The board the oversees Tampa International Airport, Tampa Bay's gateway to the world, guaranteed this week that visitors first (or last) taste of Tampa Bay will happen at the airport.
The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority approved 11 new concessions contracts for the airport, now going through a $1 billion expansion. The new contracts will add up to 65 new restaurants and shops at the airport, which will have 50,000 square feet of new space when the expansion is complete. The expansion also includes a new rental-car station and a people-mover to get folks there.
The new contracts cover some of Tampa Bay's most popular local names in restaurants. Among the winners, according to the Tampa Tribune: Ulele, Four Green Fields Irish pub, Columbia Restaurant and a Captain Morgan's pirate ship-shaped bar invoking Tampa Bay's love of pirates and Gasparilla.
You can check out the renderings of the airport make-over here.