BT Nguyen, owner of Restaurant BT and BT To Go, is combining the two concepts to create, BT To Go & Bistro.
"Restaurant BT is high end, good for date night and special occasions, while BT To Go you can come in workout clothes," Nguyen said. "The Bistro will be in between and serve classic French dishes like the croque monsieur."
Whether diners come in and pick up food or sit down for a beer or glass of wine with their meal, the atmosphere is kept casual, which is opposite of the space's prior tenant, Six Tables, a pre-fix fine dining concept.
"I opened BT To Go in November and it's working really well," Nguyen said. "We get a lot of requests for other neighborhoods and then this space became available.
"We are keeping it a small restaurant (20 seats inside and about 12 outside) to incorporate both concepts. We'll offer the same to-go menu we do here (at BT To Go), but will have the bistro menu as well."
Natural wood and lots of light will shine inside, while outside they'll grow herbs and vegetables that will be used to prepare the bistro food.
"This new concept will be community oriented, under the title it will read cuisine, culture and community," Nguyen said.
Nyugen broke ground on Monday and plans to gut everything for a complete renovation. She is aiming for an August opening at 4267 Henderson Blvd.
Checkers makes return to Gandy Blvd.
Throughout his 18 year career at Checkers, Shaji Joseph has yet to tire of the french fries.
"I started as an assistant manager in Pennsylvania and worked my way through the company to director of operations," Joseph said. "Then in 2014 I had the opportunity to become a franchisee and since then have acquired eight stores in the Tampa Bay area."
Not only is he opening new locations, he is also re-opening old locations, like the one of Gandy Boulevard which closed six years ago. "The area is booming now and we are looking for an opportunity to grow," Joseph said. "Things have changed, the economy is growing fast and real estate's high. There's a lot of people here in Tampa."
Joseph is aiming for a soft opening at the end of June at 4530 W Gandy Blvd., followed by a grand opening a month later with specials.
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