Hattrick's: An Upscale Sports Bar Downtown

But is it really Irish? 
Hattrick's Entrance, 2019
Opening it's doors in 1997, Hattrick's was one of the few places you could actually hangout in a dormant Downtown Tampa. The Lightning were merely five years old, they had just moved to the Ice Palace, USF hadn't played their first football game yet, the Rays weren't even a thing, and the Bucs were still five years away from winning the Superbowl. In other words, sports in Tampa were fairly nonexistent. Somehow, through Tampa having no decent teams to root for, and Downtown having no reason for people to stay in, Hattrick's managed to survive, and thrive, and is now one of the premier Downtown Tampa hangouts. 
Bar, 2019
Once you enter, you're greeted with a large bar to your left, enough TVs to seemingly show every sport on the planet, sports memorabilia all over the walls, and a moderately sized dining room to your right. It was St. Patrick's Day of this year that Chris, Stormy, and I decided we were going…

University Mall: RD Management's New Vision

In 1974, a new mall opened to service the Tampa area. That mall is known as University Mall.
 University Mall Entrance, 2017

Tampa is an exciting city to live in right now. With Vinick and Gates working on Channelside, Buckhorn working on Downtown, the rapid growth of Seminole Heights, and Shaw buying $68 mil worth of Ybor, there is no shortage of new projects going on in Tampa. One of the most overlooked being the Tampa Innovation Alliance's (TIA) plan to modernize the East Tampa and Temple Terrace areas.

When the term "East Tampa" is uttered, visions of homelessness, prostitution, drugs, and crime usually come to mind. It's the vision of the TIA that's going to change the area. Starting in 2014, Mark Sharpe and a team of professionals got together in an attempt to turn the area around the University of South Florida into a tech center for the greater Tampa Bay area. The first phase of the plan is to revitalize the area, make it more attractive to potential investors. While planning for the future of East Tampa, RD Management bought the old mall with the intent of rebuilding it.

University Mall, 2017

University Mall has struggled the last few decades with newer, more modern malls being build nearby. Brandon Mall is up the interstate, Citrus Park Mall over in Carrollwood, International Mall by the airport. The years haven't been kind to the mall, and many of the anchor stores left for newer facilities. University Mall turned to local stores in an attempt to keep the mall open and customers coming. The mall was in such bad shape that, when RD Management bought the property, the bank was in control of it. 

Kim's Dollar & More, 2017

The first step to bringing life back to this old mall was to bring in some new stores and attractions. Shortly after the mall was bought, Macy's announced that they were closing the University Mall location. That wasn't a problem for RD Management, who had bigger plans for the property. Their first major change was to bring in Studio Movie Grill to replace the Regal Cinemas that had left. 

Inside University Mall, 2017

Radical changes to the property have been promised, yet very little has been known. The plans have recently been announced and the roof is coming off of University Mall, literally. Taking inspiration from a mall in West Palm Beach, Fl, University Mall will become an open air mall, complete with water features, sidewalks, new greenery and a promise of new shops coming, more local shops, and new anchors. Development has already started, with new restaurants coming to the outer edge of the mall. 

Portillo's, 2017

From the information I can find around the internet, the project can expect to be completed in 2020. I'm excited to see what the new and improved University Mall brings to the area. 




Are you excited for the future of University Mall? Leave a comment below. If you'd like more information on Tampa, check out my YouTube Channel and if you'd like to support my efforts, don't hesitate to buy a shirt from our Spreadshirt. Also, don't be afraid to click subscribe and you'll instantly be notified whenever a new entry is posted. If you'd like to meet other people who love Tampa, consider joining our Facebook Group. Thank you all and I will see you next time!

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