TBO: Chefs offer up a taste of what’s coming to Sparkman Wharf

By Laura Reiley, Times Food Critic 

Published: September 14, 2018

TAMPA — On Wednesday night, about 60 people got a sneak preview of what Tampa diners soon will experience at Sparkman Wharf, part of the $3 billion Water Street Tampa neighborhood that Jeff Vinik and Strategic Property Partners are developing in what was Channelside Bay Plaza. 

Still very much under construction — lots of cranes and dirt and temporary tents — it was a thrilling look at what will debut in late October. It’s a phenomenon playing out all over the country in cities from Philadelphia to Detroit: Shipping containers repurposed to comprise a series of small restaurants or food vendors. Think of it as a food truck rally with no wheels. Or an open-air food hall.

"It’s hip, it’s cool and cutting edge," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn while sipping a cocktail called Pillow Talk, something that will be offered at Jeannie Pierola’s shipping container restaurant, a dive bar/fish shack she’s calling Edison’s Swigamajig (the "swig" is for the cocktails and the "jig" is a reference to fishing lures). Pierola sat nearby in her chef whites, gearing up for the 7 p.m. unveiling of what she called a cracked conch coconut "caipirinha," a Key West pink shrimp toast "Monte Cristo" and a surf and turf dog with charred octopus. 

"We started talking to (Strategic Property Partners) so long ago, more than a year ago. We want to do something here that’s all local seafood," Pierola said, her inspiration drawn from a now-defunct fabled seafood house on Anna Maria Island called Fast Eddies. She described what would be on the Swigamajig menu (heady stuff like cracked conch silver dollar funnel cakes dusted with Key lime sugar)... more

Tampa Bay Business Journel: Chef Jeannie Pierola will have an expanded presence at Sparkman Wharf in Water Street

By Ashley Gurbar Kritzer–Senior Reporter, Tampa Bay Business Journal 

Aug 20, 2018, 7:34am EDT Updated Aug 20, 2018, 1:39pm 

One of Tampa's most prominent chefs will have an expanded presence at Sparkman Wharf, occupying two of the 10 shipping containers within the dining garden.

Chef Jeannie Pierola, a four-time James Beard semifinalist and creator of Edison Food and Drink Lab in South Tampa, is bringing edison’s swigamajig divebar and fishkitchen to Sparkman Wharf, which was previously Channelside Bay Plaza.

The concept is a reinvention of the "quintessential Florida seafood shack," according to Strategic Property Partners, the developer of Sparkman Wharf — "a no-frills, channel-side shanty that’s all about cocktails and the catch." more

CLT: Partnership with Tampa chef Jeannie Pierola completes Sparkman Wharf dining garden

One word: swigamajig.

By Meaghan Habuda Creative Loafing Tampa

AUG 20, 2018 9 AM

Over the weekend, Tampa's Sparkman Wharf made the final partnership announcement for its intimate al fresco dining garden. Local chef and four-time James Beard Award semifinalist Jeannie Pierola plans to bring her newest project to the forthcoming waterfront hangout along the Garrison Channel, and it's been dubbed edison's swigamajig divebar and fishkitchen.

Regionites can rejoice for a couple of reasons: One, this means weekly reveals from Sparkman Wharf are over (hopefully). And two, swigamajig is, seriously, like, the best name ever. more