Make us your home page

Brandon Plato's Closet expansion makes it Florida's largest

BRANDON — The Plato's Closet in Brandon now ranks as the Minneapolis-based consignment franchise's largest shop in Florida.

Local owners completed a 3,200-square-foot expansion a few doors down from its home in the Brandon Centre South shopping center at the corner of Providence and Lumsden roads. It reopened March 6 in a 7,400-square-foot store that encompasses four units, beginning at 1957 W Lumsden Road.

Rene Tirado and Jim and Connie Weaver, who together own five of the 10 Tampa Bay area Plato's Closet stores, knew the benefits of adding space, having moved two other Tampa outlets and expanded the Lakeland location.

Since the Brandon business will celebrate 10 years of business in May, they decided to give the store a facelift.

"Our sales have always been very strong here but we were maxed out with floor space," Tirado said. "With the much larger aisle and sales floor, we have been able to more than double our inventory, giving our customers more to chose from."

Plato's, known for offering up to 70 percent off gently used clothes up to size 15/16 and paying cash to consigners, increased its fitting rooms to 11 and its checkout stations to six.

The expansion has been in the works for more than a year and includes a newly constructed façade, which will house the signature neon sign. Tirado said he recently increased staff by 30 percent but still wants to hire an additional four to six workers to keep up with demand.

"We knew from our other expansions that we could really take this store to the next level," Tirado said. "It will benefit everyone financially in the future."

Plato's Closet, which has more than 300 locations nationwide, is a Winmark Corp. brand that also owns Once Upon A Child and Play It Again Sports among others.

The expanded Brandon location now ranks among the largest in the nation. Tirado and the Weavers began their franchising in 1994 with Play it Again Sports, but sold their three locations in 2006. They also own a pair of Hand and Stone Massage and facial spa locations.

Tirado said they still have another month's worth of improvements to complete, but they are once again open for business. Check them out at

Romano's restaurant completes expansion

Romano's, which has been on Brandon diners' radar since 1977 when it comes to authentic Greek and classic Italian cuisine, has finalized its expansion next door in the space formerly occupied by Moreno's Bakery.

Loyal patrons wanted more seating in the quaint restaurant at 901 W Brandon Blvd., and now it features an expansive new dining room and also a bar area.

The small Greek salad remains a popular option for $6.25 and improves when you add the gyro meat for an extra $2.50. Along with the larger floor space comes new Sunday hours, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and new jobs for experienced cooks, servers, cashiers, hostesses, bussers and kitchen prep staff. Call (813) 653-9477.

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, email Eric Vician at

Brandon Plato's Closet expansion makes it Florida's largest 03/12/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 12, 2014 4:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Trump shuts down CEO advisory councils as main group acts to disband


    President Donald Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded on Wednesday following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them. Soon after, the president announced on Twitter that he would end his executive councils, "rather than …

    President Donald Trump meets with Merck's chief executive, Kenneth Frazier, second from left, and other leaders of the pharmaceutical industry in the Roosevelt Room of the White House last January. On Wednesday, Trump's main council of top corporate leaders disbanded following the president's controversial remarks in which he equated white nationalist hate groups with the protesters opposing them.
[New York Times file photo]
  2. A long-awaited vision for Tampa's Westshore Marina District

    Real Estate

    TAMPA —Eleven years after plans to develop a waterfront tract on the Tampa side of the Gandy Bridge were first announced, a new rendering gives a hint of what Westshore Marina District ultimately will look like.

    Rendering of Marina Pointe, a condo project overlooking Tampa Bay as part of the Westshore Marina District. [Courtesy of Masterfile Corp.}
  3. Buddy Brew Coffee to open downtown Tampa location


    TAMPA — Buddy Brew Coffee plans to open a new location in downtown Tampa at Park Tower in early 2018. The specialty coffee craft roaster, which was founded in 2010, has five other locations throughout Tampa including the Oxford Exchange, Sarasota, Hyde Park Village and Terminal F inside the Tampa International …

    A cappuccino is displayed at Buddy Brew in Tampa in January 2017. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  4. Where to pig out for National Bacon Lovers Day

    Food & Dining

    That's right: Sunday is the national day devoted to all things bacon, National Bacon Lovers Day. Which, really, isn't too different from the other 364 days of the year. But here's a little roundup of some special places to celebrate everyone's favorite meat snack (seriously, even vegans have a grudging respect …

    A creme-filled doughnut topped with maple frosting and bacon at Dough on MacDill Avenue in Tampa.
  5. The Penny Hoarder tops 79 fastest growing Tampa Bay companies on Inc. 5000


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Penny Hoarder on Wednesday further cemented its reputation as one of the country's fastest growing companies. The personal finance web site business ranks 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing businesses.

    Vishal Mahtani (left), vice president of business development, Alexis Grant (center), executive editor, and Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, celebrate the news with their staff  Wednesday of making the new Inc. 5000 ranking of fastest growing companies in the country. They enjoyed champagne during a catered lunch at their office in downtown St. Petersburg after ranking 25th nationwide and tops in the Tampa Bay market for growth on the just released 2017 Inc. 5000. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times ]