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Knife & Co. ready for slice of restaurant business; artists open Hyde Park home decor store; Pumpkin Cafe feeds East Tampa

After a hectic first week and a flurry of staff changes, Knife & Co. is ready for diners in the former site of Algusto Tortilla & Salsa Restaurant on Kennedy Boulevard near N Boulevard.

The current owners say Algusto closed in June. Former owner Alberto A. Morillo was arrested that month for worthless checks and later filed for bankruptcy.

"A communal table is the focal point of the restaurant, allowing foodies to socialize at lunch and dinner.

"Think of a rustic artisanal experience changing with the seasons,'' said chef Allison Beasman, formerly with Bern's and SideBern's. She stepped in four days after Knife & Co.'s original chef, Gary Moran, parted ways with owner Ron Stewart. Stewart's son, Jay, who also works at Nordstrom Cafe Bistro, now runs the dining room.

This week, Beasman was still finalizing the menu, but count on braised short ribs, smoked chicken wings, mac and cheese, and "disco" fries with oxtail gravy. Desserts will include upside down pickled peach pie and chocolate pecan pie.

A happy hour menu is being tweaked, but promises a variety of beer and wine by the glass.

Knife & Co. is at 912 W Kennedy Blvd. For hours of operation, visit knifeandco.com or call (813) 251-5210.

At Juxtapose, decor and more

Karen Wesley and daughters, Kallie and Lindsay, combined talents to open Juxtapose, an apparel and home decor store, in Hyde Park Village.

"Staple and statement describes us,'' Kallie said. "Our furniture line of staples paired with funky fabrics. Our great contemporary clothing lines paired with jewelry and accessories that make a statement."

One unusual feature of the shop, which opened Oct. 31, is the art studio in the rear. That's where the Wesley sisters — Kallie, 22, and Lindsay, 25 — paint portraits and landscape commissions.

"We were both art majors in college and love fashion and painting,'' Kallie said. "The store is the juxtaposition of the two."

Juxtapose, 718 S Village Circle, is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Visit shopjuxtapose.com, check the store's Facebook page or call (813) 251-0099.

Pumpkin Cafe has a homey menu

Pumpkin Cafe boasts breakfast all day at the 40-seat restaurant on E Hillsborough Avenue, connected to Yummy House and opposite Sanwa Farmer's Market.

"I think we have the cheapest breakfasts compared to Denny's and iHop,'' said chef Ramon Carbon, who trained in Europe and most recently worked for the Hilton and Hyatt hotel chains. Two eggs, two strips of bacon, toast or biscuit, home fries or grits costs $4.95.

Daily lunch specials include shepherd's pie (Tuesday); meatloaf (Wednesday) and pot roast (Thursday).

Pumpkin Cafe, 2620 E Hillsbough Ave., is open from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Call (813) 237-1818.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Send Everybody's Business tips to ascherzer@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3332.

Knife & Co. ready for slice of restaurant business; artists open Hyde Park home decor store; Pumpkin Cafe feeds East Tampa 11/10/11 [Last modified: Thursday, November 10, 2011 3:30am]
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