Kahwa Coffee to open first drive-through cafe

Published August 12 2013

At a time when running into a coffee shop seems like a sweaty ordeal, Kahwa Coffee said Monday it's opening its first drive-through location, at 3928 Henderson Blvd. in Tampa.

The location will be the chain's first free-standing cafe and sixth overall. At 3,000 square feet, it will also be the largest.

The cafe will have indoor and outdoor seating but will be distinctly Kahwa in style, said owner Raphael Perrier. It's expected to open this fall in the spot of an old Wendy's restaurant, which has been closed for a while.

Founded in 2005, Kahwa has three locations in St. Pete and two in downtown Tampa. Hopefully, the new location will inspire another round of free coffee for Kahwa virgins.

When Bloomin' Brands goes big, it goes big. As in Google big. The restaurant company recently appointed Tara Walpert Levy, Google's managing director of global ads marketing, to its board of directors.

Bloomin' Brands CEO Liz Smith said Levy's expertise in digital marketing will be "invaluable'' to the company, which owns Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar and Roy's. As a board member, Levy will be paid $90,000 a year and receive $100,000 worth of stock.

A Harvard grad, Levy, 39, has been named one of the top "Women to Watch" by Advertising Age and one of "The 100 Most Creative People in Business" by Fast Company. At Google, she leads the company's communications and market development for major clients and partners.

Levy joins two other women on the nine-member board, the others being Smith and Mindy Grossman, CEO of St. Petersburg's HSN.

I wish there was a great story linking her to the company (maybe she loves Bloomin' Onions?) but there isn't. Smith met Levy during the search process for a new board member.

Call me old-fashioned, but I still like to print out photos and put them in albums. But I'm not totally low-tech. Last week, after my iPhone reached its storage limit, I tried out Walgreens' mobile app that lets you order prints directly from your smartphone, Facebook or Instagram albums.

The pros: It's easy. Just open the Walgreens app, click on the photo icon and select the photos you want. You can pick up the prints at your nearest store in about an hour. The cons: It takes a while to download photos and the copies aren't as sharp as the images on your phone. It's also not cheap: 29 cents per 4-by-6 print, although Walgreens routinely offers deals.

Get ready to dream at Florida's Largest Home Show this weekend at the Tampa Convention Center.

The 18th annual event has more than 900 exhibits of products and services for every nook of the house, both inside and out.

Check out Samsung's new 4-Door French Door Refrigerator with room for 32 bags of groceries, available at Famous Tate for $3,200. Especially cool is the fact that the bottom right compartment converts to a fridge or freezer.

Or check out the Grillbot, which cleans grills automatically without any scrubbing.

Show hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8 for adults and $7 for seniors. Children under 12 are free.

Free food! First Watch is giving away a year's worth of meals to one customer at each of its nine Tampa Bay area restaurants. To enter, sign up for First Watch's Sun eClub before Sept. 30 at one of the locations. Current Sun eClub members will be entered automatically. Winners will receive 52 Brunch Bucks — one per week — good for a free breakfast, brunch or lunch for two up to $20. Perks for eClub members aren't bad, either. Get a buy one, get one free offer upon enrolling and a free entree on your birthday.

Susan Thurston can be reached at sthurston@tampabay.com or (813) 225-3110.