Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Business

Burger 21 places in Top 100 list of fast casual restaurant brands

A Tampa-based burger chain fairly new to the scene has made the 2013 list of Top 100 Movers & Shakers among fast casual restaurants.

Burger 21 placed 22nd for its notable, non-beef selections in the "better burger'' field, from black bean to Ahi tuna and chicken parmesan burgers. Founded in 2010 by the owners of the Melting Pot, Burger 21 has seven locations in the Tampa Bay area, Orlando and Voorhees, N.J., and 17 in development in six states. The menu has 21 burgers, hot dogs, salads, hand-dipped milkshakes and sundaes.

First on the Top 100 list was Fazoli's, an Italian restaurant founded in 1988 in Lexington, Ky. It has 217 locations in 26 states but, surprisingly, only one in Florida, in Pensacola.

FastCasual.com puts out the list — now in its eighth year — to recognize fast casual brands leading the industry in growth and innovation. Fort Lauderdale-based Pizza Fusion, which has locations in downtown Tampa and Westchase, got a shoutout for having a 75-percent organic menu.

• • •

Another local fast-casual favorite, Little Greek Restaurant is celebrating its nine-year anniversary by offering $6.99 chicken or gyro pita combos with french fries and a drink through Saturday. The chain has nine locations in the Tampa Bay area and another opening later this month in New Tampa at 19022 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.

• • •

A few observations about the new Wawa stores popping up all over the place: The gas prices are low, and they don't charge a few pennies more per gallon when you pay with a nonstore credit card, like most convenience stores. While you're pumping gas, orders are called over the loud speaker: "Number 339, your toasted meatball hoagie is ready.'' "Number 345, your barbecue chicken quesadilla is ready.'' Depending on your hunger level, it's a pretty enticing way to lure you into the store.

• • •

It's been almost a year since the Green Iguana closed its Dale Mabry location near Raymond James Stadium. Kuhn Honda demolished the site and posted a sign announcing a future car dealership but, so far, only weeds have taken over the property.

A company owned by Kuhn bought the site at 2522 N Dale Mabry Highway in June 2012 for $6.7 million, according to the Hillsborough County Property Appraiser's website. Kuhn officials haven't returned calls about their plans. Kuhn also has a Honda and Volkswagen dealership at 3900 W Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa.

• • •

Ikea in Tampa is having a Midsummer Smorgasbord on Friday to celebrate the Swedish summer holiday. This isn't your typical all-you-can-eat buffet with pastries, build-your-omelets and peeled shrimp. We're talking herring, poached salmon, hard boiled eggs, meatballs with lingonberries, Swedish cheeses and dill potatoes.

I find it amusingly ironic that the Swedish retailer puts on a party marking the longest day of the year, given it can take shoppers almost a day to walk through the store. I just hope putting together a plate of Swedish delicacies is easier than putting together one of Ikea's desks.

Tickets are $12.99 for adults and $4.99 for children 12 and younger. Ikea Family members pay $9.99 and $2.49. Seating times are 4 and 6 p.m. Space is limited, and customers are encouraged to buy their tickets in advance at the store, 1103 N 22nd St., Tampa.

• • •

Overwhelmed with the beer choices at World of Beer? Try its new private label beer brewed exclusively for the bar called C'est la Vie!

Translation from French: "Such is life."

The Tampa-based chain of craft beer pubs partnered with the award-winning Bavik Brewery in Belgium. Marc Sawyer, director of brewery and distributor relations for World of Beer Franchising, said they wanted a beer that fit the World of Beer brand.

"It's a very approachable beer, yet has enough unique qualities to really stand out,'' he said.

It seems the name reflects the bar's pull-up-a-stool, try-a-new-beer attitude. It's available at all World of Beer locations throughout June.

Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

Comments
Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

Wine dinners, beer projects and more will wet your whistle this summer

FILIPINO FOOD: WELCOME CHISMISHave you been to the Heights Public Market at the 73,000-square-foot Armature Works yet? It’s the buzzy food market in Tampa Heights with more than a dozen vendors offering up everything from rolled ice cream to Cuban sa...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

Citizens considers hiking homeowners insurance rates about 8 percent

Citizens Property Insurance Corp.’s is weighing another round of hefty rate hikes.Staffers with the state-run insurer of last resort have proposed raising the average rates for homeowners by 7.9 percent — just under the legislative cap of 10 percent ...
Updated: 24 minutes ago
A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay homes sales while prices keep rising

A tight supply cuts into Tampa Bay homes sales while prices keep rising

Tampa Bay’s two largest counties showed anemic home sales in May as prices continued to rise due to a tight supply.In Pinellas, sales of single-family home plunged nearly 12 percent from the previous May, the second-worst showing in a year. Prices, t...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Pinellas County files suit against companies who built Public Safety Complex

Pinellas County files suit against companies who built Public Safety Complex

CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Public Safety Complex was built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, but officials now say the $81 million fortress has water leaks and cracked walls.The county filed a lawsuit this month against Harvard Jolly, the S...
Updated: 1 hour ago
CEOs are calling the separation of children and families at the border ‘inhumane’ and ‘tragic’

CEOs are calling the separation of children and families at the border ‘inhumane’ and ‘tragic’

Democratic and Republican lawmakers have spoken out about the Trump administration’s hard-line "zero-tolerance" immigration policy that has resulted in a sharp rise in children separated from their parents at the southern U.S. border. The president o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Demolition looms for old Bromley office building at Midtown Tampa

Demolition looms for old Bromley office building at Midtown Tampa

TAMPA — Over the past month, demolition crews have gutted the old five-story Bromley office building at the future site of the $500 million Midtown Tampa project.On Sunday, the remaining skeleton of the building is scheduled to come down.The demoliti...
Updated: 2 hours ago
What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

Blame a lack of rail cars in Canada or not enough semi trucks in the United States. Forest fires didn’t help. Tariffs played a big role, too. Even the buoyant economy takes part of the rap for frothy lumber prices, which hit all-time highs las...
Updated: 5 hours ago
What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

What historically high lumber prices mean for Florida home buyers

Blame a lack of rail cars in Canada or not enough semi trucks in the United States. Forest fires didn’t help. Tariffs played a big role, too. Even the buoyant economy takes part of the rap for frothy lumber prices, which hit all-time highs las...
Updated: 6 hours ago

Reopening date still elusive for Palace Grand facility

SPRING HILL — Palace Grand, an upscale event facility closed in 2016 because of sinkhole activity beneath the structure, remains shuttered. A reopening date remains elusive.Originally advertised as a "luxurious" setting for weddings, corporate events...
Published: 06/20/18
A valet at this South Tampa Publix will park your car as you shop

A valet at this South Tampa Publix will park your car as you shop

TAMPA — Publix shoppers in South Tampa who hate circling the lot for parking can now toss their keys to a valet.The Publix at Dale Mabry and Neptune started testing a free valet service last week that could expand to more stores. Spokesman Brian West...
Updated: 6 hours ago