Make us your home page
Everybody's Business

One Carrollwood pizza parlor closes as another opens

CARROLLWOOD — In less than a week, one established pizza place closed and another opened its doors, offering some unique choices for those seeking more than the usual combination of dough, sauce, cheese and meat.

The Italian Way, at 10053 N Dale Mabry Highway, closed April 3 after operating for three years and four months, said owner Jackie Lais. Known for its New York-style pizza and Philly subs, Lais said the restaurant was a victim of the times.

"Definitely, it was the economy, and the landlord wasn't willing to work with me on the rent," she said. "Finally, I decided I couldn't do it."

Lais said she took pride in offering a good product. Though she'd never been to New York, she said many of her customers had been and they told her that her pizza was as good as the real thing.

"I was very proud of my food," Lais said.

Meanwhile, Down Under Pizza, opened at 12821 N Dale Mabry Highway on March 29. Amber Swortzel, a native New Zealander who grew up in Tasmania and Australia, co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Tony. She said the land down under is known for its good Italian food.

"Food in Australia is very Mediterranean flavored, with lots of Italians, Greeks and Lebanese," she said. "It's not all like Crocodile Dundee."

Down Under Pizza offers the usual Italian fare, such as mozzarella, fresh Italian sausage and pepperoni, Swortzel said, all cooked in a traditional brick oven. But they also offer pizza with some unique, down-under toppings, such as crocodile, emu and kangaroo.

"Kangaroo meat is very lean, with only 2 percent body fat," Swortzel said. "It's a red meat, but it's not marbled like other meats."

As of Monday, Swortzel said they've sold about 16 of the Tasmanian Pepperberry Kangaroo pizzas and one of the Barbecued Emu pies to some adventurous customers.

Down Under Pizza is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, or to place an order, call (813) 961-2500.

Wanted: health and beauty professionals

CARROLLWOOD — Salon Lofts wants to recruit hair stylists, nail technicians, makeup artists and massage therapists for its new outpost in Carrollwood.

Founder Daniel Sadd said Salon Lofts rents space to health and beauty professionals so they can pamper their customers, while helping them with the marketing and promotion of their businesses. Sadd said the latest Salon Lofts, under construction at 12823 N Dale Mabry Highway, will be the 18th location.

"Whether they do hair, skin, nails or massage, they set their own prices and services, their own schedules," Sadd said of the beauty practitioners who work in the business. "We have a lot of free, shared services we offer, such as online scheduling, e-mail marketing tools and client management tools.

"They need to be good at what they do," Sadd said. "They bring their talent, and we do the marketing for them."

Sadd said they expect to open for business sometime in May. As of this week, Sadd said about 33 percent of the store's 19 lofts were already leased.

For more information, visit To lease a loft, call Sarah Frey, Salon Lofts' Tampa Bay Area marketing manager, at (813) 873-2233.

If you know something that should be Everybody's Business, e-mail Sean C. Ledig at

One Carrollwood pizza parlor closes as another opens 04/15/10 [Last modified: Thursday, April 15, 2010 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours