Sunday, January 21, 2018
Business

Fine dining now offered at former smokehouse

PLANT CITY — Country line dancing lessons and smoked hog wings have given way to New York strips au Poivre and lobster tails as a new, formal dining option called Crossroads Seafood and Steakhouse has opened in the former Uncle Mike's Smokehouse Grill location.

The property, situated on the corner of State Road 60 and James L Redman Parkway, encompasses more than 11 acres, features four main venues and now has walls separating the bar and 12-seat cove from the 200-seat dining room.

"It's a fine dining experience," said general manager Laura Nogle, who created the new menu using her Italian and French background along with her experience at Carrabba's Italian Grill. "We don't want to be considered a bar anymore."

Gone are many of the neon signs that covered the former Uncle Mikes, which opened in 2013. In its place are new carpets and tables, a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen and a new bar top. Nogle hopes locals will visit Crossroads to relax and not be in a rush to get in and out.

"There is so much opportunity here," said Nogle, who grew up in Williamsport, Pa., where she helped her mother run a restaurant. "When I saw this property I was wowed. It's not too country, it's sophisticated. I love it."

Live jazz, 35 types of red wines and entrees such as flat iron Oscar stuffed with crab ($18.95) and a 20-oz porterhouse ($29.95) help provide Crossroads with its earth-tone ambiance.

Uncle Mike's owners, Mike and Simone Tolley, will remain as silent partners with Simone still focusing on the UM catering side of the business. Crossroads, named for its intersection physical address as well as its changing of the guard in ownership, offers four venues for special events.

Blake Hall, named for the Tolley's soon to be 4-year old son, is a separate 6,000 square feet log cabin event room that can formally seat approximately 200 people. It is a popular wedding reception space because it includes bride and groom suites upstairs. The hall can be rented for $2,500 for a 5-hour weekend event or $1,500 during the week.

Above the Crossroads lounge is a semi private mezzanine game room with a private bar. This 45-person loft can be rented for $250 for 4 hours.

An outdoor covered pavilion with private bar and live music stage houses 150 people and the back of the property features more than 5 acres of open pasture for large tent parties.

Crossroads is open six days a week (closed Mondays). Visit them on Facebook for weekly specials, hours, menu information and more at facebook.com/CrossroadsSeafoodandSteakhouse.

Little Greek expands to Riverview location

Little Greek Fresh Grill, a fast-casual Greek restaurant with an American influence, is scheduled to open a location this summer in Riverview, according to Nick Vojnovic, Little Greek president. Nino DeLucia will be the owner/operator of the new location at 10173 Big Bend Road.

"We're thrilled to open in Riverview, a booming area," said Vojnovic.

In 2016, doctors diagnosed Vojnovic with primary myelofibrosis, a life-threatening condition that requires a bone marrow transplant. According to John Williams, who handles public relations for Little Greek, Vojnovic is doing well.

"It is a long haul, but I'm in it for the run," Vojnovic said. "I'm going to beat this."

Little Greek Fresh Grill currently has 31 locations in five states (Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky and Texas). For Tampa Bay area location addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation, catering services and other information, go to littlegreekfreshgrill.com.

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