SEFFNER — Edward Meehan doesn't speak much Spanish but he knows the language of real estate.
The Davis Islands resident spent more than 30 years working in high-end land development and has a Latin restaurant vision for his mixed-use Seffner property along South Parsons Avenue that counts Jiffy Lube and Tire Kingdom as bookends.
Meehan calls his new Latin venture Mi Casa Latina. He has invested more than $80,000 in a remodeling effort of the old Mayham's restaurant spot that includes everything from new booths and tile to an expanded service area, as well as a complete fumigation of the 47-person eatery. The only holdover from the previous tenant is the range hood in the kitchen.
The new restaurant is set to open today at 1812 S Parsons Ave., Suite 102, and will become at least the fourth Latin restaurant to open in the Seffner-Brandon area since January.
"I'm not in it to make a living on a restaurant," Meehan said. "I want to provide good food, great service and a clean atmosphere."
Meehan has hired Aida Muniz, who once operated Miss Aida's Kitchen near the Valrico Home Depot, to run the restaurant. Muniz also created the 3-D artwork adorning the walls that gives the appearance you are looking out of a genuine Latin homestead.
The restaurant will offer sandwiches, soups and authentic mofongo, which is a dish of mashed green plantains stuffed with your choice of meat. Most entrees are priced at less than $9 and the menu also includes a full assortment of salads, sides and desserts. Meehan said every dish will have ingredients and preparation steps in a book to ensure consistency.
He added that a second phase planned for the restaurant will bring expanded seating in an adjacent unit and a third phase planned for 2016 will result in the creation of a stand-alone version of the restaurant that will feature live music, dancing and beer and wine.
"God gave me this," Muniz said. "We'll be successful."
Optimal Outcomes sees Brandon growth
Optimal Outcomes, a St. Petersburg-based health care real estate development firm, announced it will soon demolish a former Brandon Lifestyles Fitness gym building it acquired in 2013 to make room for a new 38,000-square-foot, multistory, Class-A medical office building.
The property, at 623 Oakfield Drive on the corner of S Kings Avenue, houses a vacant 35,000-square-foot structure.
Demolition is expected to begin this summer with occupancy planned for early to mid 2015. According to a media release, Optimal has lined up two potential tenants.
"The Brandon market has long been in need of additional and better inventory for health care users," said Patrick Marston, founder of Optimal Outcomes. "Patients and providers are demanding more convenient, functional, accessible and modern space. As the health care industry places increased emphasis on expanding outpatient services, this demand will only intensify. To us, the Brandon location made perfect sense."
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