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Cool wars and 'phat' Wednesdays in the hot town

Tampa columnisthooper
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By ERNEST HOOPER

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2001


There's something of an ice cream war taking place in Seminole Heights. It's old school vs. upstart, north vs. south, soft-serve vs. hard-serve, outdoor vs. indoor.

Bo's Ice Cream has been selling enchanting soft-serve ice cream out of a simple walk-up stand on N Florida Avenue for 47 years.

The new wave of neighbors in Seminole Heights have found Bo's to their liking, including Patty and Ramzy Mansour, who were sampling the delights when Ramzy got a brainstorm.

"My husband said, "Why don't we open up an old-fashioned ice cream parlor,' " Mansour explained.

Now Patty is the proprietor of Sugar Daddies, a mere mile-and-a-half south of Bo's on N Florida. With Edy's hard-serve, quaint tables and coffee, cappuccino and latte, it is a parlor in every sense of the word.

In many ways, it's two different stores, which seems to minimize the talk of a war and underscore the changing face of Seminole Heights. Mansour said she would be doing well just to get one half of one percent of Bo's business.

But fans of Bo's are wondering if the modern conveniences of Sugar Daddies and a third dessert shop yet to be built on N Florida are a threat to their old favorite. Owner Kenny Bosanko says fret not. In fact, he's going to expand with a drive-thru window that should open in the next two or three months.

"We're not going anywhere."

* * *

As a boy in Ybor City, Ferdie Pacheco's folks had him accompany his nervous brother on a trip to the dentist.

But he's the one that should have been nervous. "That's how I ended up getting my tonsils removed," Pacheco told the Ybor City Chamber luncheon attendees Tuesday.

Pacheco is promoting more than laughs, however. The fight doctor and his wife, Luisita Sevilla, will present a special benefit for Centro Asturiano on May 6 which will feature his storytelling and a flamenco show produced by his wife, who said she feels like Muhammad Ali training for a fight.

Tickets are $25, and each comes with a copy of Pacheco's Art of the Cubans In Exile. Call 229-2214.

* * *

Hey St. Petersburg ladies, get on the Howard Frankland and find a home in Tampa. Tampa is 30th out of 200 U.S. cities on the Ladies Home Journal.com Best Cities for Women list. St. Pete was a distant 84th.

The scores were determined using seven major categories: crime, lifestyle, schools, jobs, health care, child care and government.

Tampa's relatively strong showing was largely due to its No. 8 finish in child care and No. 10 in healthiest lifestyle. Not surprisingly, according to my single women friends, Tampa ranked 106th in dating prospects, while St. Pete was 186th.

Alexandria, Va., topped the list while Salinas, Calif., ranked last.

* * *

Did you know the Ybor chamber has added 106 new members in the last year?

* * *

Is phat an acronym (Pretty Hot And Tempting) or just another cool slang term? I'm going to have a better idea after going to Moets (3606 W Hillsborough Ave.) tonight for Phat Wednesday.

WTMP-AM 1150 is working with promoters Rock Entertainment and Blue to put together a regular Wednesday night out for adult African-Americans looking for a more upscale evening.

- Ernest Hooper can be reached at (813) 226-3406 or Hooper@sptimes.com. His column will appear on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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