After a long-awaited buildout on South Howard Avenue, the Florida-based Shula Burger has finally arrived in Tampa.

This is Shula's first non-airport location outside of South Florida, where six Shula Burger's already exist throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Those spots are close to the Miami Dolphins, whose legendary coach and two-time Super Bowl winner Don Shula is the concepts namesake. Shula himself will be in attendance at the Grand Opening on March 7th, and the location in one of Tampa hippest neighborhoods promises to be a hit with both the families of South Tampa as well as the students of the University of Tampa.

The vibe is casual, but the food aims to be gourmet with high-end ingredients and options that are a bit unusual for a burger joint. 

"We only use the best possible ingredients, and that's what makes a delicious, juicy burger," said Zydrunas "Z" Rackauskas, the owner/operator of the new location. After a basketball career at Kentucky State, he brings a deep knowledge of the process having worked at the smaller Shula Burger in the Tampa International Airport. "We're excited to be here, and to be a part of this neighborhood that is growing so quickly."

Shula Burger brings a blend of Black Angus beef, short rib, and brisket to their main burger mix in an effort to keep the burgers juicy. The fast-casual concept emphasizes flavor, and has menu favorites but also allows customers to build their own burger. Their "Perfect Burger" is two patties with Shula's Special Sauce, cheese, pickles, tomato, and lettuce on a bun from the famous Tom Cat Bakery on Long Island. And we can vouch, it's delicious!

Custom burgers are available as well, with add-ons such as Korean barbeque sauce, Sriracha mayo, fried jalapenos, and tomato-bacon marmalade. And for those looking to dine in a hurry or on a lunch break, you can order online or via their app to speed the process. 

Shula's will serve beer and wine as well, with an $8 deal for a burger, fries and a soda on weekdays. You can also sub out the soda for a beer for just $3 more. With reasonable price points and delicious food, this should become as big a hit in the 813 as it is in the 305 already!

For more info on dining and other things to do in Tampa, register at 813area: it's free!