Make us your home page

Great Spiedini brings an upstate N.Y. favorite to Westchase

WESTCHASE — The buzz about the latest addition to the Westchase dining scene has been building for months, and finally, the Great Spiedini is open for business. Owners Rick and Karen Swartwood and their son, Tony, are quickly proving that their spiedies were well worth the wait.

Spiedies (pronounced SPEE-dees) in their traditional form are cubed pieces of meat that are marinated, cooked on metal skewers over a char-grilled flame and served on Italian bread. They are revered in the Swartwoods' hometown of Binghamton, N.Y., but are hard to find outside of upstate New York. After moving to Florida, Rick set out to change that.

He spent more than 15 years perfecting his zesty marinade (the key spiedie ingredient) before testing the concept at Tampa Bay area farmers markets and festivals. The spiedies were a success and the Swartwoods decided a restaurant was in order.

Drawn to the community feel of Westchase, they chose a storefront at the east end of Westchase Town Center. Plans were drawn up with the intention of opening early this year. The day before the build-out was to begin, Rick got word that a larger location with patio space had opened up at the west end of the complex.

Switching locations meant starting from square one. It also meant that the Swartwoods could create the concept they envisioned. "We took one look and said, 'This is it!' " Rick said.

The Great Spiedini is a blend of casual eatery and neighborhood patio bar. With ample seating indoors and out, it is ideal for dining out with the family, catching the game or enjoying a few drinks with friends.

Spiedies are served in traditional form, as well as in nontraditional sandwich varieties such as the Buffalo and the Marsala. Vegetarians will appreciate the marinated portobello mushroom spiedie or one of the many salad options. The drink menu features an impressive selection of draft and bottled beer, as well as house and fine wine.

The Great Spiedini is located at 9648 W Linebaugh Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to midnight Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. A grand opening celebration, including an official "Binghamton Day," is scheduled for Sept. 19 through 21. For more information, follow them on Facebook at the Great Spiedini or visit the website at

Anytime Fitness changes ownership

Also at Westchase Town Center, Anytime Fitness is under new ownership. To celebrate, the facility held a grand reopening Saturday. Initial changes include a freshly painted interior and updated signage. New equipment is being introduced in phases. For a limited time, new members can take advantage of grand reopening pricing.

Anytime Fitness Westchase is located at 9602 W Linebaugh Ave. Members have 24-hour access. Personal training is available. For more information, call (813) 792-2900.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Contact Karen Ring at

Great Spiedini brings an upstate N.Y. favorite to Westchase 08/28/14 [Last modified: Thursday, August 28, 2014 9:56am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming


    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street


    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24


    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights


    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.


    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]