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West Tampa building being restored, bringing new life to beloved Bar-B-Que King

exterior of a building with a green mural on the front

COhatch, a rapidly growing Ohio-based company which develops shared work and social spaces, officially closed on a site in West Tampa at 2112 West Main Street, according to a release. The company plans to restore and revitalize this piece of West Tampa history, and further enhance the neighborhood on the precipice of the West River redevelopment.

This building is surrounded by the city’s historic cigar factories and public artwork, such as the neighborhood’s “Faces of West Tampa” mural. The historic area is near the up-and-coming West River, a bustling destination that includes residences, offices, shops, restaurants and riverfront activities. 

rendering of a rooftop restaurant with bar seating on the balcony
Rendering via COhatchR

Restoring a beautiful part of West Tampa

“One of the trademarks of any COhatch is a celebration of the uniqueness each community brings,” said COhatch CEO and co-founder, Matt Davis. “Our team heavily researches the history and culture of every neighborhood, so we can incorporate elements of it into our design and figure out how to best serve that specific community.”

COhatch made a concerted effort to work with someone with Tampa roots on this project. Enter fifth generation Tampa local Brian Sanders. Sanders is described as a serial entrepreneur and has been tapped as COhatch’s market leader for the Tampa Bay area.

“So much of my work with non-profits has been about engagement, connection and empowerment–helping people thrive–and I’m thrilled to be part of an organization working to bring that same servant leadership perspective to business,” Sanders said. “Historical reverence, responsible restoration, philanthropy and impact are hallmarks of the work COhatch does, and we’re excited to bring a business like that to town.”

COhatch partners with local restaurant Bar-B-Que King

How does COhatch support the communities it enters?

The organization has created an Impact Fund, which provides scholarships to nonprofit organizations, startup companies, entrepreneurs and civic leaders. In 2021, COhatch donated more than $550,000 in services to this fund, an amount that will increase as the company expands, according to a release.

BBQ lovers rejoice! COhatch is partnering with Bar-B-Que King, a family-owned and operated neighborhood staple for nearly 60 years. The company is working with Bar-B-Que King owners, Amelia Howard and her sister Tiffany Powell, to give their brand an overall refresh and expand their space to include an upgraded kitchen and a seating area.

They’ve also worked closely with the building’s owner, Bernard Jordan, who was born and raised in the neighborhood, to bring him on board as a real estate partner of COhatch. The development will bring new life to a building that, apart from Bar-B-Que King, has been in disuse for years.

rendering of a restaurant with a West Tampa mural lettered on the far wall
Rendering via COhatch

Aiming to open 15 locations in the next 10 years

“We’re really grateful to have the opportunity to partner with Amelia, Tiffany and Bernard to dig deeper into the history of the community, restore this building and add a new hub for activity in the neighborhood,” said Sanders. “This is the first of a lot of exciting news we’re announcing in the next few months about our growth in the Tampa Bay area.”

The company hopes to have as many as 15 locations in the Tampa Bay area in the next 10 years. COhatch West Tampa is expected to open in Summer 2022.

What to read next:

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