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Plenty of beer, song and dance; no wings

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By ERNEST HOOPER, Times Columnist

© St. Petersburg Times
published June 6, 2002

It was 4:30 Wednesday morning when owner Kevin Burns answered the telephone at the new Beef O' Brady's across from the Ice Palace.

A young woman wanted to know if the restaurant was going to open for the 5 a.m. World Cup Soccer match between the United States and Portugal.

"I told her we've got about 50 guys coming in, and she said, 'Okay, I better take a shower,"' Burns said. "It was unbelievable."

Plant High soccer players, coaches from the Blackwatch youth soccer organization and employees from Four Green Fields Irish Pub (they really were waiting for the Ireland-Germany game at 7 a.m.) were all up before dawn to watch the USA's 3-2 stunning victory.

The Beef O' Brady's chefs, accustomed to chicken wings and hamburgers, came up with some makeshift breakfast sandwiches.

Burns said he will open again for England-Argentina (Friday, 7:30 a.m.), U.S.-South Korea (Monday, 2:30 a.m.) and Ireland-Saudi Arabia (Tuesday, 7:30 a.m.).

* * *

There is an instant thought whenever you see the girls from Entertainment Revue perform: "Wow, they're good."

Composed of three separate ensembles of local girls ages 5 to 18, Entertainment Revue does 75 shows a year at civic and corporate events. They sing and dance so well that you might think mom and dad have dug deep for lots of lessons.

Not so, says Entertainment Revue's spirited director, Cynthia Gries. Most of the girls are just naturals who learn not through endless repetition of pirouettes and scales, but by simply performing the routines Gries helps choreograph.

"We're always learning a show," Gries says.

For Gries, the search for more diamonds in the rough begins with an audition reception and information meeting tonight at 7:45 in Busch Gardens' Marakesh Theater.

For more information, call 832-4720.

* * *

Every golf course needs a clubhouse stocked with beverages, but the folks at Pepin Distributing are taking the idea of the 19th hole to another level.

Pepin announced Wednesday it's going to move its beer wholesaling operations into a $20-million, 241,000-square-foot facility to be built on the former Persimmon Hill golf course at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 56th Street in east Hillsborough.

Construction is scheduled to begin in August and should be completed in a year. The facility will be big enough to hold up 1-million cases of beer.


* * *

So far, seven Entertainment Revue girls have gone on to sign national recording contracts, including Lauren Mayhew and Lydia Bell. They were two-fourths of the pop group PYT, but are now performing as a duo.

Mayhew and Bell are calling themselves Turning Point and will be at International Plaza's Bay Street tonight performing several songs they have co-written.

Also performing: 17-year-old jazz saxophonist Eric Darius, who bills himself as "the Smooth Breeze."

* * *

The final word on soccer is this: Those who love it should revel in the World Cup and not worry about the American football-loving fans who refuse to embrace the game.

Those who don't get it should stop whining about how boring the game is and simply respect the passion of the soccer faithful. Heck, they're already sleep-deprived.

That's all I'm saying.

-- Ernest Hooper can be reached at 226-3406 or

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