BRANDON — For Mother's Day, Steve Davis gave his wife, Elizabeth, a Goffin cockatoo, but that's nothing compared to what he gave her for St. Patrick's Day: a new exotic bird store.
The Davises recently opened the Parrot Hut at 1335 W Brandon Blvd. in a shopping center just east of Boston Market. Elizabeth said she convinced her husband, who works for Coca-Cola, it was the right thing to do just three days after the January closing of 1-2 Tweet Birds in the same shopping center.
"There was a need for the community," said Elizabeth Davis, a Riverview resident. "It's just our passion — for the birds."
She had rescued people's unwanted macaws, conures and Amazon parrots for the past three years, taking them into her home alongside her three dogs: a labradoodle, golden basset and pug. She wanted a public place to be able to educate people on the proper care for exotic birds.
"It's a commitment," said Davis, who has a Level 1 certification from the American Federation of Aviculture. "We go down the rules before you buy. It's a different world. If you have a bird once, it's an addiction."
The Parrot Hut offers parakeets for $29.95 all the way up to yellow-naped Amazons for $1,495. It also provides professional services such as wing and nail clipping and hand-feeds babies from two Florida breeders three times a day.
The store also has a large selection of accessories, food and toys as well as a nursery and aviary, where the birds stretch their wings every day. Davis says she wants to create a family atmosphere where the birds interact with men, women and children and become accustomed to various sensory activities before leaving with a new owner.
The store is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., which is wing clipping day.
Stop in to meet Solo, the sun conure store mascot who likes to sit on your shoulder. Visit facebook.com/theparrothut to join its bird club or if you are a veterinarian or bird aficionado interested in hosting educational events at the store.
Seafood Dive continues expansion
When the Kazbour family opened Seafood Dive in Brandon last year, they indicated expansion plans just weren't a fish story.
Since then, the family duplicated the fast casual concept in Plant City and recently moved its original Sun City Center location 10 minutes north to Apollo Beach.
Kaz's Seafood Dive Restaurant & Bar, featuring a full liquor menu, is now open at 6190 U.S. 41 N, a location that has housed other restaurants, including Cherry's.
The move allows regulars to enjoy more seating and parking, while still sampling the seafood fare. Entrees range from $10-$16 and the eatery offers homemade gumbo and chowder as well as options for the kids and those not too big on seafood.
Tuesday's special is buy one, get one free fish 'n' chips while Wednesdays are BOGO fried shrimp dinners.
Hours are Monday-Thursday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Printable menus are available at theseafooddive.com.
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