Photograph by Parker Young
SectorFood & Beveridge
King State’s first brick and mortar bar in Tampa, FL serves as the flagship store for the coffee roaster and beer brewer. Working closely with the brand to create a physical space as immersive as their branding, Studio Workhorse designed 520 E Floribraska Ave from top to bottom, including the interior, menus, signage, and merchandise. The bar appeared on Food & Wine’s “Best Coffee Shops In America” list at number eight.
The interior’s design began with images pulled from various sources and placed into a mood board, outlining points of inspiration for materials, furniture, art, and even portraits of the kind of guests King State wanted the space to attract. Using this visual “bible,” Studio Workhorse, along with owners Nathan Young and Tim McTague, began to source vintage art and materials for use in the space, including 30 original Herman Miller shell chairs from a New York synagogue. Each piece of the design was carefully considered and, when possible, sourced from period-specific manufacturers.
Initially constructed in 1966, the Mid-Century Modern service station had to be stripped down to its shell and completely rebuilt. The garage bays would become the barroom, while the office side would become the main entry and washrooms. The building’s signature overhang, formerly used as a rain cover for fuel pumps, would become outdoor patio seating.
Using King State’s “tropical-punk” aesthetic as a guide, the interior is understated and focuses on materials, texture, and transparency. Gray concrete meets warm wood, harsh lines are broken by organic plants and brightly colored soft accents, while stainless-steel surfaces throughout pay homage to the building’s history. The crooked tile, unfilled holes in the cinderblock walls, and scratches on the vintage chairs are all left intentionally exposed to give the space an inviting, punk-rock, lived-in feel. King State is the anti-coffee-shop.