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Get your java at the drive-though

Indigo Coffee, a shop for motorists only, should be open by the end of the month.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published May 24, 2002


COFFEE TO GO AT INDIGO: The angular contemporary building clashes with West Tampa's early century rooflines. Likewise, the owners of the new coffee drive-through at Interstate 275 and Howard Avenue hope their product jolts you out of your drive-time drowsiness.

Co-founders Jeff Darrey and Joe Timberlake hope to have their first Indigo Coffee location open by the end of the month. Indigo is for motorists only; hence its dual drive-through windows, absence of tables and its interstate-accessible location.

The menu's coffee items are all based on Indigo's own Arabica blend. Iced coffee drinks, flavorings and pastries will also be offered.

Eye-catching architecture isn't the only way Indigo has left its print on the neighborhood. The store's arrival has also included a mural painted on the side of neighboring business Luis Doors.

Drive-through customers will be treated to a rendering of a line of cars silhouetted against an indigo blue night sky with white stars and a crescent moon face.

Darrey, CEO of Tampa's Marketing Associates U.S.A., and Timberlake, a former chief operating officer with Hops restaurant, are planning five other bay area locations.

CHANNELING CREATIVITY: Don't look now, but more of those creative types have moved into the Channel District. And so two more old industrial buildings in the transforming industrial neighborhood have been converted to artistic work spaces.

It all reminds Pete Larios of his former neighborhood, Chicago's Printer's Row. That's why he recently decided to make 108 N 11th St. the headquarters for his Studio 4 Nineteen, a marketing firm specializing in Web development, merchandising and apparel, graphic design, printing and public relations.

Studio 4 Nineteen has satellite offices in Vancouver, Chicago and New York. But Larios feels that Tampa's downtown warehouse district has the same potential as those of the big cities. "Absolutely. No question," he says.

Larios recalled that synergy was key in the resurrection of Printer's Row. And so he's sharing space, in a manner of speaking, with sister business Studio Core.

An old garage building just behind 4 Nineteen provides work and showroom space for the local group of artisans operating as Studio Core. Business owner Brent Gardner said paintings, furniture, jewelry, sculptures, frames and greeting cards can all be made on a custom basis.

Gardner intends Studio Core to combine the appeal of arty furniture stores like Diamond Gallery and the lamentably late Michael's Door with quirky decor and knickknack stores like Nicholson House and Artsy Fartsy.

The Studio Core is also starting to branch into interior design.

The space is modestly sized at 1,200 square feet, but Gardner says he intends to offer free temporary work space to local artists. You can call Studio 4 Nineteen at 223-7701 or log on to their Web site at www.studio4nineteen.com. You can call Studio Core at 225-1495.

DRUGS, LAWYERS AND CELL PHONES have further infiltrated South Tampa.

Statscript Pharmacy/Chronimed recently moved into one of three new office suites at Swann Avenue and Henderson Boulevard. A cellular phone company is likely to join them this summer, according to Rich Holder of Commercial Asset Managers, the building's developer.

As for the third suite, "We've had lots of conversations with lots of people," he said.

Among them: retailers, lawyers and title offices.

Lawyers are about to move into 202 S Rome Ave. at the southeast corner of Rome and Cleveland Street. Half the space will be leased to Allen, Dell, Frank and Trinkle. The firm should move in by the end of August, said Cheryl Conner, leasing agent with Bay Villa Developers.

Conner said another law firm is considering leasing the other half of the building, but nothing has been finalized. For more information, call 247-4949.

- Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3382, or e-mail citytimes@sptimes.com.

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