Get your spicy cream taste buds ready. BENTO Asian Kitchen has officially announced that it will be firing up the wok this month at its newest location at Tampa’s Armature Works. The Florida-based concept will be joining Buddy Brew Coffee as Heights Public Market’s newest vendors, serving up an array of fragrant, wok-fired dishes from across Asia.
Featuring dishes, such as Coconut Curry Tofu, Spicy Sichuan Chicken, Shrimp Pad Thai and Mongolian Steak, BENTO will be bringing the sights, smells, and tastes of Asia to the popular neighborhood food hub.
“We’ve been eyeing Armature Works for a while now. Aside from being a hub of amazing local eateries, its waterfront location along Riverwalk makes it a prime hang-out spot for the growing neighborhoods of Downtown Tampa, and the Heights, especially with all the new surrounding retail, condo, hotel, and office spaces,” says Johnny Tung, co-founder.
BENTO will assume the space formerly occupied by Ichicoro Imoto, and its design will feature a modern take on Japanese aesthetics with a mix of traditional patterns, warm woods, and Tokyo-esque neon lights.
BENTO at Armature Works will offer the concept’s fan favorites all served hot and fresh off the wok or grill over rice, noodles, or in a bento box. The concept will also offer a bites menu for those who want to snack on a variety of shareables. The new location will be open 7 days a week for quick-service, takeout, online orders, and delivery through 3rd party platforms.
This location will mark the family-owned-and-operated company’s fourth in the Tampa Bay area following its locations in Downtown St. Petersburg, USF Tampa, and Sarasota in UTC, it’s latest addition.
The new Armature Works location is part of a growing family of BENTO concepts across Florida, including brick-and-mortar locations in Orlando, Jacksonville, South Florida, and Gainesville along with virtual kitchens in Atlanta and Houston – in total over 15 locations.
BENTO made a name for itself in the fast-casual Asian food space and frequently anchors itself around Downtown core areas and busy college towns. This location should be an attractive option for both busy Downtown workers, residents, and students nearby at the University of Tampa. The first BENTO location opened in the summer of 2002 near the University of Florida.
“We’ve watched the Tampa food scene evolve over the years, and are excited to be in such great company with other local chef-driven concepts. Armature Works, specifically, is a place we frequent ourselves on trips to Tampa so we’re thrilled to finally call it our new home,” says Tung.
The Heights is a 50-acre mixed-use urban district located along the Hillsborough River, just north of Downtown Tampa. When completed, The Heights District will include hotels, apartments, condos, office buildings, restaurants, retail stores, green spaces, parking garages and more. The Heights District is anchored by award-winning Armature Works, a 73,000-square foot historic warehouse reimagined as the signature food and entertainment destination in the Tampa Bay area.
Change is certainly in the air at Heights Public Market.