Armature Works in Tampa Heights
Completed in 1910, the Armature Works was the maintenance and trolley barn of the city until the 1940s when the streetcars were forced out by cars. Armature Works is situated in the Heights District on the Hillsborough River. It is a green space near the Water Works Park, as well as other iconic spots such as Ulele. Much of the original look has been preserved by the developers so that you can recognize that it used to be a streetcar depot. Today, it is one of the coolest blocks in all of Tampa. There are large glass windows within the Heights Public Market that are obviously where the doors to the streetcars were. Obviously, a delicious meal is the biggest reason to visit Armature Works.
The food hall and event space opened at the beginning of 2018 and every day saw a steady flow of visitors, up to 10,000 on weekends, come to eat and drink, working on their laptops and tablets, wandering through the crowds and watching people. Or perhaps they want to be seen. As you walk around, you will realize that many people already seem to know each other. A good sign of a great spot for visitors is that local people like it too. Here are some reasons why Armature Works is the place to be!
1. Heights Public Market
Heights Public Market is the food hall inside Armature Works, and it’s the ideal spot to bring a family, meet up with friends, or even pick up a bite and eat alone. Even the pickiest eaters should be able to find something to eat here. It is a foodie’s dream, with about 15 vendors selling a variety of food and drink options.
The 22,000 sq ft urban market features an open floor plan with common seating surrounded by restaurants featuring the Bay Area’s top chefs and restaurateurs. BAR at Armature serves cocktails and beer. Seek Union by Commune + Co., a coffee and tea stand, if you’re looking for a caffeine fix and if you prefer to go the healthy path, SOHO Juice Co. provides juices and smoothies.
2. A place you can always catch an event
Armature Works has also become a hub for local events in addition to the excellent food day and night. There seem to be all kinds of things going on here every week. Heights Public Market also includes a “Show + Tell” workshop that hosts an array of events such as cooking classes, wine tastings and pop-up dinners in collaboration with market tenants. In just the past month, there were three yoga classes, a flea market, a run club session, a paddle-boarding competition, a free movie night, a cooking class with cupcakes and cocktails, and more!
3. Play Life-size checkers
Challenge your buddies to an outdoor game of checkers or chess – whoever loses buys the next round of smoothies or French fries. If you’re not a chess player, you can still enjoy watching others battle it out or try a game of checkers.
The calm waters look fantastic for swimming. A paddle-boarding shop, Urban Kai, is located right next to Armature to rent equipment. Paddle-boarding is a great excuse to emerge in the river on a warm sunny afternoon in the Florida heat.
5. Free parking on the street
Parking in the city can be a challenge. Fortunately, all the parking on the street is absolutely free. As long as you don’t mind walking for about five minutes, you shouldn’t have to worry about parking. Don’t easily give up. There will be open spots, but for a few minutes, you may have to drive around.
6. Outdoor activities with Riverfront views
There are plenty of outdoor seats to soak up the Florida sunlight. Relax on one of the many lawn chairs outside of Tampa’s Amateur Works.
The calm riverfront is the perfect place to spend your day. Who would not enjoy watching boats whizz by, soaking up vitamin d, and relishing the skyline of the riverfront views?
The central Armature Works building is isolated from the lawn along the river by a small side lane. At Armature Works, you can also pick up a bike share and discover the city on your own.
7. Rooftop Bars and Event Spaces
Views with an Aperol spritz in hand overlooking the city skyline. What more can you need to relax? Just up the Armature Works stairs is a luxurious bar with a view that you won’t want to miss.
Rooftop 220, as an indoor/outdoor venue adjacent to Armature Works, offers a view into the Heights community. The open-air deck provides unprecedented views of the Hillsborough River, Tampa Downtown as well as Armature Works and the growth of the Heights. Through Armature Works, full-service catering is also available. Rooftop 220 can host 50 seated guests and 150 cocktail-style guests.
Armature Works has something that can be appreciated by the whole family to enjoy. This festive season, the establishment has activities for the kids, including a GIANT bouncy house. Although Armature Works serves a variety of beverages, the relaxed atmosphere is perfect for a family-friendly activity.
9. Local craft brews
Locally made beer with a side of fries will make your weekend experience. There’s something for everyone’s drink of choice with dozens of local selections. Sip on an austere wine, rustic cocktail, or frothy beer.
10. Vibrant and Lively atmosphere
The atmosphere of Armature Works in Tampa is lively, and everyone is engaged in a conversation. It is an excellent location for catching up with friends, colleagues, or watching your kids run around on the lawn.
11. Handcrafted ice cream
Before you see it, you’ll smell it. Astro’s sugar scent waves its way into the main dining area, and before you notice it, you’ll know where the ice cream is. Fifteen toppings are available to choose from, so everyone is guaranteed a flavor for their taste buds.
Do not worry; Armature Works allows dogs to walk on a leash if you are looking for a place to wander around with your pooch. Well, they do so long as you clean up after your pet.
13. Live Music
Live music is also available at Armature park’s restaurant and bars on select nights and weekends. Dancing to live music is an excellent addition to visitors’ experience. Listen to talented bands and sway to the music.
14. Sparking water station
A water station is right in the center of all the eateries. When the Florida heat gets to you, grab a cup of water and cool off. The best part about this water station is that it serves sparkling water, or frizzante as they call it in Italy.
15. Event Spaces
Armature Works offers innovative urban spaces and stunning event venues with natural light, roaming Wi-Fi, projection video and full AV set-up, floor-to-ceiling blackboard walls, and a bamboo-flanked courtyard. These are unique spaces to party, educate, plan, get married, or brainstorm a revolution.
Located in the middle of Armature Works, the Courtyard is the ideal open-air venue for outdoor-looking activities. This space is suitable for cocktail parties, networking events, or it can be used to create a unique atmosphere for indoors and outdoors meetings.
The Social Hall has architectural elegance and is ideal for indoor wedding ceremonies and cocktail receptions. The Social Hall may be paired with the Social Room for larger events.
16. An Uncommon Workspace is readily available
Customized workspaces that can be tailored to your professional needs are a great option for freelancers and startups with flexible schedules looking for affordable space with conveniences to work in. Co-work Memberships are inclusive of printing services, high-speed Internet and more.
Bay 3 is an inspired and flexible co-working environment within Armature Works that offers dedicated desks and private offices to members. It also provides a range of amenities with state-of-the-art contemporary design and AV technology to create an exuberant working environment for entrepreneurs, freelancers, startups and professionals from outside the city.
You gain convenient access to a safe and comfortable environment while enjoying the feel of a traditional office with all the benefits of their services and community events.
If you’re interested in a meal at a full-service restaurant, Armature Works has two options. Steelbach is a southern restaurant, open seven days a week, including brunch on weekends. Oak & Ola is the other full-service restaurant and specializes in a EuroAmerican cuisine.
Before You go to Armature Works: What you need to know
Armature Works is a great way to experience what Tampa has to offer, and I strongly recommend that you try it out if you’re in the city. Here are a few things to know before your visit.
Armature Works Food + Drinks
- Ichicoro Imoto
- Union by Commune + Co.
- BAR at Armature
- Graze 1910
- SOHO Juice Co.
- Cru Cellars
- Astro Ice Cream Co.
- Zukku Sushi
- Dixie Dharma
- Pane Rustica Due
Armature Works Hours
Opens Monday to Friday at 7 AM, Saturday at 8 AM, and Sunday at 9 AM.
It closes at 10 PM on Mondays through Thursdays, 11 PM Friday and Saturday, and 9 PM on Sundays.
For any appetite or diet, there is a variety of food.
Armature Works Parking
Free parking is available Monday through Friday, and it costs $5 to park Friday nights and all day Saturday and Sunday.
There is plenty of seating indoors, outdoors in the courtyard, and outdoors on the lawn. Dogs are allowed around the perimeter and the lawn. If you are visiting Tampa Bay remember that there is live music every Friday night. Armature Works has a lot to offer locals and visitors. I hope you make it part of your experience whenever you’re in the city.