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Southern-style barbecue finds a home

Born into a family of generations of cooks, Nathan Wade opens Sooo Good Bar-B-Que for people on the go.

By Sharon Ginn, Times Correspondent
Published February 22, 2008


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The recipes - Nathan Wade knew them by heart. The location was easy to find, too, a vacant old Dairy Queen that intrigued Wade whenever he drove by.

All he needed for his new casual barbecue spot was a name.

One thing stuck in his mind: The reaction Wade often hears when making his old Southern-style dishes.

That's how Sooo Good Bar-B-Que was born.

Wade quietly opened the takeout spot three weeks ago at 1045 E Hillsborough Ave. in Seminole Heights, in a former Dairy Queen that, for now, has only a window for ordering and a window for pickup. There is no seating, though some outdoor tables will be added soon, as well as drive-through service for those pressed for time.

Wade's idea was to serve comfort food to people desperate for a quick dinner but who didn't want traditional fast food. He and manager/cook Harold Reaves offer barbecue cooked "Southern style" with plenty of side dishes.

"A lot of our cooking comes from recipes that have been handed down from my grandmother and her grandmother," Wade said. "Cooking has always been in our family, but this is my first venture. I've helped out other family members in the business. Cooking is part of our history."

Sooo Good offers chicken, beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage and smoked turkey; fresh collard greens; grits and tomato gravy; baked beans and other sides. Desserts such as sweet potato pie, bread pudding and cakes are made on site.

"You get a home-cooked meal real fast," Wade said, "in almost the same time as you would get at McDonald's."

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Individual and family sized meals are available.

Form joins function

The way David King sees it, a living space can be like a puzzle, needing a thoughtful design and the right pieces to make it fully functional.

He created his Doma Home Furnishings concept to reflect this philosophy, and so far, he said, it's going well: He opened a second store at 1916 S Dale Mabry Highway last week, 16 months after opening the first in St. Petersburg.

Doma Home Furnishings offers transitional to contemporary designs, "with a lot of one-of-a-kind 'couture' pieces in between," King said.

The store specializes in brands not readily available elsewhere in the area, such as Italian company Calligaris. Specialty pieces include dining tables with self-storing leaves, coffee tables that convert to dining tables, and beds that lift up and have storage underneath.

"These are great examples of not just form, but function," King said.

Full design services are available. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The store's Web site is www.domahomefurnishings.com.

Retail gets a toehold

While the developers of the Towers of Channelside condominiums recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of an inability to retain bank financing, retailers continue to move along with their plans for the building's lower floors.

Red Brick Pizza, a chain from Palmdale, Calif., that is expanding in Florida, opened its location Feb. 5 in a storefront that is owned by Red Brick franchisee David Lopez and his partners. Business has been picking up, Lopez said.

"It's just a matter of getting our name out there," he said. "It's getting better every night."

The Red Brick location, the first in the Tampa area, is the only retailer to have moved into the Towers, but other plans include a sushi bar that is expected to open in the coming months.

Meanwhile, plans for the 11,000-square-foot restaurant and lounge Aja are moving along, owner Robert Solomon said. Permitting delays have pushed back the planned opening several months, probably to midsummer, Solomon said. But whether or not the buildings are full of residents does not have a lot to do with his business plan, he said.

"I think the retail spaces at the Towers are going to be fine," he said. "There's a lot in that area to sustain it. This development will sell out. It won't be today or tomorrow, but it will be in the next couple of years. It's a beautiful building."

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

The find

An RC Cola and a moon pie for $5

You know you can't resist, so don't even try. Treat yourself to a stroll down memory lane - and an RC Cola and a moon pie for $5 from Baker & Co. The general store and antiques emporium at 2502 N Howard Ave. is jam-packed with a hodgepodge of collectibles, sundries and knickknacks sure to bring back the fondest memories. Call 250-1565.

- Amy Scherzer

[Last modified February 21, 2008, 20:43:39]


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