Make us your home page

Mediterranean cuisine, simply mac and cheese, a new salon and event decor

DAVIS ISLANDS — Downtown Davis Islands' popular dining corner's newest incarnation, Fountain Square Mediterranean Cuisine, combines "the best of 14 countries on the Mediterranean Sea," says owner Alex Chouri, naming some of his Lebanese, Greek and Italian specialities. Previous tenants at the East Davis Boulevard restaurant include a deli (Freid's), a Cuban cafe (Pipo's), Chez Bryce (French cuisine) and Bailey's (southern comfort fare).

Shopping center developer Chouri has owned four Middle Eastern restaurants, inspired by his Italian-Lebanese mother's recipes. This location features hummus, baba ghanoush, labneh, grape leaves and classic appetizers, served individually or on a $14.95 meza platter. Kebabs, gyros, shawarmas, sandwiches, flatbreads and burgers are offered as lunch and dinner entrees. Vegetarians will find an array of salads, lentil soup and other options.

Dining is outdoors only for now, as the interior renovation is under way. Artist Ron Francis is creating Mediterranean arches and other architectural details.

Entertainment is booked nightly, with flamenco and belly dancers on weekends in the hookah lounge. Two indoor bars and two outdoor bars offer daily Happy Hour specials on beer, wine, sangria and spirts.

Late-night diners will find the kitchen open till 11 p.m. and the bar till 2 a.m. weekdays and till 3 a.m. on weekends. Catering is available.

Fountain Square Mediterranean Cuisine, 238 E Davis Blvd., is open 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Visit or call (813) 251-4600.

Mac and cheese land near university

Who doesn't love mac and cheese, Greg Artale asked and answered himself by opening Max & Chz, a tiny eatery south of Kennedy Boulevard near the University of Tampa.

There's classic Velveeta mac and cheese, of course, as well as such mix-ins as burger, hot dog, scrambled eggs and bacon, or tuna, served in 7-inch or 9-inch bowls. Ham and swiss was a recent daily special and seafood Alfredo and Philly cheesesteak are already popular.

After 5 p.m., wings and nachos are added to the menu. Nearby delivery is free for orders over $15.

Artale, a TV cooking show aficionado originally from New York, hopes to expand the brand to malls and college campuses.

Max & Chz, 117 S Hyde Park Ave., is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call (813) 259-0055 or visit

Salon Sassin opens on Armenia Avenue

Beauticians Omar and Maryteresa Sassin bring a combined 50 years of experience and hundreds of hair styling championship awards to Salon Sassin, which opened Aug. 1 in an Armenia Avenue bungalow neighboring Inkwood Books. The Sassin name may sound familiar as they have owned or worked in several South Tampa beauty salons.

"Makeovers are our thing," Maryteresa said. "Creating an overall new look." The couple have taught advanced haircutting and color techniques for many years, and styled hair at New York Fashion Week for Marc Jacobs, Donna Karan and other designers.

Salon Sassin, 212 S Armenia Ave., is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Visit or call (813) 259-9191.

Event decor galore on N Howard

Event decor designers Stephanie and Marty Prenatt expanded FH Wedding & Events into a N Howard Avenue warehouse at Cypress Street last month.

Modern and vintage furniture, draperies and lighting equipment fill the space, ready for use in customized designs for any occasion. A large walk-in cooler for the floral designers on staff is under construction.

"We're known for new ideas and concepts," Stephanie said, adding that their work has been published in several magazines and blogs.

The couple began decorating wedding and event venues as Fishhawk Wedding & Events, eventually abbreviating the name to FH Wedding & Events.

FH Weddings & Events, 903 N Howard Ave, is open by appointment. Call (813) 390-9371 or visit Visit

Do you know something that should be Everybody's Business? Email

Mediterranean cuisine, simply mac and cheese, a new salon and event decor 08/20/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 6:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data


    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  2. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  3. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board


    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  4. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent


    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  5. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower


    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]