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Open and shut

By EVE LEBERSON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 2, 2002

CRACKER BARREL COMING THIS FALL: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store is coming to north Tampa.

Construction workers broke ground on the 180-seat restaurant two months ago at the northeast corner of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard and Bearss Avenue, Cracker Barrel spokeswoman Jennifer Presley said. It is expected to open Sept. 16.

Locals now travel to Wesley Chapel or Seffner to get their fix of the restaurant's traditional country cooking. But soon, most will only have to travel a few miles to indulge in the pancakes, eggs, biscuits and gravy, chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, fried chicken, beef stew and apple dumplings the restaurant serves daily.

Visitors also can browse the old-fashioned retail store in the lobby. Shoppers will be able to choose from knickknacks, candy, food, housewares, porcelain tea sets, cookware, toys and games. The store's signature rocking chairs, which provide porch seating for hungry guests waiting for a table, will also be available for purchase.

Hours will be 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

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COSTUME SHOP CLOSES IN MISSION BELL: M & P Costumes and Novelties closed its doors Wednesday at 12715 N Dale Mabry Highway in the Mission Bell shopping plaza. Customers searching for magic-related items, gag gifts, masks or costumes can visit its other location at 6220 Ridge Road in Port Richey. For information, call (727) 817-0877.

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ARBY'S OPENS IN TOWN 'N COUNTRY: Arby's restaurant opened April 27 at 5620 W Waters Ave., just west of Anderson Road. The fast-food chain offers roast beef and chicken sandwiches, salads and baked potatoes. Store hours are 10 a.m. to midnight daily. For information, call 882-3765.

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-- If you know of a business that is opening, closing or moving, please contact Eve Leberson at North of Tampa, 14358-B N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33618. Phone: 269-5302. Fax: 269-5310. Email:

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