Make us your home page
Everybody's Business

Liquor store and Mexican grill open in east Hillsborough

RIVERVIEW — It may not quite qualify as a celebrity endorsement, but a major music and film star praised Winthrop Liquors for its cleanliness.

Just a few days after the store opened on June 4, owner Thomas Manchesi said, a woman walked in, took a look around and expressed surprise at the store's appearance.

"She said it didn't look like a liquor store," Manchesi recalled. "She said, 'Why is it so neat?' I told her we had just opened."

The woman bought a bottle of Patron tequila and chatted a bit with Manchesi. It was only after she left that an employee told Manchesi that he thought the customer was famous. He checked the name on the credit card receipt and found that he had just sold tequila to Dana Owens, who's better known as Queen Latifah.

The surprise visit by the actor and hip-hop star may be a highlight, but Manchesi said his first couple of months in the liquor business have been pleasant and successful.

"It's going really well," he said. "We're not doing any advertising. We don't even have our sign up yet. We're just relying on word-of-mouth, and we're doing all right with that."

Manchesi had been working in data processing when he decided it was time for a career change. He said he raided his retirement fund to open Winthrop Liquors, with co-owner John Sullivan, the developer of Winthrop Town Centre. The liquor store is next to the Publix in Winthrop Town Centre, which is at the corner of Providence Road and Bloomingdale Avenue.

The store's official grand opening is set for Aug. 27 from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m. The celebration includes free food from Green Iguana, Publix, Acropolis Greek Taverna and other neighboring businesses, plus drawings every 15 minutes for wine, liquor and cigars.

For the time being, Winthrop Liquors is in a 530-square-foot space in a modular building. Plans call for its permanent home, about 1,800 to 2,400 square feet in a new building in Winthrop, to open toward the end of next year, Sullivan said. The permanent store will feature a cigar lounge. The current store has a patio designed for cigar smokers.

Manchesi said his store offers a wide variety of beers, wine, liquor and cigars, with an emphasis on craft beers and Italian wines.

Winthrop Liquors is open from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. For more details, call (813) 382-9463 or visit the Winthrop Liquors' page on Facebook.

Qdoba Mexican Grill to open in Brandon

BRANDON — You'll be able to grab a quick meal at the new Qdoba Mexican Grill when it opens later this year.

But according to its owners, quick service doesn't equate to fast food.

"It's quick-turnaround," said Wade Gosnell, the director of Jed Fresh, a company that owns three Qdoba franchises in Tampa and six in Orlando. "But we marinate our chicken for 24 hours, and we slow-roast our beef and pork."

The Brandon location is set to open in November or December at 1013 W Brandon Blvd., Gosnell said.

The first Qdoba opened in Denver 15 years ago. The chain now includes nearly 500 restaurants around the country.

Qdoba doesn't take shortcuts on food preparations, Gosnell said. But because the food is served cafeteria-style, diners can get their meals quickly.

The Brandon Qdoba will be open from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. daily. For more information about the Qdoba chain, visit

If you know of something that should be Everybody's Business, please contact Marty Clear at [email protected]

Liquor store and Mexican grill open in east Hillsborough 08/12/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 11, 2010 2:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  2. New York town approves Legoland proposal


    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  3. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate


    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Coming soon at two Tampa Bay area hospitals: a cancer treatment that could replace chemo


    A new cancer treatment that could eventually replace chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants — along with their debilitating side effects — soon will be offered at two of Tampa Bay's top-tier hospitals.

    Dr. Frederick Locke at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa is a principal investigator for an experimental therapy that retrains white blood cells in the body's immune system to fight cancer cells. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved these so-called "CAR-T" treatments for adults this month. In trials, 82 percent of cases responded well to the treatment, and 44 percent are still in remission at least eight months later, Locke said. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  5. Regulator blasts Wells Fargo for deceptive auto insurance program


    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.

    Wells Fargo engaged in unfair and deceptive practices, failed to properly manage risks and hasn't set aside enough money to pay back the customers it harmed, according to a confidential report by federal regulators.
[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images, 2017]