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Pet shop almost set; market isn't

A pet store will open soon in Town Square Shopping Center, but an Italian market has been delayed.

By MICHAEL CANNING, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 4, 2002

THE DOGS EAT FIRST: It's looking like a new pet store will hit Town Square Shopping Center before a new market does. PETCO plans to open later this month, according to Leah Henderson, assistant manager of the chain's new Carrollwood store.

Meanwhile, Gaetano's Italian Market is a little behind but still on the way. That's according to Tom Lamb, co-owner of the planned grocery.

He and business partners Enrique, Carlo and Anthony Castillo hoped to open by Labor Day. But now Lamb says it will be about another two months, due to "delays in making decisions on our part. We want to make sure everything's right." Lamb said merchandise and staffing issues have been the chief concerns.

Gaetano's, inspired by Balducci's in New York City, will feature specialty Italian foods. It's expected to fill a void created when Kash n' Karry left the plaza at Kennedy and West Shore boulevards.

PANERA BREAD debuted this week at SoHo Pointe, the new retail and office building at the southwest corner of Swann and Howard avenues.

With 149 seats, this Panera location is average-sized within the St. Louis-based bakery cafe chain, according to Michael Flewelling, director of operations for the Tampa Bay area.

NOT FULL YET? Cafe de Mardin recently opened two doors down from Tampa Theatre at 713 N Franklin St.

Specializing in Turkish, Lebanese and Greek staples, it joins Bread and Butter Gourmet at 507 N Franklin in giving downtown lunchers an eastern Mediterranean choice.

Co-owner Sam Chehab touts the same advantage that many restaurateurs of his ilk do.

"A lot of our menu is vegetarian-oriented," he said.

Falafels, hummus and tabouleh made fresh daily are among the dishes, along with kafta kabobs, sojouk (a Turkish beef and lamb sausage), Lebanese style chicken, spanakopita (a Greek, lasagnalike dish with feta and spinach), Greek salads (without the American addition of potato salad) and stuffed grape leaves.

Chehab, a native of Beirut, said the cafe is named after Mardin, Turkey, where one of his friends are from. Chehab also owns, along with his family, Sahara Cafe locations in Sarasota, St. Petersburg and on Busch Boulevard. He also used to run Nature's Cafe downtown on Tampa Street.

PERUSE PERU'S FURNITURE: Or more specifically, the furniture of Peru's Chavin Indians, an ancient tribe long renowned for furniture.

Chavin Arte de Peru, at the corner of Henderson Boulevard and Swann Avenue, is a showroom for such handcrafted furniture.

Made mostly from reclaimed wood and iron, the pieces vary but share a common theme of rugged, folksy elegance, with iron trim, hammered copper, hand-tooled leather surfaces and crackle finishes.

Armoires, dining sets, wine safes, bookcases, tables and mirrors set in rather striking painted glass panel frames are among the selection. Co-owner Trudy Arrowood added that the store also offers kitchen islands and custom pieces.

You may recognize Arrowood from Expressions Custom Furniture at 415 S Dale Mabry Highway. She and her daughter, Amanda McMahon, are partners in that store, as well as Chavin Arte de Peru. A third Chavin partner, Charlie Edwards, oversees the design, manufacture and exporting of furniture from Lima, Peru.

Arrowood said turnaround time for custom orders is usually 10 to 12 weeks.

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