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Gourmet grocery will take Giancola's spot

The market should open on MacDill Avenue within two months.

By SUSAN THURSTON, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 25, 2002

A small, gourmet grocery store is expected to move into the old Giancola's Market on MacDill Avenue, which closed abruptly in May.

Shopping center officials said the new store should open in the next six to eight weeks, in time for the busy Christmas rush. They would not disclose the name or owner but said the lease is almost final.

"We should expect something else very soon," said Shannon Henderson, manager of Palma Ceia Village, which leases the space.

Giancola's shut down with no warning about six months ago, shocking customers, employees and business owners. The independent grocery was a South Tampa tradition, known for its quality meat, specialty foods and large wine selection.

Neighboring store owners said they can't wait for the new market. Since Giancola's left, some businesses have suffered.

"I'm very excited," said Teri Scott, manager of Buy Best Beauty Outlet, next to Giancola's. "I had to close on Sundays because no one is here."

Scott expects to expand her schedule once the new grocery moves in. In the past week or so, crews have torn down the white paper in the windows and set up a display of pastas, sauces and wines.

The market has a history of nearly 20 years in South Tampa. It opened as the Simon Schwartz Supermarket and then was renamed Simon's Market.

Ed Giancola bought the store from the Schwartz family and ran it from 1990 to 2001. He sold it to Michael McKenzie, who closed it before the end of his lease.

-- Susan Thurston can be reached at 226-3394 or

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