SOUTH TAMPA — Orthopedic surgeon Daniel Murphy couldn't help but notice the lack of nonemergency, urgent care clinics in South Tampa — and the fact that his 5,000-square-foot practice there was empty on nights and weekends.
Murphy, president of the Tampa Orthopedic and Sports Medicine clinic at 602 S Howard Ave., saw opportunity.
Why not create an after-hours clinic to use the space?
Last week, he opened the South Tampa After Hours Immediate Care clinic, aiming to serve patients age 2 and older during the evenings or on weekends.
The after-hours clinic does not yet have agreements with insurance companies but in the meantime will help patients file insurance claims.
"We hope to be on most major insurance plans within the next couple of months," Murphy said, though the clinic will not accept Medicare.
Murphy said visitors are guaranteed to see a family medicine or emergency care physician. Most of the clinic's doctors work in other practices and are moonlighting, he said, by picking up an extra evening or weekend shift.
The clinic can handle maladies such as sinus infections, allergies, broken bones, influenza, burns and rashes.
Clinic hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 to 5 on Saturday and Sunday. Murphy said the schedule seems to be convenient for younger professionals who don't have a primary care physician.
"Someone can work until 5 or 6 p.m. and still get into the clinic," he said.
Selling charm, character
Furniture stores everywhere are struggling to stay open in a slumping economy, but Bonnie and Russ Wright didn't hesitate to open their new shop, Summer House, this month. Years of experience tells them all they need to do is offer a good value.
"We've been open for 10 days and people say the prices are great, and they are," Bonnie Wright said. "We just like to move (merchandise) through. The prices are really good for fashionable, stylish furniture."
Wright wants visitors to Summer House, at 3620 S Manhattan Ave. (just north of Euclid Avenue), to feel as if they are shopping in the Provence region of France. The look is casual, but can mix easily with more formal items, she said. About 75 percent of the inventory is vintage or antique furniture, and the rest new.
"New items have to be distressed and even the antiques have to have a certain look to them that would fit into a casual home," she said. "It definitely is a casual comfortable look, with character."
The Wrights once owned two furniture shops — one of them called Summer House — in Dunedin's quaint downtown district but changed professions for a few years to interior design. "We missed the furniture business," Bonnie Wright said. "We missed it and we're back."
Hours at Summer House are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The store will be open Sundays beginning in the fall.
Package is in the mail
A franchise of Goin' Postal, a Zephyrhills-based package and shipping store, opened June 4 at 5811 S Dale Mabry, just north of MacDill Air Force Base. Unlike some package stores, Goin' Postal offers shipping by all major carriers and will even package items for freight, said Jim LeMuell, who owns the shop with his wife, Joanne. The store also offers faxing and copying services.
"It's something we thought was needed in South Tampa," he said.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 to 2 on Saturday. LeMuell said that in July, Goin' Postal will provide a free American flag to all customers who bring in their old or worn flag.
Dogs on the move
After eight years at 1732 S Dale Mabry, pet boutique and groomer Barks by the Bay & Meows Too moved this month.
Rent increases and traffic concerns prompted owner Maria Snider to move the shop to 2414 S. MacDill Ave., at the corner of San Jose Street.
Snider also decided to close her offshoot business nearby, Hyde Barks, which had only been open about four months at the corner of Morrison and Howard avenues. She combined both businesses in the move to MacDill.
"We've already noticed it's more of a neighborhood feel here," retail manager Liz Wessel said. "People are walking their dogs and popping right in."
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