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Consignment shop Better Than New Designz opens in Virginia Park

VIRGINIA PARK — Most of the clothing and home accessories filling her consignment shop were once her own, says Mailin Kinard. Some items at Better Than New Designz still have the price tags on them.

Now men's and women's clothing, shoes, jewelry and home decor items in excellent condition have started arriving at the south Dale Mabry store she opened May 15 near El Prado Boulevard.

"I was always taking my stuff to a friend's store to sell for me,'' Kinard said. "Then I said, 'Hey, why don't I open my own store?' "

Kinard offers the seller a 50-50 split on items with a 90-day contract. Anything that doesn't sell by then can be picked up or left for a charitable organization.

The store doubles as her interior design office, said the 2002 graduate of International Academy of Design & Technology. The initial consultation is free. Kinard, 41, previously owned a full-service beauty salon.

Better than New Designz is located at 3422 S Dale Mabry Highway. Open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Visit betterthannewdesignz.com or call (813) 447-7843.

Hyde Park Village bakery has new name

Amelie's Bakery & Cafe in Hyde Park Village cafe has a new name: Sophie's.

The owners of the original Amelie's saw the first outpost of the Charlotte, N.C., bakery as a franchise operation. Owners Carole and Todd Binkowski saw "a collaboration to prove the concept."

Thus the name change.

"This is best for both of us,'' Carole says. "They will find others who want to be exactly like them and we'll go our own route."

Beyond croissants and treats, they now emphasize healthy entrees — soups, salads and sandwiches. Also new: a children's menu; tea time discounts from 3 to 5 p.m. and live entertainment on Saturday nights. Bridge, book and bunco clubs are always welcome. Call Sophie's French Bakery & Café, (813) 254-5257, for more details.

A little wine, cheese at Bayshore Plaza

Susan Bianchi and Romeo Patron met in 2008 while working at Bern's Fine Wines & Spirits. In October, they launched their own endeavor with Bianchi's Enoteca. The 18-seat spot is their version of an Italian "enoteca," a neighborhood restaurant featuring charcuterie, artisan cheeses and wine.

"It's a place people come to talk, with no TV or blaring music,'' said Patron, who is also a certified sommelier. They may wake up with a European breakfast omelet or relax over chicken panini with spicy mayo. On Wednesday nights, the restaurant offers a $19.95 pasta special for the first 10 customers in the door. No reservations are taken.

The owners ship in bread from Rockhill Bakery in upstate New York, Patron said. In the evening, they pour their favorite wines to pair with small plates of meat, cheeses, bruschetta and more.

"Our customers come for the slow pace,'' Patron said, "and we get to know them. I'll remember if they like goat cheese and don't want their toast buttered."

Bianchi's Enoteca, 3215 S MacDill Ave, in Bayshore Plaza is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; call (813) 837-2233.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call (813) 226-3332 or e-mail ascherzer@sptimes.com.

Consignment shop Better Than New Designz opens in Virginia Park 05/26/11 [Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2011 5:30am]

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