tampabay.com

$14 burger? What's the beef? It's Kobe

By SHARON GINN
Published January 11, 2008


Is South Tampa ready for the $14 burger?

Bill Shumate thinks so. He and partner Joanie Corneil, who opened Hyde Park standby Bella's Italian Cafe 21 years ago, are getting into the burger business. And their Square One Burgers will be anything but typical.

Well, except for being round. "Everyone always asks me that," Shumate said with a chuckle.

The star of the menu at Square One will be a burger made of Kobe beef, which Shumate says costs him about four times as much as more common Angus beef. That will translate into a burger that will be priced at about $14.

In addition to Kobe and more reasonably priced Angus beef burgers, Square One will offer vegan, salmon, tuna and turkey burgers, crab cakes, hot dogs and sliders mini burgers.

Shumate and Corneil are renovating a building at 3701 W Henderson Blvd. and plan to be open by mid February. The 3,500-square-foot space across from Fresh Market used to house a tool rental business. The planning for Square One has been in the works for about 18 months, and since construction ramped up at the end of the year, "it's coming together pretty fast," Shumate said.

For Shumate, it's a return to his first restaurant concept, hence the name. He opened a burger joint in 1964 across the street from the University of Oklahoma campus, and even back then tried to incorporate unusual touches.

"We had a telephone at each table," Shumate said. "People would look at the menu, pick up the phone, and order from the kitchen. It never really caught on like I thought it would."

Square One will be sleek and colorful and will mix the old and new, serving 1964-style shakes and malts as well as beer and wine. Sides will include onion rings and sweet potato fries; among the desserts will be trendy cupcakes.

Salads will be offered for the burger-averse and "burgers in a bowl" will be available to those shunning carb-laden buns.

"Most of all," Shumate said, "it's going to be a lot of fun."

Square One will be open daily beginning at 11:30 a.m., closing about 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and about midnight on weekends. Curbside service will be available.

New start for her art

Like most people, Beth Kokol liked the idea of working from home. But she realized the setup wasn't working when her painting classes became so crowded it was hard to squeeze in all the easels.

"I outgrew my studio," she said. "I had waiting lists and kept having to turn people down. I had people who had been on my waiting list for two years."

So after five years of teaching at home and 20 years teaching in other venues, Kokol last month made a new classroom for herself in a 650-square-foot retail space at 4019 Henderson Blvd. Beth Kokol Arts is open for children and adults and offers classes Monday through Friday.

"Ninety percent of my (beginning) students have no experience," she said. "It teaches them the very basic foundation."

Kokol teaches children from ages 5 to high school; classes meet every other week and cover drawing, painting, printmaking, clay work and small sculptures. Adults sign up for weekly classes and must first study drawing for two years before moving on to other coursework. The average cost is $30 per session for adults and $33 for children. Kokol can be reached at (813) 334-5100 or bethkokolarts@aol.com

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3394 or e-mail sharonlginn@yahoo.com.

The find

Rhinestone cuff

Bling it on ... you'll razzle dazzle 'em with a "diamond" cuff, $42. This week's trendy find comes from Georgette's of Hyde Park Village, 1602 Snow Ave. Call 254-1141.

Amy Scherzer