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Neighborhood Report

Cappy's pizza proves hot here

A clone of the Bay to Bay mainstay draws a crowd on Florida Avenue.

By MICHAEL CANNING
Published August 11, 2006


Eager eyes in Old Seminole Heights have been peeled on the property next to Starbucks since it opened in April at Hillsborough and Central avenues.

But the next spark in the neighborhood's revitalization has struck a mile away. The second Cappy's Pizzeria opened Sunday at 4910 N Florida Ave.

Business was swift the first night. The place had a waiting list for tables for several hours as a cross-section of locals milled about, from yuppies in khaki shorts and polos to young hipsters sporting their Che Guevara or Karen O chic.

Scooter Gabel, a former professional race car driver, owns the Seminole Heights Cappy's. It's a franchise of the original Cappy's, at 3200 W Bay to Bay Blvd.

"We always went to Cappy's" in South Tampa, Gabel said of him and his wife, Natalie.

The Gabels moved to South Seminole Heights two years ago.

"This neighborhood has a ton of potential, and everybody talks about how there's nothing up here but nobody does anything about it," he said.

Gabel has created a faithful interpretation of one of South Tampa's most popular pizza joints by including some of its quirks: threadbare business hours and menu, retro decor and a prohibition on debit and credit cards. The 1935 building seats 52 inside and 20 outside on a gazebo-covered deck, and has been painted brick dust red.

Cappy's fans know the whole menu: Chicago or New York style pizza, calzones, and Greek or Caesar salad. Gabel anticipates adding beer and wine soon. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

[Last modified August 9, 2006, 10:48:32]


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