Tampa International Airport today celebrated the grand opening of two anchor restaurants in the Main Terminal: P.F. Chang’s, offering fresh sushi and Chinese cuisine, and Hard Rock Cafe, the first in a North American airport.
Located next to each other on the east side of the terminal, both restaurants overlook the new outdoor terraces and have large glass windows facing the airfield and future SkyConnect train station. Each brings its own personality to TPA, with P.F. Chang’s sleek and modern aesthetic providing a relaxed dining experience and Hard Rock Cafe’s iconic music memorabilia pieces and immersive dining experience, setting a fun stage for TPA guests.
“Both of these stunning restaurants really bring that ‘wow’ factor to our Main Terminal,” said Tampa International Airport CEO Joe Lopano. “P.F. Chang’s is one of the most popular dining chains in the country and serves Asian dishes that are as artful as they are delicious. Having North America’s first airport Hard Rock Cafe puts us on an international map for true Hard Rock fans and will draw visitors from all over the world for many years to come.”
P.F. Chang’s, located near the Airside A shuttle, is operated by longtime TPA concessionaire HMS Host and is designed combining influences from Chinese and American cultures, both in look and flavor. The dining areas feature colorful backlit Chinese murals and tastefully positioned bonsai trees, and at the entrance stands a signature P.F. Chang’s giant horse statue. The restaurant celebrated its grand opening at TPA with a dazzling Chinese dragon dance and a sushi-rolling demonstration.
“We are very excited to be bringing such a popular brand as P.F. Chang’s to travelers at Tampa International Airport,” said HMSHost Vice President of Business Development Michael Price. “P.F. Chang’s has been a great partner and their menu has been a favorite among diners for years. We are pleased to join the airport to deliver these great dishes for travelers to also enjoy.”
Hard Rock Cafe is operated by SSP America and features authentic memorabilia from new and legendary music icons, including pieces from Prince, Lady Gaga and Les Paul. The new Hard Rock Cafe will also feature a Rock Shop retail store, selling Tampa International Airport Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts, mugs, children’s clothing, pins and other merchandise branded specifically for the new airport location.
The cafe celebrated its opening with Hard Rock’s traditional grand opening guitar smash, joined by a DJ and rock ‘n’ roll star impersonators.
“Given our exclusive partnership with Florida’s own Hard Rock Cafe has made the opportunity to bring the very first iconic rock and roll restaurant to an airport possible,” said John Clark, Vice President, Business Development of SSP America. “We’re so glad this world-renowned brand has opened right here at Tampa International Airport because it’s but one indication of our larger commitment to the airport’s vision of remaining a major driver for economic growth in the region. “
“Of course, none of this would be possible without the help of our amazing local Tampa partners Bob Coyne, Ruben Perez, Carlos Alfonso and Drew Weatherford,” Clark said. “At SSP America, we have a passion for the passenger experience, and there is no experience quite like a Hard Rock Cafe. With a vibrant energy, delicious food, custom cocktails and renowned Rock Shop, we’re confident TPA passengers will love Hard Rock Cafe!”
Hard Rock is one of the most globally recognized brands, with cafes and other venues all over the world. The first Hard Rock Cafe opened in London in 1971 – coincidentally the same year the newly constructed Tampa International Airport opened. Guests of Hard Rock can also enjoy authentic, American fare from the brand’s scratch-based menu, as well as a wide-variety of innovative cocktails.
“Hard Rock has been looking forward to opening another cafe after more than five successful years of operating in Tampa, and we could not have asked for a more dynamic and exciting location than the Tampa International Airport,” said Calum MacPherson, Area Vice President of Cafe Operations (North America – East) for Hard Rock International. “We look forward to becoming a must-see destination for both travelers and locals alike as we join this energetic community.”
The two new restaurants are among roughly 30 expected to open this year at TPA, coinciding with the Airport’s historic expansion of its Main Terminal, a new rental car facility and a 1.4-mile automated people mover.
The concessions redevelopment options include a wider variety of choices than ever before, including more local brands. Roughly 40 percent of the food and beverages options are local, featuring such staples as Columbia, Cigar City, Four Green Fields, Buddy Brew and the Café by Mise en Place. Participation in the Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) also increased from three (3) companies to fifteen (15), bringing more woman- and minority-owned business to TPA.