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Colombian fashion flair on Kennedy Blvd., Red Star Rock Bar to open in Seminole Heights, Flora favors Palma Ceia

TAMPA — There's a reason why fashions from CJ's Amor Couture "make women look beautiful and sexy," says owner Edwin Crespo.

"The Lift Butt is a special feature of our apparel, made in Colombia exclusively for this shop," Crespo said. "We have it in jeans, dresses, skirts, jumpers, overalls and bullfighters capris."

Tampa newcomer Crespo opened his first boutique last month on Kennedy Boulevard, west of Henderson Boulevard. A former clothing store manager in Puerto Rico, he chose Tampa for its demographics, "a good mix of Latins and Americans that caught my attention."

Women's wear ranges from casual to very dressy, in sizes 1 to 20. There is a collection for young girls, sizes 4 to 16, plus a variety of handbags, mostly leather, and fine jewelry.

Crespo is planning a grand opening with prizes and special discounts Jan. 18 from 2 to 6 p.m.

CJ's Amor Couture, 3312 W Kennedy Blvd., is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 870-1112.

After long delay, Red Star can rock and roll

It took a year to get wet zoning approval, and another year for city parking permits, but Red Star Rock Bar is finally just weeks from opening on N Florida Avenue in Seminole Heights. The bar will offer 10 beers on tap, wine and liquor. Food trucks have been invited to park out front on a nightly basis.

"We're going for a sophisticated dive feel," said co-owner Paul Medrano, "with a spacious outdoor patio."

Medrano, a former stockbroker and now-Hard Rock Cafe poker dealer, and Brian Bosco, a partner in the nearby Domani Bistro Lounge, began the venture in March 2012. Resolving a parking plight was the biggest challenge and took many months to work through Tampa City Council.

"We finally got exempt-parking approval and have now submitted revised plans to pull building permits and build-out should take a week or so," Medrano said. "Our goal is to open by Gasparilla."

Passers-by have long admired Matt Callahan's huge rock star mural on the side of the building. The faces of more rock legends will line the inside walls, all portraits by local artists, such as Seminole Heights resident Robert Wegman.

"Led Zeppelin, Mick Jagger, Elvis Presley, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix," said Medrano. "Every six months, an art show will launch the next collection." Live music is also planned.

After Red Star is up and running, the men intend to open Seminole Heights Sushi & Surf Club at 4901 N Florida Ave.

Red Star Rock Bar, 5210 N Florida Ave., will be open 4 to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday, noon to 1 a.m. Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. Visit or call (813) 770-4624.

Palma Ceia florist and event planner blooms

From an intimate dinner table centerpiece to a wedding for 300, Flora Fine Flowers & Events combines artistry with attention to detail.

Owner Ginger Houser relocated to S MacDill Avenue and W San Jose Street in October when her lease was not renewed in a downtown Tampa bank building. Houser has worked in interior design as well as a retail florist, evident in her customized event concepts.

Art director Chris Giglio guides the design team drawing on 35 years experience in the New York City fashion and floral market.

Flora Fine Flowers & Events, 2414 S MacDill Ave., is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and by appointment Sunday. Call (813) 837-0509.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call (813) 226-3332 or email

Colombian fashion flair on Kennedy Blvd., Red Star Rock Bar to open in Seminole Heights, Flora favors Palma Ceia 01/08/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 5:00pm]
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