TAMPA — Sweets and savories entice diners to Dulce Cafe Bakery, opened July 29 on Kennedy Boulevard, east of Himes Avenue in the former Ruby Cafe.
Owners Diane and Hector Vega fell in love in high school after their families emigrated from Colombia (Diane) and Puerto Rico (Hector). The marriage, like their restaurant, blends Spanish, Latin and Caribbean traditions. Having children brought more inspiration, Diane said.
With her first pregnancy, "I was passionate about exercise and weight and became a fitness instructor."
Baby No. 2, due in October, had her craving baking and cake-decorating classes. "That turned into Dulce," she said.
Morning starters include arepas (corn cakes), guava and cheese pastries, cheesy bread and croissants — plain, cheese or ham and cheese, all freshly made by two bakers from Cali, Colombia. Fried specialties are empanada patties, tequenos cheese sticks and bunuelo dough balls.
Lunch features sandwiches, smoothies and salads and a daily special, such as Spanish bean soup, salad, chicken and yellow rice and a drink for $7.99.
Save room for desserts such as tres leches cake, flan and arroz con leche (rice pudding).
Catering is available, from breakfast pastry and sandwich platters to cakes for all occasions.
Dulce Cafe Bakery, 3310 W Kennedy Blvd., is open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Visit dulcecafebakery.com or call (813) 870-7277.
Artful event space in Seminole Heights
Workspace gallery just popped up inside Built, a custom furniture and fixtures company, run by Andrew Watson, who invited Chris Kelly to create a studio within his Seminole Heights warehouse.
A 350-square-foot area "morphed into Workspace, sort of a pop-up gallery event space," said Kelly, who works as an Apple computer consultant by day. A recent art show drew a crowd of curious neighbors.
On Sept. 21, Kelly will present a solo exhibition of his hand-painted, silk-screened artwork.
Kelly, 32, envisions hosting a variety of art shows, book launches, markets and "one-night events at the highest professional level."
Workspace and Built are at 4501 N Florida Ave. For details: tampaworkspace.tumblr.com.
Gandy Barber Shop moves to Britton Plaza
Hair today, gone tomorrow.
The old Gandy Barber Shop will be gone, not tomorrow, but on Tuesday.
But that's also opening day for the 50-year-old business, which is relocating to Britton Plaza from Gandy Boulevard at S Dale Mabry Highway.
"The old barber shop is being demolished to make way for a new strip mall coming in the near future,'' said Anthony Hollett, who will reopen with his former boss, Steve Karekos, behind the Tapper Pub and Publix. At 79, Karekos deserves to cut his hours as well as hair. Trimmer Terry Bash will be packing her scissors for the move, too.
The name, prices and friendly discourse remain the same, said Hollett, who owned a barber shop in Plymouth, England, before moving to Tampa 30-plus years ago.
Gandy Barber Shop, 3824 Britton Plaza, cuts, shaves and grooms from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. For more information: gandybarbershop.com or call (813) 839-2765.
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