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    Business briefs

    Cody's Original Roadhouse plans for opening

    By Times staff writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 6, 2003

    BELLAIR BLUFFS -- The sign is up for the new Cody's Original Roadhouse. Now it just has to open.

    Owners George Pappas and his son, Nick, have picked the date: Jan. 13.

    The restaurant, a franchise that specializes in steaks, ribs and rotisserie chicken, is in the Bluffs shopping center on the southwest corner of the intersection of West Bay Drive and Indian Rocks Road.

    It's decorated in rustic roadhouse style with old license plates, antiques and blinking stoplights. Up to 175 people can be seated at tables and booths, with a few oversized booths that can handle a group of six to eight.

    George Pappas' brother, John, who owns a Roadhouse franchise in Spring Hill, is the inspiration for the new business venture.

    "His success gave us the incentive to do this," said Nick Pappas, who owns Grillmarks, a few miles east of the Roadhouse. His father recently opened Geo Pappas Restaurant a couple miles to the south. John Pappas also has a new restaurant, Pappas Mediterranean Bistro in the Icot Center.

    The Belleair Bluffs Cody's will open at 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and at noon Sundays. The menu will feature appetizers, soups and salads, some seafood, burgers and other sandwiches, dinners, desserts and a kid's menu with choices priced at $1.99. Dinner prices range from $6.95 for barbecue chopped steak with grilled onions or half a rotisserie chicken to $16.95 for a 24-ounce prime rib or 24-ounce Porterhouse steak.

    General manager Chris Halkias will oversee 40 to 45 employees, including kitchen staff members, servers and bartenders.

    Largo Feed Store begins expansion

    Largo Feed Store -- which has been operating in Largo for close to a century, according to some local historians -- is undergoing a $100,000 renovation and expansion.

    The exterior of the two-story building at 210 West Bay Drive is getting a new look in keeping with the city's downtown rejuvenation project.

    The front facade features fresh stucco, and new lighting and signs are being installed. Awnings over the windows will be hunter green, the color of the city's new street lights and benches along West Bay.

    The street entrance will open to an expanded showroom. The back of the building, where parking is located and most customers enter the showroom, will be cleaned up but won't be as pretty as the front, said Adam Gentile, who with his parents, Tony and Mary Jane Gentile, has owned the business since 1983.

    The family moved the business to its current location 11 years ago, when the then-60-year-old building they worked in was moved to Largo Central Park. The store specializes in pet foods, supplies and equipment for everything from turtles to horses, but it also sells fertilizers and pesticides.

    Renovated hotel reopens with new name

    After a $1.2-million renovation, the former Leisure Inn & Suites has reopened at 445 S Gulfview Blvd. on Clearwater Beach as Comfort Inn & Suites.

    Owned by John Conti and Agostino DiGiovanni, the hotel has new flooring and carpeting in guest rooms, the lobby and other public areas. The pool was refurbished, and the 61 guest rooms and suites have been redecorated with new furniture, bedding and window treatments.

    All the rooms have cable television, two-line telephones with data ports, coffee makers, safes and hair dryers. Suites also have microwave ovens, refrigerators, sofa beds and wet bars. Room rates start at $69.

    PrimeNet hires development exec

    Mark Lawrence has joined PrimeNet Marketing Services as business development executive. He will be responsible for new business development of the company's data, print and mail products in the Tampa Bay area.

    Based in St. Paul, Minn., PrimeNet provides direct marketing solutions and support services to such industries as publishing, retail, health, nonprofit, financial and travel/leisure. The company's local office, 2100 Palmetto St. in Clearwater, offers design services, direct mail production and data processing.

    Two chambers plan joint meeting

    The Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce and the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce will have their first joint technology council meeting from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Jan. 31 at Catalina Marketing, 200 Carillon Parkway in St. Petersburg. The program will focus on "Preparing Your Business to be a Government Supplier."

    For information or to make reservations, call the Clearwater Chamber at 461-0011.

    -- News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at 445-4119 or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions and major contracts. Photos can be sent, but not all will be used and they cannot be returned.

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