Longtime Ybor City arts haven the Brad Cooper Gallery is closing Saturday with a final sale of art and handcrafted jewelry at 1714 E Seventh Ave.
Then it's off to Greece, to the island of Naxos, where Cooper and wife Elizabeth have operated a store for five summers.
The art dealers remain bullish on Ybor, but "summer activity in Greece brings about 30 percent of the world's tourist population," he said. His wife is originally from Athens and the store, featuring her handmade jewelry, carries her name in Greek: Elisavet.
"I started out on Howard Avenue opening a gallery 28 years ago," Cooper said. "I actually coined the name SoHo for that area south of Kennedy Boulevard."
A need for bigger space brought him to Seventh Avenue in 1990, when Cooper was integral in building the arts community, giving many artists their first solo shows.
So, bad news, the Coopers are leaving.
Good news. Florida Jean Company will move into the storefront March 15, specializing in Lucky Brand for men and women.
It will be the second location for Wayne and Tammy Collier, who also own a shop on Corey Avenue in St. Pete Beach. Other clothing lines include True Religion, Pretty Angel, Kandy Wrappers and Sun Bum. Also handbags, hats, jewelry and three lines of Brazilian sandals — Havaianas, Ipanema and Rider.
"We think we'll be just the right fit for Ybor shoppers," said Tammy. Visit fljean.com for updates.
South Tampa senior residence is growing
Expansion to Adams House is under way, bringing a 14-room addition to the senior assisted living residence at 3330 S MacDill Ave.
Sebring Sierra, president of Lighthouse Healthcare Group, said design plans feature fewer hallways for a more homey atmosphere, a second dining room, a library and a lobby area for socializing and playing piano.
Ten rooms will be shared rooms, and four will be private. All rooms and common areas are ADA compliant with roll-in showers.
A new facade, "from stucco to white plank," Sierra said, will fit into the Bayshore Boulevard neighborhood.
For information about Adams House, at 3330 S MacDill Ave., visit adamshouseexpansion.com.
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