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2nd Delimania sets sights on old Vietnamese shop

Dong Phuong's closed in July, and the New York-style deli will open in its place in September.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published August 23, 2002


GOODBYE BIG NOODLE, HELLO BIG APPLE: The aroma of Dong Phuong's pho noodles has hardly had time to dissipate, only to soon be replaced by that of corned beef and sauerkraut.

A second location of Carrollwood's Delimania will replace the popular Vietnamese lunch spot, which closed in July after 16 years on Henderson Boulevard.

Delimania owner Bruce Spivak came to the bay area in 1988 after running bakery and catering businesses in New York. In 1990, he took over the year-old Delimania on the Carrollwood end of Dale Mabry Highway. Now he wants to open the second location, closer to where he says many of his customers live.

The New York style deli will have virtually the same menu as its Carrollwood counterpart. Hand-cut smoked fish, baked salmon, nova and lox, corned beef, brisket, salads and soups all prepared on the premises. Lovers of his famous Reubens should know that Spivak continues to insist on Goldy's pastrami from New Jersey.

"I have a hard time getting pastrami I like down here," he says.

But the South Tampa Delimania will offer something that Spivak says would never fly in Carrollwood: late-night hours. Spivak plans to experiment with serving a limited breakfast menu from 1 to 7 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. He hopes to attract bar and restaurant workers, along with late-night carousers.

The new Delimania should open some time in September.

* * *

SPEAKING OF DONG PHUONG: The building's current owner, Jane Levin of Jane Levin and Associates Investment Realty, said she's trying to find a new location for the Le family to open another Vietnamese restaurant.

The former owners and operators of Dong Phuong want to open as close as possible to their old Henderson Boulevard location, she said.

Family patriarch Duyet Le is currently vacationing in Vietnam along with most of his family, according to his niece and former Dong Phuong waitress Phuong Lu.

* * *

CHANNELSIDE VETERAN'S NEW BLUEPRINT: Henry Lewis figured 34 years was long enough. After running his City Blueprint reprographics business in the Channel District for that long, he's entitled to build a new home for it. And himself.

Ground broke in May where City Blueprint once stood, at the southeast corner of 11th and Washington streets. A four-story building will soon rise.

The ground floor will be occupied by City Blueprint, with private parking for the fourth floor penthouse. That's where Lewis plans to live, some 58 feet in the air with an open terrace view of downtown. The second and third floors, each 6,000 square feet, will be leased as office space. Lewis estimates the of the value of the new building and its land will be from $2.5 to $3 million.

Architect Jeffrey Conner of Conner and Associates said the building will have Mediterranean and contemporary features, with 12-foot ceilings on each floor.

Lewis expects the building to be completed by February or March. Until then, City Blueprint will operate from the former Rodbenders building at 119 N 11th St.

* * *

CHOCOLATIER COMING TO SOHO: "Shahk-oh-lahd."

It's not that Valentina Ludert is trying to make you sound all poofy. But that's how you say the name of her upcoming Schakolad Chocolate Factory franchise. And let's be honest. If we go to a chocolatier, we're pretty much in a poofy mood to begin with, aren't we?

The Winter Park-based chain currently has eight locations. Ludert hopes hers, at 408 S Howard Ave., will open by mid-September.

Look for European-style handmade chocolates, including truffles, dipped fruits and other novelties. Fondue tables may be added, Ludert said.

Like any chocolate shop worth its cocoa butter, the kitchen will be visible from the outside.

* * *

HAO WAH STILL UNDER WRAPS: But the perennial South Tampa favorite for Chinese American buffet food is nearing the end of its renovation and expansion, begun in March.

Owner Ben Quach says the restaurant at 1713 S Dale Mabry Highway is still undergoing interior work and should be open by the end of September.

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

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