TAMPA — Soon the sizzle at a former strip club will come from the kitchen, when Fire Bar & Grill opens to serve seafood, steaks and pizza cooked in a wood-fire oven.
The building that once housed Seven Seas lounge on Kennedy Boulevard was known for the naked women painted on its exterior. But it got a million-dollar renovation for a June 7 opening of Fire Bar & Grill by co-owners Ryan Quinn and Carey Maynell.
"Everything is custom-made," said Maynell, who is also president of WestCoast Construction. "From the steel foot rails on the hand-built 360-degree bar to the massive, 12-foot-tall steel door over the liquor cage." Maynell also designed the double 10-foot mahogany entry doors and the figure-eight booth that can seat 15 or be separated for two parties.
Artist Sean Spoto, a friend of Quinn's since their Plant High days, was commissioned to paint a mural over the bar in a palette of fiery orange, yellow and red.
Quinn and Maynell, both 40, describe the menu as "rustic American fusion," featuring specialities of Chef Ryan Kelly, formerly of Roy's. Expect a fresh pasta selection daily, maybe Italian, perhaps a Thai noodle dish. Lunch prices will hover around $10, dinner between $10 and $30. Sunday brunch will be added in a few months.
In a month or so, the restaurant's split personality will emerge on Saturday nights at 10 p.m. when the dining room transforms into a night club.
"Tables go out and soft lounge seating comes in," says Quinn, who is also a partner at nearby Deck Pizza and a former partner of the Bungalow. "We'll bring in the DJ and hit the switch to change to club lighting."
Chuck Calhoun — formerly of nearby Bacchus and the Hydeaway, and Rain lounge in Channelside — is an old friend of Maynell's from Atlanta and has been hired as general manager.
The Fire Bar & Grill, 3023 W Kennedy Blvd., will be open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and to 3 a.m. on Saturday. Visit firebargrill.com or call (813) 870-3473.
Lingerie shop flirts with luxurious designs
After almost 11 years of living in Dallas and Atlanta, Maylin Beattie is thrilled to be back in the folds of her Tampa family. As a visitor all those years, she noticed a lack of "fabulous little shops" like those she frequented in other cities.
On May 3, she opened La Violette Boutique, selling high-end lingerie on S Dale Mabry near Neptune Street.
"We have an exclusive with the British line, Buttress & Snatch, which is sold all over Europe," she said. "Madonna and Kate Moss wear their designs. It's a coup to be the only retailer in the U.S."
Other lines include Ari Dein silk pajamas, Fleur't "take-me-away" robes and ResultWear's zip-up "Marilyn" full slip. "It's like Spanx only easy to get in and out of," she said. Also BodyRock Sport's bras and elegant, handmade La Lilouche designer lingerie.
Beattie designed the shop to be a "luxurious destination," she said, with a sitting room for men and space for women's "hen parties." She decorated with vintage furniture, including a "fainting" couch in front of a fireplace mantel from New York's famed Plaza Hotel. An antique armoire displays a 100-year-old wedding gown.
The store's name was inspired by the 1920s custom of pinning a violet to the lapel, "to let men know a woman was single and available," says Beattie, "a declaration so much more classy than Match.com."
La Violette Boutique, 1531 S Dale Mabry Highway, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday. Visit theviolet.net or call (813) 251-1531.
Davis Islands shop is salon's fourth
Badar's Hair 'N All owner Badar Unnisa opened salon No. 4 on Davis Islands last week to offer the beauty services already familiar to customers in New Tampa and two Fowler Avenue locations.
"We are known for eyebrow threading and all kinds of skin care treatments," Unnisa said, as well as hair, henna, nails, waxing and laser treatments.
Badar's, 215 E Davis Blvd. is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For information call (813) 258-6699.
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