RIVERVIEW — Where SunTrust once planned a drive-through teller lane, Jason Barrett envisioned an 800-square-foot patio dining area.
Where a small banking customer service window once sat, now perches a pass-through bar adjacent to 20 beers and six wines on tap.
After more than a year of renovating a former bank space, Barrett and his business partner, Scott Smith, have opened Tap's Deli & Brewhouse, a restaurant that offers deli-style lunch and dinner as well as craft beers and live music on weekends.
Barrett, who constructed much of the renovation work himself including a custom track lighting system, has 24 years of experience as a restaurant corporate trainer including Bennigan's. Tap's Deli & Brewhouse at 5914 Providence Road is the first restaurant he has owned.
"We wanted to create a craft beer atmosphere but want to be a restaurant first," said Barrett, an East Bay High School alumnus and 2007 graduate of the Art Institute of Tampa culinary school.
Barrett said that in just a couple of weeks of being open, the braised short rib grilled cheese for $11 has become popular along with shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles. Tap's Deli & Brewhouse, which has an open kitchen layout, began lunch hours this week.
The restaurant footprint covers more than 4,000 square feet, featuring an open dining area, a couple of golf and bowling video games and what Barrett calls "grape juice with a kick" coming from his four red and two white specialty wine taps.
The restaurant's official grand opening party is planned for July 23. The day will begin with an exotic car show and parking lot party and feature local band Soul Circus Cowboys.
Outlet adds preowned auto sales
BRANDON — After 11 years of focusing on auto repair, Scott Macaulay of Bennett's Auto Care in Brandon has added preowned auto sales to his list of services. Macaulay has formed a partnership with Paul Roberts of Dover, a retired firefighter who has been licensed to sell cars since 2010.
Roberts wholesales vehicles that range from $1,500 to $4,000 to Macaulay, who keeps approximately 15 cars on his lot at 141 W Windhorst Road. Bennett's Auto Care then certifies the vehicles after fixing items that need repair.
"We offer good, dependable solid transportation," said Roberts, who spent 38 years as a firefighter in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Lakeland. "If they don't work, we won't sell them."
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