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Everybody's business

Eating out gets easier

Salads, subs, yogurt and pitas are some of the offerings at restaurants just opened or coming to the downtown area.

By MICHAEL CANNING and AMY SCHERZER
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 10, 2003


DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT SHUFFLE: New restaurants have opened or are on the horizon, according to Lonnie Homenuk of Chesapeake Atlantic Holdings, which owns several downtown buildings.

The former St. Pete Bagel Co. site at 210 E Madison St. should be occupied by a Pita's within a couple of weeks. Just opened last week is Best Dressed Salads, at 510 N Franklin St., where Burger King used to be.

Homenuk says negotiations are under way for an Italian restaurant to move across the street at long-vacant 513 N Franklin St. A block north on Franklin, the Blimpie at 606 is slated to close in February and reopen in March as a Blimpie/TCBY yogurt shop combination.

And the widely missed former CDB's/Babalouie's, vacant at 610 N Franklin for a year, may soon come to life. Homenuk says talks are under way with prospective restaurant and bar owners to move in there.

BELLINI BABIES REPORT TO W KENNEDY: And be sure mommy and daddy bring the checkbook.

The only Florida west coast outpost of the Bellini chain of children's furniture stores opens today. Bellini Baby and Teen Furniture is at 4545 W Kennedy Blvd., a block east of Westshore Boulevard. Franchise owner Johnnie McDonald says her 4,500-square-foot showroom will feature 18 display vignettes, each catering to different age groups.

The Bellini brand, designed and manufactured in Italy, is known for heavy wood and mica construction, traditional European styling, convertible designs and hefty price tags. McDonald says her cribs are priced from $500 to $1,000.

Bellini also offers customized wall hangings, original artworks, lamps, wallpaper, bedding sets, strollers, high chairs, desks, trundle beds, shelves and mirrors.

Today's opening is a soft one, McDonald says, with a grand opening planned in a few weeks.

EURO MOTORS MOVED, EXPANDING INTO SALES: European Motors of Tampa repair shop recently ended a long stint at 3202 W Kennedy Blvd. in the shadow of WTVT's SkyTower radar.

Owner Mike Sullivan moved his business toward downtown to 1107 W Kennedy, just east of Willow Avenue. He now has three times the lot size. He's applied for a license to sell used cars. Sullivan hopes to be selling cars by sometime next month.

As for the stock, it'll be the same stuff that Sullivan repairs: BMWs, Volvos and Mercedeses.

MOWER MEN UNITED: Though Thrifty Bikes and Mowers at 3309 S Dale Mabry Highway recently closed, veteran Virginia Park bike and lawn mower fixer Dave Jones is still in business.

He's now at the new K and M Landscaping, 5834 S MacDill Ave., at the Interbay Boulevard intersection. Owner Kevin Miller says Jones has brought a lot of commercial lawn maintenance repair business to the shop, which also offers its own lawn maintenance services.

Jones just fixes mowers, though. No more bikes.

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

THE FIND: Mosaic tables

No two tables are alike at Mediterranean Art Imports. Each tabletop is hand made of marble from Morocco or colorful terra cotta tile from Tunisia. Mosaic tile designs cover concrete rounds, rectangles or squares atop wrought iron bases. Prices range from $300 to $1,600. All are made in Morocco and shipped to 4707 W Gandy Blvd. Call 546-9266 for hours.

-- AMY SCHERZER

City Times: The rest of the stories

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  • Lengthening the line
  • My town: A warm reception
  • Amy Scherzer's Diary: Partaking of parties
  • City People: He's all smiles
  • Obituary: Five decades filled with dedication, doctoring
  • What's in a name?: Uniting Tampa's longshoremen
  • RSVP Tampa: Rolling with the punch lines
  • Everybody's business: Eating out gets easier
  • Neighborhood Report: Workshop focuses on adolescent girls
  • Produce stand is moving in
  • From ex-hospital to apartments for elderly
  • Help on way for tricky intersection
  • Weaving memories, mending hearts
  • Neighborhood Notebook
  • Homes: Front porch: Living on memories of home
  • Landmark gets new lease on life
  • To combat allergens, clean means dust, filter and purify
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