Make us your home page
Instagram
Everybody's Business

Depth Perception and hookah lounge settle into Tampa

TAMPA — Divers of all skill levels will welcome Depth Perception to W Kennedy Boulevard, recently relocated from Brandon where it has sold and rented dive gear for 15 years.

Other available equipment includes regulators, buoyancy compensators and wet suits, as well as snorkeling gear.

"We moved in April to be a more central location for our customers," said Robert Lawrence, a recreational scuba instructor and resident of Plant City who began diving at age 19. He offers classes that range from open water to recreational and technical instructor levels, including Cave I and Cave II. Before the Florida Aquarium developed its own in-house training, Depth Perception provided its scuba services.

Every month, added Lawrence, members of the Reef Seekers Dive Club take off for aquatic adventures, to locales such as Key Largo and various springs in North Florida.

Lawrence and two other store owners, Jeffrey Duglass and Jackie MacLean, are authorized dealers of Atomic Aquatics, Oceanic and Bare Sports.

Depth Perception, 2008 W Kennedy Blvd., is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Visit depthperception.com or call (813) 689-3483.

Hookah lounge settles in on MacDill Avenue

Le Souk Florida manager Hamada Ismail closely guards his secret recipes for flavoring tobacco in a new Interbay-area hookah lounge and wine bar.

"I make more than 100 flavors," Ismail said, listing jasmine, strawberry and coconut among the choices he adds to tobacco in a "head" or bowl carved out of a fresh apple or pineapple. In the Mideast tradition of smoking with a "hookah," or water pipe, clay or marble bowls usually hold the tobacco.

Owner Mohammed Bekiet opened the cafe July 20 on MacDill Avenue at Interbay Boulevard in the same retail shopping strip as Gengiz Khan, a restaurant featuring a Mediterranean menu.

"But we serve appetizers and drinks only — beer, wine, champagne and hard liquor," said Ismail. "We are not a restaurant." He moved to Tampa from New York but is originally from Egypt.

Bekiet recently returned to Tampa after a few years running hookah lounges in Miami and Manhattan.

Appetizers include hummus, baba ghanoush, stuffed grape leaves, moussaka, falafel and feta cheese pie. An assortment of each, called souk mezze, costs $18.95.

Belly dancers entertain on weekends, and live music is coming soon, said Ismail, adding that a private room may be booked for parties.

Specialty hot drinks include a variety of Egyptian teas: fresh mint, hibiscus, anise, cinnamon and aleppo, plus a caffeine-free sahlab. "It tastes like Egyptian custard," said Ismail.

Le Souk Florida, 6102 S MacDill Ave., is open noon to 3 a.m., Monday through Saturday; noon to 1 a.m. Sunday. Visit lesoukfl.com or call (813) 831-8811.

Opening date set for Fire Bar & Grill

After umpteen delays, Fire Bar & Grill is set to open its doors for dinner Aug. 3.

Co-owners Ryan Quinn and Carey Maynell anticipate a quiet, soft opening to launch the eclectic menu featuring fresh gnocchi made in-house daily. The fiery red interior opens to an outdoor covered patio at 3023 W Kennedy Blvd. Call (813) 870-3473.

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

Depth Perception and hookah lounge settle into Tampa 07/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, July 26, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. United Airlines CEO to investors: We'll be more focused on customers

    Airlines

    CHICAGO — The CEO of United Airlines assured shareholders Wednesday that the company is doing all it can to be more customer-friendly since video surfaced of a passenger being violently ejected from a plane last month.

    Chicago Police arrest protesters after they sat down in a busy street blocking traffic outside a United Airlines shareholders meeting Wednesday, in downtown Chicago. The people who were arrested were protesting the low pay of employees of companies that provide meals and other services for United Airlines at Chicago's O'Hare Airport.
[Associated Press]
  2. Humana adding 200 telemarketing jobs in Tampa Bay

    Economic Development

    TAMPA — Health insurance company Humana Inc. is hiring more than 200 workers in Tampa Bay. The Louisville, Ky.-based company said Wednesday that the new positions will focus on phone sales for Humana's direct marketing services department.

  3. Tampa Bay home prices still soaring amid tight supply

    Real Estate

    Sales of Tampa Bay homes dropped in April but prices surged yet again as Florida's real estate market continued to be defined by tight supply and high demand.

    The historic Century Oaks estate overlooking Clearwater Harbor has sold for $11.18 million, the most ever paid for a home in the Tampa Bay area. [Courtesy: Coastal Properties Group]
  4. These days, don't hit the theme park without an app and a phone charger

    Florida

    Emile Crawford stocks two back-up phone battery chargers these days when she takes her kids to Disney World. But she dare not venture into a theme park without a smart phone app, an accessory becoming as necessary as sunscreen in Florida theme parks.

    A wristband visitors will wear at the new Volcano Bay water park in Orlando, Florida. The wristband, called Tapu Tapu, tells you when it's your turn to get on a ride. It also lets you pay for food so you don't have to carry a wallet and opens lockers so you don't have to  carry a key. (Universal via AP)
  5. James Cameron, Zoe Saldana and more appear at Disney's Pandora

    Florida

    ORLANDO — As he stood on a stage at Disney World Wednesday, director James Cameron revealed his teenage dreams.

    Zoe Saldana tweeted a photo of herself from Wednesday's appearance at a new land in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Pandora -- the World of Avatar. The land is based on James Cameron film, in which she stars. Photo via Twitter.