CARROLLWOOD — Enter the glass door and the scent of rich Spanish cedar envelops you.
Pedro Rivero Jr. has brought a little bit of Ybor to Carrollwood with Club Habano Cigars, which opened last month.
"Yes, there are other cigar stores up here, but we're really a cigar lounge," said Rivero, a former cigar salesman.
In addition to wine, beer and homemade sangria (Rivero said he only tells customers the secret ingredient), Club Habano sells a variety of cigars, including a Dominican House Blend at $4 per stick, midrange brands such as Camacho for $8 to $15, and a 1964 anniversary Padron for $30.
Mahogany surrounds the club, which has domino tables, leather couches and three big-screen televisions.
"We've set it up so people can come in here and just relax," Rivero said.
Club Habano, at 11642 N Dale Mabry Highway in the Outback shopping center, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday; and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call 269-0400.
Ex-Outback folks are behind Red Elephant
Have you herd? So goes the tag line for Carrollwood's newest family style restaurant, the Red Elephant, which opened this month.
The restaurant specializes in pizzas, salads and burgers in an ambience that is upbeat and kid-friendly.
There's a game room and six big-screen TVs, '70s music and red elephants all over the place.
Started by a group of former Outback Steakhouse managers and partners, the first restaurant opened two years ago in Tallahassee.
Carrollwood's is the fourth location and the only one in the Tampa Bay area.
All are corporately owned.
The salad dressings are homemade, and the pizza dough and tomato sauce are made daily in the store, said manager Paul Adolphson.
Pizzas start at $5.69 for a build-your-own individual, and go up to $19.49 for a large Elephant Classic (cheese, pepperoni, sausage, green peppers and mushrooms).
Sandwiches and burgers, served with a choice of crispy fries, homemade coleslaw, seasonal fruit or steamed veggies, average $7.
The Red Elephant, in the Grand Plaza shopping center at 14391 N Dale Mabry Highway, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Curbside service is available. For information, call 908-7492.
Thomasville furniture does not renew lease
Another large space on N Dale Mabry Highway becomes vacant today with the closing of Thomasville of Tampa furniture store. Franchised stores are unaffected.
Local managers indicated that the store was closing because the owner chose not to renew the lease.
A Clearwater store closed last year, leaving sites in New Port Richey and Brandon as the closest Thomasville locations.
Items had been on sale for as much as 80 percent off the retail price for the past few weeks.
Know of a business that has just opened, closed or relocated? Contact reporter Sheryl Kay at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (813) 230-8788.