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Business briefs

By SHARON L. BOND, JON WILSON and PIPER JONES CASTILLO

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 20, 2002


Ben & Jerry's to open shop at BayWalk

Ben & Jerry's to open shop at BayWalk

ST. PETERSBURG -- BayWalk soon will have a Ben & Jerry's ice cream shop in the space recently vacated by KeyWest Confections, a candy and ice cream store.

"They bought out the existing tenant," said Craig Sher, president and chief executive officer of the Sembler Co., speaking of Ben & Jerry's, the Vermont ice cream maker. Sembler developed BayWalk, the $40-million entertainment and retail center in downtown St. Petersburg.

Ben & Jerry's rich ice cream is well known throughout this country and internationally. Some of its hippy dippy flavors are sold in local grocery stores.

Sher said the Ben & Jerry's at BayWalk will open May 1 after the ice cream maker renovates the space.

Snak Shak is remodeling after fire

ST. PETERSBURG -- Remodeling work began Monday on Red's Snak Shak, a 16th Street S restaurant closed last August after a fire caused $50,000 in damage.

The restaurant's tentative reopening date is April 18, said owner Carl "Red" Ferguson. Plans call for renovating the kitchen and interior.

The menu, famous for its burgers and fried chicken, will remain virtually the same, although green salad, macaroni salad and a grilled chicken breast sandwich will be added, Ferguson said.

Last summer's fire started in the deep fryer and spread to the stove hood and the chimney. No one was injured in the blaze. The outside of the restaurant was not damaged, but the kitchen was ruined.

Red's has been a 16th Street S fixture for 24 years.

Mr. Dan's shoe clinic will close

ST. PETERSBURG -- Mr. Dan's Orthopedic Shoe Clinic Inc. at 2924 Central Ave. is closing at the end of May when its lease is up, said Tony Vincenti.

Vincenti said he didn't like the terms of the new lease, which would restrict his manufacturing capabilities. He said he did not have the money to relocate to another building.

The business was founded by Tony Vincenti's father, Dan, in 1969. Tony Vincenti, 46, has run the business since his father died but has worked in it for 27 years. He makes orthopedic shoes from molds he shapes from customers' feet. Some of the feet he fits are so misshapen that they cannot use anything but a custom-made shoe.

Some customers can wear mass-produced shoes after Vincenti reshapes them.

Cotton's Golf shop relocates

ST. PETERSBURG -- Chris Hurlburt has moved Cotton's Golf to the Coconut Grove Shopping Center, 2900 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg, from east Tampa. Cotton's Golf offers new and used golf equipment as well as club repairs. The business was located in Hillsborough County for 13 years. Hurlburt purchased the business from the original owner, Vernon Nelms of Tampa, in 1999.

"The No. 1 reason I've moved over here is because I live in St. Pete, and I also believe there's a need in St. Pete for a store like this," Hurlburt said.

Stella's Contemporary Casuals was housed inside the 1,750-square-foot storefront until Hurlburt's relocation at the end of February. Maria Lazaro, owner of Stella's, has moved the woman's boutique to 3770 16th St. N, St. Petersburg.

Cotton's is open Monday-Saturday.

Uhuru Furniture store opens

ST. PETERSBURG -- Uhuru Furniture and Collectibles has opened at 945 Central Ave. selling antiques, used furniture and home furnishings. The shop is a project of the African People's Education and Defense Fund, said Kitty Reilly, a volunteer.

Uhuru Furniture and Collectibles is open Tuesday through Sunday.

Central Plaza welcomes new shop

ST. PETERSBURG -- Price Cutters of Buford, Ga., has opened a store at Central Plaza, 3365 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. The 30,000-square-foot storefront is the site of the former Webb's 99-cent Superstore. It is the second Price Cutters in Pinellas County. The first one opened at 990 Missouri Ave., Largo, four years ago.

"Our competition would be classified along with Big Lots," said Bob Hackendahl, director of operations for Price Cutters. "We purchase different merchandise from major retailers and manufacturers that are closeout. We buy below wholesale, and we offer it at a further discount."

The opening of Price Cutters at Central Plaza is just a piece of a much larger puzzle, Hackendahl said. "Our attempt is to reach into the bay area with more stores. In Atlanta, for example, we have 15 stores."

There are 10 employees at the Central Avenue location.

Hours for Price Cutters are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday-Friday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.

2 sailors pick Midtown for shop

ST. PETERSBURG -- Bill Wright and Ken Clark have opened Bluewater Sailing Supply at 3018 22nd Ave. S, St. Petersburg. The business specializes in sailboat equipment. "We got everything from winches, rigging components and blocks," said Ken Clark.

The reason the two sailors chose Midtown for Bluewater was because of the convenient location. "The number of sailboats around here is great," Clark said. "We've got the municipal marinas in St. Pete and Gulfport, as well as Maximo. We are central."

Before opening Bluewater, Clark served as director of marketing for Johnson Sails Inc. in St. Petersburg. He also spent two years in New England as a product manager for Hood Yacht Systems. Wright served as head of manufacturing for Johnson Sails Inc. in St. Petersburg. He also served as production manager for UK Sailmakers in Clearwater.

Bluewater Sailing Supply Inc. is open Monday through Saturday.

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