Make us your home page
Instagram
Everybody's Business

Everybody's Business: Barbecue, beer, art glass

The force behind the new BJ’s Alabama Barbecue, at 3307 S Dale Mabry, is April Moreno, center, who is flanked by her daughters Brandi Williams, left, and LaMaria Mathis, second from right. Mathis’ daughters are also shown: Nena, 6, and Savannah, 8, right.

STEPHEN J. CODDINGTON | Times

The force behind the new BJ’s Alabama Barbecue, at 3307 S Dale Mabry, is April Moreno, center, who is flanked by her daughters Brandi Williams, left, and LaMaria Mathis, second from right. Mathis’ daughters are also shown: Nena, 6, and Savannah, 8, right.

VIRGINIA PARK — Her last name may have changed, but April Moreno promises there's nothing different about her signature sweet barbecue sauce.

Back when she was still April Campbell, Moreno owned the popular Gandy Boulevard spot Mrs. Campbell's Original Alabama Bar-B-Q. It closed in 1999. This week she opened BJ's Alabama Barbecue, at 3307 S Dale Mabry.

The "BJ" is a reference to "Big John" Stephens, her father and the founder of Big John's Alabama Barbecue on 40th Street, which has been open for 40 years. Big John's sauce is spicy; his daughter's is sweet.

Her dad always told her that "if other things don't work, people are always going to eat," Moreno said. She tried real estate for years but decided to get back into the barbecue business because people were still asking about her sauce. Her daughter, LaMaria Mathis, is her partner.

BJ's will offer ribs, chicken, beef, pork and sausage, with sides like green beans, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and french fries. The building has a drive-through (it once was a Church's Fried Chicken). Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Upscale sports bar

Revamping a building that once housed a series of adult nightclubs was more trouble than Nina Carroll expected. But she said the result — Nina O's Grill and Bar — was worth it.

Carroll has partnered with John Kucik, the building's owner and an Orlando businessman, to create what they call an upscale sports bar.

Nina O's, at 4502 S Dale Mabry, may open as early as this weekend.

The restaurant features 11 flat panel TVs with speakers at every table so customers can choose which music or TV program to listen to. But "our primary focus is on food," Carroll said. "We're not going to have pool tables …it's going to be a place more for couples watching sports."

Carroll owned the Sportin' Around Pub and Deli on Gandy Boulevard, which closed in 2004 when Walgreens took over the aging shopping center and built a new store. She also has been a chef and manager at several private clubs.

Carroll said she is keeping the Nina O's menu casual and affordable, with her signature chili, burgers, wings, stuffed mushrooms, fried green tomatoes and quesadillas.

The restaurant will seat about 100 diners in 2,100 square feet, with an additional 350 square feet on the patio.

Nina O's will have a full bar and will serve food daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., though on weekends the bar likely will stay open until around midnight.

Davis Islands art glass

For part-time Davis Islands resident Kim Sprague, her new path was clear.

It was time to open another shop like her Key West art glass boutique, Glass Reunions, this one near her second home. It should open early next month at 233 E Davis Blvd.

Sprague said she carries work by more than 200 American glass artists. She'll be selling everything from small baubles (ornaments, jewelry) to large blown glass chandeliers.

Sprague and her husband have owned a house in Davis Islands, which is where their grandkids live, for years. Seventeen years ago, she opened Glass Reunions on Duval Street in the Keys, where she lives. For 10 years before that, she owned an art glass store in Richmond, Va., and lived there.

"For years I did stained glass myself," Sprague said. "I used to sell my work to 300 galleries across the U.S., and then I started looking around and there wasn't anything like that in Virginia. Now that's all I do — I run the retail store and don't do any of my own stained glass."

Glass Reunions will be open Monday through Saturday. Hours aren't set yet, but the store will have later hours Thursday through Saturday.

Know something that should be everybody's business? Call 226-3394 or e-mail sharonlginn@yahoo.com.

Everybody's Business: Barbecue, beer, art glass 07/03/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 7, 2008 10:00am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data

    Business

    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  2. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Legal

    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  3. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board

    Retail

    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  4. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent

    Business

    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  5. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower

    Corporate

    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]