TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Blind Tiger Café is expanding once again, this time to the former Starbucks location inside WestShore Plaza.
The company started as a fashion brand with its original location in Ybor City. Owner Roberto Torres told 8 On Your Side’s Daisy Ruth the company was looking for another opportunity to make their stores more compelling, so they expanded into the business of caffeine.
“So we started in Ybor City with a boutique that we transformed into half boutique, half coffee shop,” he explained.
Since then, Blind Tiger Café has expanded to Seminole Heights, South Tampa and Westchase, in addition to the WestShore Plaza location.
Torres said they weren’t initially looking to expand into a mall setting before the opportunity arose.
“The mall actually approached us. They told us that this location was available. It was an old Starbucks so we repurposed it and put our concept here,” he said.
All locations have the same coffee, tea and food menus.
Blind Tiger Café serves all kinds of beverages from Kombucha to café con leche but Torres said the “espresson bombon” is the most unique to them.
The company also serves food like acai bowls, avocado toast, sandwiches and salads.
The WestShore location actually opened last Thursday but the festivities are yet to come. Blind Tiger Café will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the location Thursday and a bigger celebration Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday’s event will feature live music, face painting, caricature artists and more. Thunder Bug will also be making an appearance.
Torres said the best thing about the WestShore location is the company’s ability to “spread the gospel of good coffee.”
“And that now we’re bringing more choices to people to actually places where they hang out. I know malls have been having a tough time lately, but we do believe there’s a significant amount of people that still come to the mall and we want to capture and serve them,” he explained.
He said community reaction to all of the company’s new locations has been wonderful.
“We’re super excited to go to more locations. We’re a Tampa-born, Tampa-bred brand.”
For full menus and a list of all locations, you can visit Blind Tiger Café’s website.
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