Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Business

Dade City's Village Inn closes its doors

RECOMMENDED READING


DADE CITY—Village Inn owner Bill Christie had hoped to remain open through the Memorial Day weekend. But when the freezer broke down and food started spoiling, he locked the doors for good on May 26.

"We've had declining sales with the down economy," Christie said. "But this is the worst year ever. By mid-March, when the snowbirds went home, it became drastic."

Christie, 68, and his sons Curt, 44, and Jeff, 42, have operated the Dade City and Zephyrhills Village Inns for 15 years. The Christies are holding onto the Zephyrhills Village Inn. "It's not doing as good as it could be," Christie said. "But we have enough to keep going."

Christie bemoans the most difficult part — laying off 25 employees.

"Some of them have been with us since the beginning," he said. "Curt is helping operate the Zephyrhills store, and Jeff is out with fellow employees looking for (job) openings."

Christie, his wife, Pam, and their sons moved cross country in 1997 to become Village Inn franchisees. They were working for Village Inn in Arizona when the Pasco County franchises became available. This week they're moving restaurant equipment and supplies 10 miles south on U.S. 301 to Zephyrhills.

APEC Realty is working to secure another tenant.

Retired local veterinarian Richard Smalley missed last week's regular Village Inn breakfast with his church men's group.

"I heard they cleared up the dishes," Smalley said. "And then started packing up. After our group left, they locked the door. I'm glad that gift cards are still good in Zephyrhills."

A sign was posted May 26 asking employees to pick up their checks in Zephyrhills.

On a brighter note, former Village Inn cooks and wait staff may apply for work at Kickin Wings, a Hudson chain that is progressing toward opening downtown. Kickin Wings is renovating the 3,000-square-foot Seventh Street/Howard Avenue property where three other restaurants have closed over the past few years. Tropical Breeze Cuban restaurant lasted three years prior to closing in 2010. De Limin's Caribbean fare didn't last long; and the popular uptown Tom's hamburger relocation failed to make it this year.

Comments
Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

Some cities faced with all-or-nothing medical marijuana rules are playing it safe

When it comes to weighing the options for regulating medical marijuana through the law passed this year, Dunedin city commissioners declared local governments face a "conundrum" and "a false dilemma."They said they would welcome a dispensary in the c...
Updated: 11 hours ago
A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

A new threat this shopping season: toys that can spy on kids

ST. PETERSBURG — Not all sinister toys are as obvious as a Chucky doll. Many present more subtle threats — choking hazards, high lead content, privacy concerns. And as the biggest shopping season of the year kicks off, consumer advocates are urging s...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

Indian automaker plant is latest sign of Detroit comeback

It has been years since Detroit, birthplace of the American auto industry, was a steady producer of the manufacturing jobs that defined it as the Motor City. But its comeback is entering a new phase.The latest milestone came this week, with the annou...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Big Tobacco’s anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

Associated PressWASHINGTON — Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies return to prime-time television this weekend — but not by choice. Under court order, the industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

Ybor ’s first public school, long gone, still has a story to tell about district’s history

TAMPAIt’s been more than a century since Ybor City’s first public school was demolished on the plot of land now identified as 1311 E Eighth Ave.For the past 22 years, the popular concert venue New World Brewery took up the space and one next door. No...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Barricades reinforce security for holiday events on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront

Barricades reinforce security for holiday events on St. Petersburg’s downtown waterfront

ST. PETERSBURG — World and national tragedies are changing the city’s approach to security for special events at North Straub Park.With the approach of the holidays, concrete barricades have been erected at a section of the park’s perimeter, where Fo...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Copa Airlines to fly daily nonstop from Tampa to Panama next summer

Copa Airlines to fly daily nonstop from Tampa to Panama next summer

TAMPA — Panama’s Copa Airlines, which four years ago became the first airline to offer service between Panama and Tampa Bay, said it is increasing its nonstop service between Tampa International Airport and Panama City to daily flights starting in Ju...
Published: 11/21/17
Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Irma did not stop tourists from setting record visits to Florida so far in 2017

Despite Hurricane Irma, Florida hit another record high number in tourists visiting the state in the first nine months of this year, according to figures released this week.Visit Florida, the state’s tourism bureau, said 88.2 million visitors came to...
Published: 11/21/17
FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

FCC chairman unveils proposal to repeal net neutrality

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Tuesday followed through on his pledge to repeal 2015 regulations designed to ensure that internet service providers treat all online content and apps equally, setting up a showdown ...
Published: 11/21/17
Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

Crime Stoppers, Straz Foundation still working out Seminole Heights reward money

TAMPA — You can collect $110,000 in reward money for information leading to an arrest in the Seminole Heights killings, but for now you’ll have to make two stops.The David A. Straz Foundation announced Monday it would contribute $10,000 to a reward f...
Published: 11/21/17