BRANDON — Square 1 Burgers & Bar opened its original location in Tampa four years ago, promising a classy take on the classic burger and imaginative innovation for ground beef.
It worked. Square 1 now has four locations (the one in Tampa, two in Sarasota, one in Fort Myers) and a fifth coming to Brandon this summer.
The chain's latest incarnation should open in late June or early July, in the building where Old Chicago Pizza (2042 Badlands Drive) used to be in the Brandon Crossroads shopping center.
Square 1 is owned by Joanie Corneil and Bill Shumate, the same people who own Bella's Italian Restaurant, a longtime South Tampa favorite.
There are plenty of places that offer quality hamburgers these days, including Red Robin, which plans to open at Westfield Brandon this year. However, Square 1 director of marketing Carol Pooley says her restaurant goes far and beyond the basic burger.
"We have Kobe beef burgers; we have Portabello burgers; we have lamb burgers; we have vegan burgers," she said. "We have an X-rated grilled cheese."
An X-rated grilled cheese?
"It's just a grilled cheese sandwich for adults," Pooley said. "It has gruyere and cheddar cheese with pickle and tomato."
There's also a full bar with beer, wine and liquor. A lot of Square 1's patrons come mostly to have a drink and socialize at the bar, Pooley said.
The bar at the Brandon location will be something special, she said. It will extend from inside the restaurant out onto the patio, so patrons can choose to sit inside or outside. Anything from the menu can be ordered at the bar, and there will also be table seating on the patio.
The hours haven't been set yet, Pooley said, and it's too soon to know what the phone number will be. For details, check square1burgers.com. The Brandon location will have the same menu as the Tampa location, and that's available on the website.
Plumber takes the business leap
Randy Ramos has helped build the plumbing systems for some of the Tampa Bay area's biggest and most well-known buildings, from arenas to colleges and hospitals. You've probably washed your hands in a restroom he plumbed.
Now he's changed his focus. He's started Riverview Plumbing, which consists of Ramos; his wife, Christine, and one other plumber. He's focusing on smaller jobs, mostly residential and light commercial work where he can offer individual and personal service.
"We're a small company, family-owned," he said. "After you talk to me on the phone, I'll be the one you see at your house."
One thing that sets Riverview Plumbing apart from its competitors is what Ramos calls "pro-rate" billing. It combines the best elements of flat-rate and hourly-rate structures.
Essentially, he said, he will quote a reasonable flat fee for every job. If he can get the job done more quickly than he expects, he will switch to an hourly rate so the customer pays less. If the job takes longer than anticipated, he'll never charge more than the flat fee he quoted.
"Customer satisfaction and repeat business is very important to me," Ramos said.
For more information, call (813) 671-0557 or visit riverviewplumbingllc.com.
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