Lori Brown · Oct 4, 2018 · 2 min read
Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi is a fast-casual Pan-Asian restaurant that is opening its first Tampa Bay area location in downtown St. Petersburg. The 2,700 sq. ft. location is located at 320 Third Street South – in the base of the Camden Pier District apartment building, formerly AER. The grand opening is tomorrow, October 5th.
Plenty of parking is available in the Camden Pier retail parking garage on Second Street South, behind Bento. Restaurant guests who park in this garage will receive one hour of free parking. Validation is provided with the purchase of any roll, bowl, or box upon customer request.
The downtown St Pete location is the tenth location for the local Florida chain that originated in Gainesville. Its rapid growth is a sign of the times for those that love fast-casual concepts.
“Expanding to the Tampa Bay region has been our goal for many years. We were drawn to downtown St. Petersburg for its rapid real estate market growth, the incredible transformation of the business district, and its proximity to the USF St. Petersburg campus and notable hospitals,” said Bento co-owner Johnny Tung. “With so many young professionals drawn to this area, the community will benefit from a quick, casual dining experience that includes a wide variety of made-fresh food and beverage options.”
This new restaurant location has also brought additional job opportunities to the area, with 60 employees being hired to date. The new St. Petersburg location will be open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week, featuring dine-in, takeout, delivery and catering. It also offers outdoor seating area.
The first Bento opened in Gainesville in 2002 and quickly gained a large following. Based in Orlando and owned by brothers Jimmy and Johnny Tung, Bento has locations in Davie, Gainesville, Tallahassee, Jacksonville and Orlando.
The concept features a vast, customizable menu including sushi, rice and noodle bowls, bento boxes, poké bowls and boba teas, all served up in a cool, modern environment. With its quick, casual service and affordable prices, Bento caters to the constantly-growing “on the go” population. Customer favorites include Pao Pao (Spicy Cream) Chicken, Build-A-Poké Bowls, Pad Thai Shrimp, the Volcano Roll and Taro Boba Tea.
We attended a media event last night that featured a buffet of many of their menu items. It's hard to get a true flavor for any restaurant at an event like this but the space is bright and inviting and what we tasted was good. See below for photos from the event and the full menu.
Quick casual Pan-Asian eatery