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Everybody's Business

New effort will ramp up the pampering

By Sharon Ginn
Published March 23, 2007


After 12 years as owner of a well-known South Tampa salon and spa, Carmen Lee-Sargeant is opening a new place that will offer more luxury and pampering than anything she has tried before.

In other words, her next venture will be even more posh than Posh.

Lee-Sargeant, who opened Posh on Bay to Bay Boulevard when she was just 24, is scheduled to launch the $3-million Grand Beauty Spa on April 2 in a renovated 1917 bungalow at 2717 W Kennedy Blvd.

The "Grand" part is not just a reference to Kennedy Boulevard's old name, Grand Central, but a description of the level of service she wants clients to receive there, Lee-Sargeant said.

"We weren't trying to duplicate Posh," Lee-Sargeant said. "This place has more amenities. It's going to be the only place like it in Tampa. We're a destination spa without the hotel."

The 6,000-square-foot facility will be a day resort, with catered lunches, saunas and steam rooms, and relaxation areas such as a courtyard, putting green, library and rooftop garden. Much of her approach is aimed toward the many area business travelers staying in hotels that don't have a spa. She also plans to cater to large groups and corporate functions.

The house that once belonged to Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Dizzy Dean has undergone a $1.4-million renovation that made it a "minimalist, very luxurious" retreat, Lee-Sargeant said. But it has retained its charm and many of its details.

The Grand Beauty Spa will offer traditional salon and spa services, plus other amenities like laser hair removal. Standard manicures and pedicures are $40 and $65, respectively; a woman's cut and style is $70; and the standard "grand" massage is $100. Want to rent the entire spa for a day for employees or friends? That will set you back $15,000.


New pie in town

The former Papa Louis Pizza House, a local favorite for its dressed-down, bring-the-kids atmosphere, has a new name, a new look and new ownership.

But the kids are definitely still welcome. "Don't let the (new) bar throw you off," said co-owner Jimmy Breazeale.

Breazeale and Rob Siler own the 24-year-old De Losa's Pizza in Madeira Beach, and had been looking to open another. Then they heard the owner of Papa Louis, at 4110 Henderson Blvd., was retiring.

"(Siler) had a house here in Tampa for a number of years," Breazeale said. "He always did like Papa Louis. We found out it was for sale" and made an offer quickly.

The restaurant was closed for two weeks for renovations that included new hardwood flooring, tile and carpet and an updated game room . The partners added a 15-seat bar and reopened March 6, ready to serve De Losa's hand-tossed, New York style thin-crust pizza, and its signature steamed clams and mussels.

The site already had full wet zoning, but Papa Louis' ownership never took advantage of it, Breazeale said. De Losa's offers a full bar and more upscale wines by the bottle. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and noon to 10 on Sunday.

Red house rising

Another South Tampa restaurant has quietly - and quickly - changed hands. PoBoys at 302 S Howard Ave. closed in mid January. Taking its place is the Red House Lounge and Grill, which began serving food March 3 and had a busy grand opening party on Saturday.

The timing was right for owner Spencer Ford, who learned of PoBoys' closing from a friend who owns the restaurant's property.

Ford, who helped build and later sold a successful parking business in Tampa, said he was ready for a new opportunity after taking a few years off to spend time with his family.

Ford has revamped the interior with darker, more lounge-style decor. The Red House is open for lunch and dinner and offers a full bar that stays open well after the kitchen closes about 11 p.m. Ford sees it as a neighborhood gathering spot, and plans regular low-key entertainment such as DJs and karaoke nights.

"It's not a nightclub," he said. "It's someplace you can meet friends, get good food and have a good drink."

The menu is varied, with plenty of salads, sandwiches (including a signature steak sandwich) and desserts, and an entree menu that is expanding, Ford said.

He also plans to add a late-night menu for those who stop by after 11. Hours are Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Ford said he plans to be open on Sundays soon.



The find

Coral and shell chandelier

From the imagination and talented hands of South Tampa artist Heather Kendall come seashell and coral chandeliers, sconces, mirrors, fireplace surrounds and decorative items. Here's a stunning example of a custom designed verde brass chandelier created with green turbo shells and staghorn coral, $5,400 at Vanity Home, 3423 W Bay to Bay Blvd. Visit www.vanity or call 837-5100.

Amy Scherzer


[Last modified March 22, 2007, 07:58:30]

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