Make us your home page
Instagram

Duo opens CJ's Restaurant and Bar in Valrico

Jeff Marlin and Chris Burnett opened CJ’s Restaurant and Bar at Valrico Square, taking the initials from their first names.

Eric Vician | Special to the Times

Jeff Marlin and Chris Burnett opened CJ’s Restaurant and Bar at Valrico Square, taking the initials from their first names.

VALRICO — Jeff Marlin was living the golf lifestyle in Memphis when he met Chris Burnett at a St. Jude Hospital benefit a few years ago.

Marlin worked as a golf course supervisor and caddied for a friend on the PGA Seniors Tour, but he also earned a reputation as a barbecue champion, winning people's choice awards in Tennessee.

Burnett, who owned Burnett's Family Restaurant in Seffner, hired Marlin to provide barbecue for the benefit.

"We teamed up from there," said Marlin, 53.

After four years in Seffner, the business partners have relocated and rebranded as CJ's Restaurant and Bar, taking the first initials from their first names. After months of searching for the right location, CJ's opened April 30 at 1903-F State Road 60 in the Valrico Square shopping center.

Marlin and Burnett opted for a no-frills launch, simply hanging some flags outside the door and more than 60 people found them on opening day. CJ's offers American fare, with separate breakfast, lunch, dinner and after 9 p.m. bar menus.

Marlin lists rotating specials on the walls and promises some of his off-menu barbecue specials a couple times a month. He recommends regular favorites like Burnett's homemade meatloaf for $7.59, the $6.99 smoked bologna or the CJ's burger, which is a pound of beef stacked between three slices of Texas toast with all the fixings. Kid's meals are available for $4.29.

"People work," Marlin said about the competitive prices of CJ's food. "I'm not trying to get rich on them. This is the right thing to do."

Burnett said local workers are happy to have an alternative. The restaurant seats approximately 100 patrons and includes a bar area that Marlin painted Harley-Davidson orange.

"What I like about this place is there is lot of traffic," Burnett said.

Marlin built a stage area to accommodate live music, including a pianist, and he's still weighing the pros and cons of karaoke. Either way, he promises a family atmosphere and plans to stay open from 6:30 a.m. to "close" Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sundays. Call CJ's at (813) 643-1903.

Old auto lot in Valrico gains owner, new life

A Georgia automobile retailer has announced plans to sell a large selection of pre-owned vehicles from the 46,000 square-foot facility located at 1207 E Brandon Blvd. across from the Valrico Walmart.

Asbury Automotive Group will be the third auto company to operate out of the location that began in 2006 as Brandon Auto Mall before Kuhn Auto Mall opened last August.

Duluth-based Asbury Automotive Group, a publicly traded company, operates 18 autogroups throughout the United States, including Courtesy Autogroup in Tampa. It has created a new brand called Q Auto, which it says will open next month in Brandon with a second location scheduled to launch in Jacksonville this fall.

Asbury's president and CEO, Craig T. Monaghan said in a media release that the company has grown used vehicle retail unit sales in excess of 55 percent and grown used vehicle retail gross profit by close to 35 percent during the past three years.

The Q stands for Quality, Quantity, Quickly, attributes the company hopes to pass on to customers via a fast and easy sales process that includes a large selection of vehicles. Asbury plans to invest $25 million in opening the two Q auto locations and plans to carry mass-market and luxury brands that are 2 to 5 years old.

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, email Eric Vician at ericvician@yahoo.com.

Duo opens CJ's Restaurant and Bar in Valrico 05/08/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 8, 2014 10:01am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena

    Tourism

    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  2. Rick Scott appoints longtime ally Jimmy Patronis as Florida CFO

    State Roundup
    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]
  3. Local gas prices plummet as Fourth of July holiday travel approaches

    Tourism

    TAMPA — Local gas prices are enjoying an unseasonal dip around the $2 mark just in time for the hectic Fourth of July holiday travel weekend.

    The price of regular unleaded gasoline has dropped to $1.99 at a Rally station on Pasadena Ave. South and Gulfport Boulevard South, South Pasadena.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  5. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.