RIVERVIEW — Colon and Teresa Santana moved to Brandon two years ago with their children from Brooklyn, N.Y. Like so many Florida transplants, they came seeking a calmer environment.
"I have four teenagers, and we wanted a better life for our kids," Colon Santana said.
When they arrived in 2007, the family ran a gas station. It didn't take long for Santana to realize the business wasn't a good fit.
As child, he learned the deli business from his father, who owned a deli and grocery in Brooklyn. Santana decided to return to his deli and New York roots and opened Franks & Subs with his family, including 18-year-old daughters Anna and Estrella, on State Road 60 in Brandon last year.
But the location generated little traffic, and the family shuttered it in July. In August, they re-opened in Riverview. Santana, who owned a package store in New York, describes Franks & Subs as a New York-style deli that prides itself on quality and customer service.
"When you come in, you're treated like family," he said.
Santana said his store's most popular offering is the Cuban sandwich.
"All meat, pulled pork and pressed, makes our Cuban authentic," he said.
The deli also has a wide variety of deli sandwiches, gyros and wings.
Franks & Subs is at 10451 Gibsonton Drive (at U.S. 301), the former location of Quiznos Sub Shop. It's open from 10:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 443-5653.
East Coast Pizza expands to Lithia
Five years ago, Aaron Fredricks opened East Coast Pizza in Riverview. The native New Yorker specialized in New York-style pizza.
Now the enterprise has expanded to Lithia.
Scott Childers, who has been with East Coast Pizza since it opened in 2004, runs the new location.
He credits the use of fresh ingredients with making the business successful.
"We make everything by hand," Childers said. "A lot of places get things prepackaged, like meatballs, but that's not what we do here."
The quality of the food is also the reason for the expansion in the South Shore area, Childers said.
"When the first store opened, the area was very suburban. We were the only store with great food," Childers said. "When the area blossomed, the store grew with it. And now, there is a second location."
Unlike the Riverview restaurant, the new location will offer delivery.
"We're really excited about it," Childers said.
The East Coast Pizza in Lithia is at 10433 County Road 39. It's open from noon to 9 p.m. seven days a week. Their phone number is (813) 737-1919.
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