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Now you can pump yourself up 24/7

By SHARON GINN, Times Correspondent
Published February 8, 2008


OSCAWANA - While no one would quite call Tampa the city that never sleeps, more options are popping up for late-nighters who want to grab dinner at 1 a.m., sip a latte at 2, then drag their caffeinated and overstuffed selves to the gym afterward.

That's the idea behind Anytime Fitness, the nation's second largest chain of health clubs that is rapidly opening fitness centers in the Tampa Bay area. New franchises in North Tampa and Citrus Park soon will be joined by a location on W Kennedy Boulevard near downtown, and another in Channelside sometime this summer.

Anytime Fitness offers 24-hour access to all of its gyms, with an emphasis on quality cardio machines, free weights and circuit machines, said David Galloway, who owns the rights to open a Channelside location exactly where and when have not been finalized and owns a location in Citrus Park.

"People love it because it's generally inside their neighborhood, close and convenient," Galloway said. "They feel comfortable here. You're in and out and going about your day - or night."

The concept is ideal for hospital staff, police officers and anyone who might be working nonstandard hours, said Chris Naples, who expects to open his location at 2905 W Kennedy Blvd. in mid April.

Xtreme Total Health & Fitness, at 936 S Howard Ave., is also open 24 hours and boasts a 35,000-square-foot facility on its Web site. Also, Calta's on Gandy Boulevard offers a 24-hour membership.

The Anytime Fitness Kennedy location will be 7,300 square feet, smaller than the typical 20,000-square-foot-plus locations of more well-known chains. Aside from the cardio, free weight and circuit training areas, the space will have a personal training room, full locker rooms, tanning room and a so-called "serenity room" with a massage chair and flat-screen TV.

All contracts are month-to-month, and the price remains the same throughout the length of membership, Naples said. The Kennedy location will begin membership signup Feb. 15, with introductory pricing of $29.95 a month. It will be staffed 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. During other times, members can access the club with a key card that can get them into all Anytime Fitness locations. "It's completely monitored and safe," Naples said.

For more information call (813) 749-0420.

Gallery inspiredby district's past history

Before construction crews began changing the face of Channelside, it was an emerging arts district and an affordable place to live and work for some artists, said Elliot Greenbaum. He wants to help revive that spirit with Galeria Leo Artzi, which opened in October at 209 S 12th St. near the Towers of Channelside.

The gallery was founded by artist Leo Artzi - yes, that's his name - Greenbaum and Liliana Villaverde. Artzi is a poet and writer, Greenbaum a poet and novelist and Villaverde a designer.

The gallery showcases local artists in its approximately 4,000-square-foot space. Current offerings include paintings by surrealist Darwin Leon, Cuban exile Jose Alvarez, RJ Runas, Ramon Falber and watercolorist Diana Brady; as well as sculptures by Andreas Goff and Louisa Menchkoff and photography by David Gluckman, Blair Strange and Colin Glade.

"The art that appeals to us is kind of moody and colorful, and sort of reaches out to you," Greenbaum said. "All the art we have is lots of vibrant colors, lots of passion."

Galeria Leo Artzi is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 to 9 on Saturday, by appointment and for special events. Call (813) 220-4078 for more information.

Getting icy on Kennedy with Rita

Visitors to the popular Five Guys Famous Burgers and Fries on Kennedy Boulevard soon will be able to cap off their meal with another favorite from up North.

Nearby, Rita's Water Ice is expected to open in March at 3841 W Kennedy. The Philadelphia company, which began rapidly expanding in 2006, has 13 Florida locations and soon will open 12 more. This will be the first Rita's in Tampa, though there are others in Clearwater, Largo, Seminole and Brooksville. A second Tampa location also is expected to open at 11625 Sheldon Road in March.

Rita's is known for its nearly 30 flavors of Italian ice, but it also offers gelato, soft-serve frozen custard and "cream ices," a lighter version of ice cream.

Do you know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3394 or e-mail


Toffee to Go

What could be sweeter for your Valentine than toffee made from scratch in South Tampa with premium chocolates, fresh butter, California almonds and Georgia pecans? Choose from milk chocolate almond, dark chocolate pecan, white chocolate macadamia; no preservatives added. Special orders welcome, no order too small or too large. Resealable toffee bags, 4 ounce, $7; 8 ounce, $14, from Toffee to Go, 4318 W El Prado Blvd. 831-6247 or


[Last modified February 7, 2008, 08:04:10]

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