John Rivers, founder and CEO of 4 Rivers Smokehouse, will be opening up a new location in South Tampa next year, surely delighting residents of the area. 4 Rivers opened up a Carrolwood location in December, and was soon introduced to the North/South Tampa divide. Before opening the North Tampa location, Rivers had never heard of the territory rivalry between the two areas of the city. “I have friends who live in South Tampa and if they come up to the Smokehouse they make the biggest ordeal about it. I actually think [the territoriality] adds to the city’s character.”, Rivers told the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
The new smokehouse will be at the corner of Swann and MacDill Avenues, and is expected to open in late October/early November 2016. Rivers plans to scrap an old, shuttered farmer’s market to build a new 4,200-square-foot building. The building is “designed to reflect an old Tampa feel”. This is a smaller footprint than the usual 4 Rivers design, but Rivers feels comfortable with the size after successfully opening a 4,500-square-foot location in Tallahassee. “I don’t want our sites to feel cookie-cutter,” Rivers said. “I want them to feel like mom-and-pop places. We had to commit to a smaller footprint because of the land that was available. We had to shrink it, but I see that as a positive.”, Rivers said about the new South Tampa design.
Rivers has targeted the South Tampa area for a little while now. He first noticed the Swann and MacDill location two years ago, and has had his eye on it since. 4 Rivers are known for drawing heavy traffic and having lines extending into the parking lot, there is no doubting that the new South Tampa location will enjoy this same success.