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Talk of the bay

Published February 21, 2007


Restaurant gets new life with Spanish flavor

Fans of Tampa's old Viva la Frida Mexican restaurant, shown above, have been buzzing for months about the future of the former artsy restaurant on N Florida Avenue. On Friday, the speculation should end, when a new Spanish restaurant is scheduled to open at the former restaurant at 5901 Florida Ave. known to locals as "Frida's." A Honduran couple from Tampa plans to open "Rincon Catracho." Ana and Carlos Vasquez will lease the 3,200-square-foot building, with an option to buy. Ana Vasquez said the restaurant will serve Spanish food, but will also include American items.

Sacino's takes turn with better half

After tending to wedding grooms for 90 years, Sacino's Formalwear will try catering to the other side of the aisle, too. A pilot Sacino's Savvi Bride opens this weekend in half the 23-store chain's flagship location at 3169 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg. The chain signed an exclusive to carry Denver designer Kellie Burch's Novia bridal gowns priced at $499 to $849 and add a selection of bridesmaid outfits. "We were already in the wedding business, so it seemed like a natural," said Ron Sacino, president and chief executive officer.

Property costs add up to relocation

Add another business to the list of those being chased away by the high cost of property. After 15 years in St. Petersburg, the owner of Anzio Ironworks Corp. plans to move the company to Texas in the coming year. Mike Remo, the owner, said he wants to expand from his current 1,500-square-foot building to about 10,000 square feet, and there's no way he could afford the real estate, insurance and taxes on a building that size in the bay area. "If you're looking at Georgia, Alabama, Ohio, you can get 10 times the square footage for the same price," Remo said. "A Bennigan's or a Carrabba's, they can afford to pay that. But if you're in manufacturing, you need your overhead to be cost-effective." Anzio, with about half a dozen employees, sells rifles, machine guns and ammunition.

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[Last modified February 21, 2007, 01:50:10]

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