(Tampa, FL): BENTO Asian Kitchen + Sushi, a family-owned quick-casual pan-Asian restaurant, has officially announced that it will be opening up its first ever Tampa location in September 2020.
The 100-seat, 2,800 square-foot eatery will be located at 5103 East Fowler Avenue across from the new Chipotle, Blaze Pizza, and University of South Florida campus. It’s much-anticipated opening will come just in time for the new fall semester.
“Our first BENTO location opened in the small college town of Gainesville 18 years ago in 2002 and was an almost instant hit amongst the University of Florida student crowd. Following that success, we’ve opened in college communities across Florida from UNF Jacksonville to UCF Orlando to FSU Tallahassee to USF St. Pete. Tampa has been one of our highest-requested cities so we were ecstatic to have found a spot that would be easily accessible for USF Tampa students,” says Johnny Tung, co-founder.
This location will offer plenty of outdoor seating, and will feature BENTO’s signature red sushi bar, warm wood tones, and brass accents reminiscent of modern cafes and lounges found in Japan & Taiwan. The eatery’s takeout-friendly, fast-casual setup makes it a perfect complement to the area’s growing “on-the-go” population.
“We’ve been eyeing Tampa for a very long time. Being an economic hub in West Florida, and home to a major University as well as several well-established sports teams, we’re thrilled to finally be able to call Tampa our new home. Notably, there’s an amazing emerging food culture that we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of. The Fowler location will certainly not be the last in the area. We’re hoping to open up three more Tampa locations in the near future,” says Tung.
BENTO Tampa will mark the concept’s 17th location, and the second in the Tampa Bay area following its downtown St. Petersburg debut in the fall of 2018. It will be joining a lineup of 16 other locations across Florida including restaurants in Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Davie, Boca Raton, Pembroke Pines, Tallahassee, Kissimmee, Winter Park, and BENTO’s newest location in Oviedo. The concept has no plans of slowing down with six more locations expected to open within the next year. Eagerly-awaited stores in Dania Beach, Lake Nona, Wellington, Jacksonville Beach, Downtown Jacksonville, and neighboring Sarasota are all projected to open before 2020 comes to a close.
Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, BENTO has been proactive in adapting its operation to accommodate off-site dining. The launch of BENTO’s new company-wide online orderingsite, in particular, is making social distancing a whole lot easier for the brand’s loyal customers. The new ordering platform allows users to skip the line, schedule an order in advance for pickup or delivery, and pay with just a few clicks. Users also have the option to save their favorite orders, and take advantage of online-exclusive deals. The mobile app version is soon to follow.
Following this wave, future locations will be featuring a new pick-up window for a more contactless experience.
A few other things that have gained BENTO a loyal following over the years include:
● A fresh and customizable menu featuring wok-seared dishes, fresh-rolled sushi, build-your-own poke bowls, rice and noodle bowls, and bento boxes
● A selection of house-brewed boba tea, Asian beers and sake
● Sauces made in-house with hand-cut veggies prepped daily.
● Dine-in, carryout, delivery and online ordering options 7 days a week for lunch and dinner
● A modern Japanese aesthetic with design elements unique to each location
● Affordable prices and great value under $12
● A variety of catering services for any occasion including private sushi chefs, and build-a-poke options.