Make us your home page
Everybody's Business

Mexican art and cuisine come to MacDill Avenue; brow divas arch Enchanteria Day Spa

Karol J. Ortiz, left, and Tisbeth Mejia are co-owners of Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria, which will serve Mejia’s Aztec grandmother’s ancestral recipes for Mexican food.

Photos by WILLIE J. ALLEN JR. | Times

Karol J. Ortiz, left, and Tisbeth Mejia are co-owners of Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria, which will serve Mejia’s Aztec grandmother’s ancestral recipes for Mexican food.

SOUTH TAMPA — A true Mexican experience will artfully and authentically draw diners to Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, say co-owners Karol Ortiz and Tisbeth Mejia.

By May 5 — Cinco de Mayo — Ortiz and Mejia expect to open an eclectic eatery that will also serve as a gallery, eventually exhibiting works by local artists on the restaurant's walls. The location, on S MacDill Avenue, a few blocks north of Bay to Bay Boulevard, has previously been a Bistro Bleu, a Marrakesh and Koba's Japanese restaurant.

Mejia, whose family owns four restaurants in Guadalajara, Mexico, is the chef, following her abuela's, or grandmother's, Aztec recipes. Specialities include sangria, ceviche and molcajete, a meaty stew made with chili and cocoa powder "and other surprise ingredients,'' says Ortiz. Entree prices range between $10 and $30.

"This is not Tex-Mex,'' Ortiz adds, explaining that the name of the 125-seat restaurant is taken from the smiling cartoon skull called La Catrina, an image associated with the Mexican celebration, the Day of the Dead.

"It's known as the elegant skull, from a 1910 cartoon making fun of death," says Ortiz. "We are honoring the cultural history. Even in the bathrooms you will find historical photographs."

The first art on display will be Mejia's. "Whatever she dreams, she paints," says Ortiz, a native of Puerto Rico who handles the marketing. Among her promotions: "hangover remedies" and theme nights — jazz, poetry, art — and on Fridays, mariachi music.

Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria, 2402 S MacDill Ave., will be open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Call (813) 251-4604 or visit

Day spa, brow divas move to bigger space

If moving to a new building three times the size of her previous spa is a dream, then please don't wake up Tara Keenan.

After six years on S MacDill Avenue, Keenan and the brow divas at Enchanteria Day Spa & Dreamery relocated March 21, directly across the street from Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria.

"It's like stepping into a different world,'' says Keenan, describing the enchanted garden ambiance inspired by gypsies and flowers. "It's a sanctuary designed to make you slow down and breathe deeply." A private room is available for birthdays, baby showers and bridal parties.

Keenan said the spa is best known for brow artistry — stenciling, tweezing and trimming — using her own technique and products called Gypsy Brows. "It's like a botox-free brow lift,'' she said.

Other spa services offered include facials, massages, manicures, Brazilian waxing and anti-aging treatments.

A grand reopening takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Sunday featuring belly dancers, prize drawings and appetizers from nearby restaurants such as Pane Rustica, Datz, Cru Cellar, Catrinas Cocina Y Galeria and the Brunchery.

Enchanteria Day Spa & Dreamery, 3100 W San Carlos St., is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For appointments, visit or call (813) 254-6832.

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

Mexican art and cuisine come to MacDill Avenue; brow divas arch Enchanteria Day Spa 04/26/12 [Last modified: Thursday, April 26, 2012 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where cCondominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  2. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy


    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  3. Lawsuit: Florida contractor fakes death to dodge angry homeowners

    Human Interest

    SEMINOLE — For weeks, Glenn Holland, 67, crawled out of bed before the sun rose to look for a dead man.

    Last year Glenn and Judith Holland said they paid a contractor thousands of dollars to renovate their future retirement home in Seminole. But when they tried to move in on Dec. 14, they said the home was in shambles and uninhabitable. They sent a text message to contractor Marc Anthony Perez at 12:36 p.m. looking for answers. Fourteen minutes later, they got back this text: "This is Marc's daughter, dad passed away on the 7th of December in a car accident. Sorry." Turns out Perez was still alive. Now the Hollands are suing him in Pinellas-Pasco circuit court. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]
  4. Owners to level Port Richey flea market but may rebuild

    Public Safety

    PORT RICHEY — The owners of the recently shuttered USA Flea Market have agreed to demolish all structures on the property, leaving open the possibility of rebuilding the weekend shopping attraction, according to Pasco County officials.

    Pasco County officials shut down the USA Flea Market after it received hundreds of citations for health and code violations.
  5. Kimmins Protégé-Mentor Program a crash course on business know-how



    Williams Landscape Management Company was founded 30 years ago with one employee.

    Marisela Linares and Jorge Castro listen to speakers during a workshop at the Kimmins Contracting Corporation on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.   Kimmins Contracting Corporation is handling road construction projects Jeff Vinik's company as he remakes the Channel District. To do some outreach, the company is partnering with three minority contractors, but it's a unique partnership with Kimmins not only giving them the opportunity, but taking them through a series of workshops. It's essentially providing training to the subcontractors so they will be in position to get other contracts.