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Main Street center lands 3 new tenants

In November, a Krispy Kreme expects to open with ''hot lights'' that indicate when warm doughnuts come out of the oven.

By TIM GRANT, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 16, 2002


CARROLLWOOD -- Krispy Kreme is coming to Carrollwood.

The popular doughnut chain is one of three new tenants coming to the Main Street Shopping Center.

Krispy Kreme is scheduled to open in November. Mimi's Cafe, a chain based in California, will open its first Florida restaurant in December. And Apartment Hunters will make the former Carmike movie theater building its company headquarters.

"It's all very exciting," said Christanne Exterkamp-Coulter, owner of Cookies by Design, a fixture in the plaza for 51/2 years.

Although it is in the heart of Carrollwood's business district, the Main Street Shopping Center is off the beaten path. Shoppers must leave Dale Mabry Highway to know what stores are inside the center.

Main Street shop owners are hoping a high-traffic store like Krispy Kreme will give them more exposure.

"Who doesn't like Krispy Kreme doughnuts?" said Lisa McMackin, manager of Hands On Wellness Day Spa.

Workers have begun demolishing a former bank office at Main Street Shopping Center. The local Krispy Kreme franchisee, Gulf Florida Doughnuts, plans to build a new store on the property in time for a November opening.

"I don't have my 'Coming Soon' sign up, but we're working on it as we speak," said Mark Gauthier, the franchisee's president.

The Krispy Kreme will be the third in Hillsborough County. The others are on Florida Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard.

Gauthier said the Carrollwood store will be the newest Krispy Kreme prototype, offering frozen drinks and specialty coffees in addition to the traditional melt-in-your-mouth doughnuts.

He said the store will have "hot lights" signs on a pole and in a window to alert passers-by that doughnuts are emerging from the ovens. Gauthier predicted the lights will be on most of the time.

One of the original shopping centers in Carrollwood, Main Street had its heyday in the 1980s. Its popularity declined during the mid 1990s, however, as new shopping centers sprang up and its Carmike movie theater foundered.

Main Street's new anchor tenant will be Apartment Hunters, which is renovating the 27,000-square-foot Carmike theater for its ninth Florida office.

Sales representatives will not only help newcomers find apartments, but customers will be able to arrange utility connection and telephone service from the Main Street office.

"We do the groundwork and save people a lot of time and money," said James Goldney, vice president of marketing. This will be the company's ninth office in Florida.

The former Tony Roma's restaurant at Main Street has been torn down to make way for Mimi's Cafe, a California-based restaurant inspired by a French New Orleans atmosphere.

Mimi's has a menu divided into Les Soupes, Poulet and Poissons (soup, chicken and fish), according to the company's Web site. With main dishes costing less than $10, it is a family restaurant where children can get a cheeseburger with curly fries (although they are called by the French name, frites.)

Tenants in the strip mall hope their businesses benefit from the revitalization effort. One of those is Fitness w/attitude, a new health club co-owned by A.J. McGee and P.J. Jacobs.

"It looks like this center is getting ready to explode with all the growth and new businesses coming in," said Jacobs, who opened June 1. "I think it's going to benefit everybody."

-- Staff writer Bill Coats contributed to this report. Tim Grant can be reached at 269-5311 or at grant@sptimes.com.

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