Make us your home page
Everybody's Business

Larmon's merges with Happy's Homes; John Rolfe Tobacco smokes downtown; Wandering Eye art gallery pops up in Ybor

EAST TAMPA — After 82 years in Ybor City, Larmon Furniture is selling off inventory, closing its Seventh Avenue location and reopening next month in partnership with Happy's Home Centers, a 3-year-old appliances, electronics and furniture business.

"Our old, established family business is merging with a good company and a great family," said Jimmy Kalamaras, who bought Larmon's in 1992 with his wife, Elizabeth Larmon Kalamaras, granddaughter of founder Rubel Larmon.

Kalamaras didn't have to look far to reinvent the store. He has known Happy's Home's owner Chris Kale Sr. since their Plant High School days. Kale's sons, Chris Jr. and Jeff, and his brother Rick Kale are also in the business, selling furniture, flat-panel TVs, computers, washers, dryers and more.

Happy's Home Center's fifth location opens Jan. 2 in Columbus Plaza at Columbus Avenue and 50th Street. Others are on S Dale Mabry near Gandy Boulevard and in Brandon-Riverview, Largo and St. Petersburg.

"For eight decades, Larmon Furniture has been helping out the community … at Metropolitan Ministries and the Tampa Housing Authority," said Kalamaras, "and we'll continue to do so."

Happy Home Centers, 5016 E 10th Ave., will be open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 am. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Visit or or call (813) 247-4711.

New cigar bar has historic name

Cigar aficionados and downtown Tampa neighbors are discovering John Rolfe Tobacco Lounge, opened Nov. 1 on Cass Street near Franklin Street. Three partners combine varied backgrounds to offer top cigar brands, craft beer and wine, bar snacks and music.

A mutual friend introduced wholesale cigar distributor Brian "the Lion" Willingham to Dan Mouneimne and attorney Joseph Williams, "because of our common interest in cigars," Willingham said. He named the lounge for Pocahontas' husband, the Virginia colonist who introduced tobacco as a cash crop in 1611.

"We're business class by day; more entertainment at night," said Willingham.

"With a very friendly atmosphere for women," adds Mouneimne, who is known for his Lebanese specialties, such as hummus, baba ghanouj and tabouli. He designed the 50-seat interior using reclaimed wood, salvaged artwork and chandeliers from Dubai.

Happy Hour specials run daily; music is booked on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Thursdays are Open Mic Night.

John Rolfe Tobacco, 214 E Cass St., is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit or call (813) 200-6067.

Wandering Eye for art

A collaboration of 22 artists has popped up in a vacant Seventh Avenue storefront, displaying and selling work at the Wandering Eye Art Gallery, courtesy of an Ybor City landlord.

"First we asked if we could just use the windows for display," said abstract artist Susan Doscher, one of more than a dozen members of the Ybor Art Colony who rent studios above the empty shop. "Then he let us clean it up and fill the whole space with paintings, sculptures, glasswork, jewelry and photography."

Each co-op artist keeps 80 percent of a sale, the rest goes to support the gallery. Doscher, Judy Strong and several other artists offer classes on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Reservations are required. A monthly artist launch party is free. On Saturday, the work of Princess Simpson Rashid will be featured, along with live music and refreshments.

Wandering Eye Gallery, 1527 Seventh Ave., is open 6 to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 1 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Call (813) 922-8278.

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Call (813) 226-3332 or email [email protected]

Larmon's merges with Happy's Homes; John Rolfe Tobacco smokes downtown; Wandering Eye art gallery pops up in Ybor 12/11/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 6:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Amazon expands in Tampa with Pop-Up shop in International Plaza


    TAMPA — A new retailer known largely for its online presence has popped up at International Plaza and Bay Street.

    Shoppers walk past the new Amazon kiosk Tuesday at the International Plaza in Tampa. The kiosk, which opened last month, offers shoppers an opportunity to touch and play with some of the products that Amazon offers.
[CHRIS URSO   |   Times]

  2. Study: Florida has fourth-most competitive tax code


    Florida's tax code is the fourth most competitive in the country, according to a study released Tuesday by nonprofit group Tax Foundation.

    Florida has the fourth-most competitive tax code, a study by the Tax Foundation said. Pictured is  Riley Holmes, III, H&R Block tax specialist, helping a client with their tax return in April. | [SCOTT KEELER, Times]
  3. Trigaux: On new Forbes 400 list of U.S. billionaires, 35 now call Florida their home

    Personal Finance

    The latest Forbes 400 richest people in America was unveiled Tuesday, with 35 billionaires on that list calling Florida home. That's actually down from 40 Florida billionaires listed last year when a full 10 percent listed declared they were Floridians by residence.

    Edward DeBartolo, Jr., shopping center developer and  former San Francisco 49ers Owner, posed with his bronze bust last year during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony in Canton, Ohio. DeBartolo remains the wealthiest person in Tampa Bay according to the Forbes 400 list released Tuesday. 
[Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images]
  4. Clearwater attorney accused of condo foreclosure trickery fights back

    Real Estate

    The Clearwater lawyer accused of tricking a bidder into paying $458,100 for a gulf-front condo now plans to contest a judge's order tossing out the sale.

    John Houde, left, looks in the direction of Clearwater lawyer and real estate investor Roy C. Skelton, foreground, in August during a hearing Sixth Judicial Circuit court Judge Jack St. Arnold at the Pinellas County Courthouse. The judge agreed with Houde's allegation that he was duped by Skelton in thinking he bought a Redington Beach condo for $458,100 out of a foreclosure auction. Now Skelton is fighting back. 
  5. How a group of Florida tomato growers could help derail NAFTA


    Tony DiMare, a third-generation Florida tomato grower, has spent two decades contending with cheap Mexican imports, watching his neighbors abandon crops in their fields and sell off their farms when they couldn't match the price of incoming produce.

    Workers fill a trailer with tomatoes as they harvest them in the fields of DiMare Farms in Florida City. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images(2013)]