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By SHARON L. BOND, Neighborhood Times Business Editor
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 11, 2002

Aromas of Tex-Mex waft into building

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tijuana Flats restaurant opened last week in the Davenport Building at 918 Fourth St. N, the recently renovated structure with the deep amethyst colors and diamond markings.

Owner Felix D. Fudge said people told him he should name the building, so he chose his mother's maiden name, Davenport. His mother is Toni Fudge. Felix Fudge has his commercial real estate business, Bridgeport South Realty Advisors Inc., in the second floor of the Davenport.

Fudge received a lot of comments, some not flattering, about the colors and design on the building as it was being renovated. He said the interior of Tijuana Flats makes the exterior of the building look tame.

"It's very funky," Fudge said.

Tijuana Flats is a Tex-Mex restaurant that began in Orlando. It advertises casual dining with entrees made to order.

Beans you can bank on

ST. PETERSBURG -- The bank vault remains, but does nothing except sit there and look cool, according to Randy Arnett, owner with his wife, Dawn, of the new coffee shop, Central City Bean.

The shop opened Aug. 19 in the old branch bank office in Snell Arcade at 401 Central Ave. NationsBank (now Bank of America) closed its branch there in 1996.

The Arnetts had a similar business in Wisconsin but moved to St. Petersburg in June to escape the Northern winters. The shop has seating for 10 people. Randy Arnett said the "lion's share" of business so far had been takeout.

Central City Bean sells specialty coffees, espresso beverages, baked goods and hand-dipped chocolates that Dawn Arnett makes.

Chamber sells Grand Prix tickets

ST. PETERSBURG -- The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce is selling reserved seats in Grandstand 5 for the inaugural St. Petersburg Grand Prix, scheduled for Feb. 21-23. The race is put on by the Championship Auto Racing Team.

The chamber said the section of seats will allow its members to buy blocks of tickets to entertain clients or reward employees. Tickets, which are good for all three days of the event, range in price from $105 each to $80 each for adults and $80 to $55 each for children.

Tickets are available to the general public as well as members of the chamber. For more information, call 821-4069.

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