that the city of Tampa has grown tremendously over the years. That said, it wouldn’t have grown so exponentially if it weren’t for people supporting people. Agramonte mentioned how grateful the cafe was for all of the local gyms, professionals, students, foodies, and businesses that support local businesses like theirs. 

“The reality is that we would not be here if it weren’t for the incredible support from the community,” said Agramonte. 

Fly Bar

442 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, Florida 33606

Fly Bar was previously a hot spot in Tampa and recently reopened at a new spot right off of campus. With cool drinks and great music, Fly Bar is sure to attract the older end of students at UT. Since opening in June, their business has just begun to spark.Sydney.FlyBar1

This American cuisine restaurant and bar serves delicious dishes ranging from tacos to duck confit cassoulet dishes. Fly Bar also includes a happy hour on weekdays from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with $4 drafts, $6 sangria, $7 wines, $5 spirits, and $9 cocktails. With jazz-themed cocktails and an array of different food items, Fly Bar is most definitely worth checking out.  

Burger Culture

6920 N Dale Mabry Hwy, Tampa, Florida 33614

Burger Culture is a Harley-Davidson inspired gourmet burger food truck. Selling burgers, grilled cheeses’, cheesesteaks, hot dogs, empanadas, and more, you’re bound to find their food worth trying. People travel from all around to check out Burger Culture: amazing that we have one right around the corner from where we work, live, and attend school. 

Their menu includes a range of different types of burgers, combining ingredients you would have never thought would blend into the tastiest of dishes. However, Burger Culture’s reviews remain incredible. Some of their most popular burgers are their breakfast burgers, ramen burgers, waffle burgers, and a bunch of other crazy creations.

As a customer, you can order from the food truck in-person or text your order in online through text messaging. If you are looking to check it out in-person, outdoor seating is an option for dining and on top of that, their outdoor seating is perfect for social distancing. 

Two Shepherds Taproom

4813 N Grady Ave, Tampa, Florida 33614

Two Shepherds Taproom is the first 21 and over indoor and outdoor dog park and bar located in Tampa. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind with friends without having to leave your best pal at home. 

They offer a wide-range selection of craft beers, wines, and hard seltzers. At this dog park and bar, park memberships are available for purchase upon request: day passes are $7 a day per dog, monthly memberships are $25 for 30 days per dog, and annual memberships are $250 per dog per year. Several events are also held every month to gather locals for a good time. This month “Aussie Meet Up” and “National Dog Day Celebration” are on their calendar of fun upcoming events. 

Check out Two Shepherds Taproom with your friends, dogs, or both! 

Black Radish Grocer

2923 N 12th St, Tampa, Florida 33605

Calling all vegans. A new vegan grocer has just opened in the Tampa area and is offering a variety of healthy and delicious options. Black Radish offers snacks, ready-to-eat meals, dips and spreads, cookies, drinks, gluten-free options, and so much more. They offer in-store grocery pickup as well as online shopping. As there are not many vegan grocers located around the area, this quaint market is bound to attract those looking to stick to a healthy diet throughout the year. 

Black Radish’s hours are 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sundays. Check out this grocer in the heart of Ybor.  

As Agramonte stated, Dwntwn Social, as well as all other places’ primary focus is “to ensure the safety of our customers while offering dine-in and curbside pick up options.” Despite the determinants COVID-19 has brought to the city, Tampa still succeeds in developing new ways to engage the community and bring back a sense of normality for its people.


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