BRANDON — Cassandra Patterson had been hoping to find the perfect location for her new business where she'd sell new and vintage home and garden accessories, plus a variety of women's accessories.
By chance she drove down Mason Street. She hardly ever had occasion to be on Mason Street, even though years ago she owned a tearoom there called Mad Hatter's Express.
Lo and behold, the building at 109 Mason St. where the tearoom had been was vacant and for rent. She knew it was absolutely ideal for the new business.
Inside the building, a converted home, was ample space for vintage purses, handmade jewelry, silk floral arrangements and artwork. The spacious back yard allows Patterson and partner Meg Reign to showcase outdoor accessories, including many created by local artisans.
Patterson and Reign opened Et...Cetera on April 19. Their grand opening celebration last Friday and Saturday drew healthy crowds and glowing customer reviews, Reign said. Customers raved about the inventory and the ambience, she said.
There's a touch of French style in a lot of the accessories at Et...Cetera, but the real emphasis is on quality. Vintage items, including a large selection of handbags, don't show any significant wear, and new items, from the handmade jewelry to wrought-iron garden chairs, are designed artistically.
Et...Cetera is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For information, call (813) 654-4927.
'Progressive' bistro opens in Brandon
BRANDON — Whether diners want comfort food or something to satisfy their inner gourmet, Neighborhood Bistro can sate the palate.
Culinarian and co-owner Michael Walker bills his new restaurant, which opened March 25 on E Brandon Boulevard, a "progressive American bistro."
Order French toast, for example, and instead of the traditional day-old white bread, diners get fresh brioche.
Neighborhood Bistro offers familiar sandwiches. But instead of processed deli-style meats, the sandwiches are made of fresh cuts of meat roasted in-house.
"We take pride in taking things that people already know and taking them just outside the box," Walker said. "We take them just far enough outside that they're exciting, but not far enough that people aren't comfortable with them."
Walker said he always tries to get the freshest and best ingredients for whatever dishes he creates.
Because he has lived in Brandon his entire life and has been passionate about cooking almost as long, he said, he has the knowledge and the connections to get the best locally grown food. He opts for organic foods whenever he can.
It's still all very moderately priced, Walker said, and it would be unusual for anyone's meal to cost more than $9.
Neighborhood Bistro is open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday. The breakfast menu is available until 11 a.m., and the lunch menu after that. Brunch is served from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday. The brunch menu includes items from the regular weekday breakfast menu plus special items that Walker creates every week.
The restaurant is at 905 E Brandon Blvd.
Call (813) 315-9852 or go to tinyurl.com/672jzsa.
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