Tampa: Armature Works + Hall on Franklin
Tampa has seen quite the growth spurt when it comes to halls or communal spaces for their residents to enjoy. No longer is Oxford Exchange the only picturesque place to grab coffee and a bite to eat, while two new spots offer much more space and variety while still being visually pleasing.
Located near the Rialto on the street of its namesake, the Hall on Franklin is what you could call a small food hall with little dispute, but it's a bit more upscale than most I've seen in other cities. While you can go up to any of the seven food stalls and order on your own to take to-go, you actually need to check in with a hostess who seats you if you wish to dine in. This definitely confused me as I whizzed right by the beautiful ladies thinking I didn't need their assistance, but I did because there is table service at this posh food hall.
We got a small smattering of tastes, a poke bowl from Poke Rose, zucchini fries from Heights Melts, and Bahn Mi from North Star. The food while fine, wasn't quite as exceptional as the beautiful space, but I can definitely see the allure for locals to visit here with groups for lunch or a happy hour.
Where to Park: Street parking is your best bet here, and there is also a paid lot on Franklin right across from Foundation Coffee.
Prices: Smaller portions seemed to be what I saw the most of, so it may take some money to truly fill up, but none of the items go over a $15 price tag.
Freelancer friendly: There is secure wi-fi along with a walk-up coffee bar and remote work stations. Seating is plentiful but not totally open to sit where you please.
For Orlandoans, Armature Works is what Plant Street Market would look like on serious steroids and better attention to design.
The space is 73,000 square feet of mixed-use consisting of the Heights Public Market, event spaces, a co-shared work space and several eateries and bars.
I counted fourteen spots for food and drink including American fare, BBQ, Cuban, Mexican, health conscious, seafood, wood-fire pizza, sushi, ice cream and my favorite Ramen in Tampa Ichioro. Clearly there is something for everyone here, not to mention one restaurant that requires reservations for a less casual setting.
Where to Park: I walked from my parking spot on Franklin Street, but there is parking behind the building between Palm and Oak Blvd. They have a parking voucher system that you can get redeemed inside with a purchase.
Freelancer friendly: There is a dedicated area for freelancers but it's a co-working space that requires membership or rental. There is also a Show + Tell space for workshop or event rentals. Other than that, there is ample seating around the property so anyone with a laptop should be able to find a nook to get some work done.
Prices: The wide variety of options will allow any budget to find something to enjoy here. However, for a more upscale experience Steelbach is the only restaurant that requires reservations and carries a heftier price tag.
My simple coffee loving heart was happy to enjoy a delicious horchata latte at Union by Commune + Co. where they use Ruby Coffee Roasters, one of my personal favorites I haven't been able to get in Orlando.
When you leave you can stroll the waterfront, enjoy the breeze and think about how far Tampa has come.
If you've made the trek and annoying straight shot down I-4 to Tampa (where is our train) you surely have quite a few spots to hit up. There is a lot of check out from previous Tampa posts I've done, but for plant lovers I would suggest hitting up Fancy Free Nursery which is steps from the Hall on Franklin. For locals they handle design and exterior landscape. For visitors it's a great place to grab a new plant friend on the way home. It doesn't need much more explanation than that, so I will let the pictures entice you to visit.
All pictures are property of LemonHearted Creative. All purchases were made personally. This is not an ad or sponsored post for any of the businesses mentioned.