Only two months after announcing plans to close about 600 underperforming stores nationwide, Starbucks is building another location near downtown Tampa.
The stand-alone corporate store on the 1600 block of Kennedy Boulevard near Dakota Avenue will have a drive-through and is expected to open in late October or early November. Construction has been under way for a few months, but a Starbucks sign did not go up until recently.
"It will be unique," Starbucks district manager Brian Potts said. "It won't be like any other in Tampa."
The new location is not far from several other Starbucks, notably ones at 513 S Florida Ave. and 711 S Howard Ave. Neither location has a drive-through.
Potts said the new location makes sense because it will be desirable for University of Tampa students and commuters heading in and out of downtown. The closest drive-through Starbucks is on Gandy Boulevard.
"Obviously shutting down 600 stores is a big deal, but every year as a company we've shut stores down and opened stores," Potts said. "Those (600) are stores that we paid to keep open. As an organization, that didn't make sense to continue those. But we're still going to grow."
Bungalow offers casual dining spot
A few blocks west of the new Starbucks, Andy Alvarez is trying to fill a need for the downtown lunch-and-dinner crowd.
After 2 1/2 years of planning, Alvarez opened the Bungalow two weeks ago in a restored 1919 arts-and-crafts building at 2202 W Kennedy. The building last was occupied by the Imperial Book Lodge, which closed two years ago.
Alvarez wanted a casual dining spot with tasty food that would attract UT students and the downtown crowd, "a cool place to watch TV or watch the game." Business already has been good, he said.
"We've been slammed every night," he said.
The 2,000-square-foot restaurant has a full bar and soon will include a large outdoor deck that should nearly double its seating capacity. Specialties include appetizers like a crab cake basket ($9.95) and conch fritters ($6.95). Entrees are priced from $9.95 to $16.95.
Hours at the Bungalow are 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday, and 11 to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. The restaurant's Web site is www.bungalowtampa.com.
Tampa Street Market will reopen soon
Owning, much less opening, any retail store in a struggling economy is a tough task, but Amy and Charles Haynie think their methods make them look a little less mad.
Their Tampa Street Market sells their version of eco-friendly furniture: handmade pieces created largely from salvaged materials. Their own furniture creations are accessorized with smaller items made by local artists.
The Haynies opened their market two years ago in a 650-square-foot space in their Seminole Heights neighborhood and quickly realized it was too small. They closed this spring to retool their concept and temporarily took over a corner of the antique shop Karen's Place on Florida Avenue.
The Haynies plan to reopen later this month or early October at 4715 N Florida Ave., a couple of doors down from Karen's Place. The remodeled 1,200-square-foot space has hosted a series of small cafes, most recently the Copa Cabana and Cafe Fey. The landlord, said Charles Haynie, thought the Tampa Street Market might be a better use for it.
"We make eco-friendly furniture, stuff out of salvaged wood or metal," Charles Haynie said. "We try to look for formaldehyde-free plywood. We work with a lot of local artists to get small stuff in the shop that goes along with our green beliefs and our handmade ethic."
Their furniture has clean lines and often is painted in "cool bright colors," he said. They recently had two pieces displayed in the temporary Tampa Museum of Art: a bench with salvaged steel legs and a walnut top, and a side table made of a cypress stump.
"Amy calls it 'industrial cottage,' " Haynie said. "If you see it together, it kind of makes sense."
The Haynies are expanding their collection by adding eco-friendly gifts. Hours at the Tampa Street Market (www. tampastreetmarket.com) will be 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
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