NEW TAMPA — The Orlando-based comic store giant Coliseum of Comics opened its first Tampa location on Bruce B. Downs Boulevard earlier this month, coinciding with Free Comic Book Day, the Super Bowl of the industry.
Owner Phil Boyle said the response has been overwhelming.
This is the sixth location for the successful chain, which Boyle launched 31 years ago with nothing more than a stack of comic books and a dream.
Boyle now takes pride in touting his stores as "a complete pop culture emporium."
"We are not that dark, cavelike store you see on TV where a girl walks in and everyone turns to look," he said.
"We are a community store that serves a diverse group of people who would never meet outside of their interest in comics."
Games, graphic novels, action figures and T-shirts are just a few of the other items the store carries. There are plans to add gaming nights.
The store represents another first for the company. In an innovative expansion effort, Coliseum is testing a manager-to-owner program that will help promote new manager Amjad Amer, a longtime employee, to part-owner.
"We are looking for a way for our employees to have a vested interest in the success of the store," Boyle said.
Coliseum of Comics is located at 19402 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in New Tampa. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, visit coliseumofcomics.com or call (813) 528-8758.
TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Longtime caterer Rama Prasad brings his authentic Indian cuisine to Town 'N Country with the opening of DosaHut Sunday. The strictly vegetarian cuisine centers on the dosa, a thin, crispy, crepelike dish popular in the southern regions of India. Dosa can be eaten plain or can be stuffed with a variety of fillings and sauces to make a complete meal.
Though this is Prasad's first restaurant venture, he is no stranger to the food industry. Prasad began his catering career 25 years ago in his homeland of Bangalore, India.
He has been catering in the Tampa area for the past 10 years. Prasad is hopeful that the opening of DosaHut will help to expand his catering operation as well.
"We can cater any event, large or small – from home parties to weddings to corporate events," Prasad said.
DosaHut offers fast-food style service, with ample seating for those wishing to dine in. A lunch buffet is available on weekdays. Breakfast is served on the weekend.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday (closed Monday) and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
DosaHut is at 10029 W Hillsborough Ave. in the Colony Crossings Plaza. The grand opening celebration begins at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, and will feature a $1 buffet. For more information, call (813) 886-4555.
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