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Fuchsia explores lively mix; 'Dwarf' lands in movie; week spots

By ERNEST HOOPER
Published September 5, 2003

When he was living in Portland, Ore., Jetie B. Wilds became enamored with a private dining club called Goose Hollow.

"It was a place where people could talk about whatever it is one wanted to talk about," Wilds explained. "I've joined private clubs in different places and I liked the idea of consistency in terms of clientele and treatment.

"Plus, people like going to places and just hanging out."

By definition, the color fuchsia is a blend between purple and red. So perhaps it's appropriate Wilds and other owners of the new club Fuchsia are looking for a mixed-use for one of Tampa's newest entertainment ventures.

Fuchsia, in the former Cold Storage at the corner of Tampa and Whiting streets, will be a private dining club and a public restaurant/lounge.

Wilds, who may be best known as host of his own show on WTMP-AM 1150, is part of a group hoping to bring new life to the spot by attracting folks interested in a calm and inviting environment. He's joined by brother George Wilds, owner of Ybor City's Blue Shark; WTMP sales representative Lawrence Hires, who also owns a promotion company; and Jerry Woods.

An invitation-only reception was held last Friday. Wilds was as impressed by the number of people as by the diversity of the crowd.

"We were able to bring in a cross section of people in the community - grown folks, we call them," Wilds explained. "We're replicating many of the private club situations seen around the country and here in the city. We're mixing that with an open lounge.

"We've heard a lot of good things."

The club officially opens for business with a happy hour on Sept. 8. Plans are to serve breakfast and lunch to the public and stay open through the early evening, while Fuchsia slowly builds a clientele for the private dining part of the restaurant. Wilds said they also will open on Sunday afternoons to cater to sports fans.

For more information on the club, call 221-4921.

Dave "The Dwarf" Flood has landed a cameo (I refuse to say "short") role in The Punisher, but Flood said he doesn't know a lot about what the filmmakers will require.

"I told my agent, "Don't tell me about the labor pains, just show me the baby,"' Flood quipped.

What the 3-foot-2 Flood does know is he will play a Cuban bar owner. Flood said as the child of a black father and Apache mother, he has had to bone up on his accent by watching Scarface.

When we last heard from Flood, he had filed a federal suit alleging that a state law banning dwarf tossing in bars is a violation of his constitutional rights. Flood settled out of court, but he did have to explain to the judge why dwarf tossing wouldn't work in places that don't serve alcohol.

"I said, "Judge, have you ever tossed a dwarf when you're sober? That's no fun."'

Best known as one of the sidekicks on the MJ Morning Show on WFLZ-FM 93.3, Flood said he will have a major announcement in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Bucs coach Jon Gruden and Dolphins running back Ricky Williams will be featured in separate commercials that were shot this week in Tampa.

Gruden shot his commercial at the beginning of the week, while Williams was in town Tuesday for a shoot on Davis Islands.

First Unit Production Services of St. Petersburg - the same company that shot a VISA commercial in May with Derek Jeter and George Steinbrenner - was used for this week's spots.

With Mariah Carey at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Wednesday night, I felt it was my duty to go purchase the latest Maxim magazine with Carey on the cover in a bikini. You know, anything for the pursuit of journalistic excellence.

Carey concedes she has a sexy image, but told Maxim she really is quite conservative.

"I'm basically like Mary Poppins. That's my nickname."

If that's the case, I'm sure Carey and Mayor Pam Iorio became fast friends when her honor presented the singer with a key to the city.

That's all I'm saying.

- Ernest Hooper can be reached at 813 226-3406 or Hooper@sptimes.com

[Last modified September 5, 2003, 01:47:00]


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