Armature Works: Tampa’s Very Own ‘Hipster Disneyland’


Photo by Lexi Mariash

Lexi Mariash, Staff Writer


Self-described as a “restored mixed-use building”, Armature Works is a downtown hotspot home to trendy food, small market stores, and laid-back cafe-style seating.

For sit-down dining, their “Southern-inspired kitchen and chophouse” Steelbach offers a variety of options catering to all diets. A true foodie, though, will most likely steer towards the food stops throughout the market.

The Heights Public Market is currently home to 15 eateries and other features: Ichicoro Imoto, a ramen joint; Union by Commune + Co., a coffee and tea bar; BAR at Armature, for beer, cocktails and provisions; A.W. Mercantile General Store; BnB Butcher and Barbeque; AVA, which serves authentic wood fired pizza; Swami Juice, which offers cold pressed juices and acai bowls; Inside the Box Sandwiches and Salads; Cru Cellars wine bar and kitchen; Astro Ice Cream Co.; Zukku Sushi; Hemingway’s, which offers modern Cuban cuisine; Empamamas and Chismis & Co, which offers Filipino dishes.

I decided to go to Swami Juice and get a smoothie. The prices were on the expensive side, averaging around nine dollars a smoothie. I got the ‘Yogi” smoothie, which had bananas, strawberries, almond butter, and dates for sweetness. The taste was all around good, and it was a bright fuchsia color, making it very photogenic.

In addition to their dining options there are multiple shops throughout the market that sell organic soaps, spices, art, home decor and jewelry. There is both indoor and outdoor seating throughout the property for anyone looking to enjoy their food or relax with friends. The outdoor seating is often accompanied by a live music performer. If you don’t want to sit, there are multiple games, such as a life-size chess board that anyone can use.

On some nights there is a night market where other vendors can line up on the lawn and people can walk through buying things. The items are hand-crafted, and most of the items  include specialty soaps and scrubs, art, jewelry, candles and some clothes. Many of the items are knick-knacks, and can be a little on the expensive side for what they are.

The rustic interior of the market is also a unique and picturesque location perfect for any Instagram moment.

Armature Works is home to many special events, and can also be used to host yours. The Social Room, Rooftop 220, the Social Hall, the Gathering Room, the Theatre, the Courtyard and the West Lawn are all available for events.