If you haven't been to Westfield Citrus Park in a while, it might be worth the trip. Nine new stores and Grimaldi's Pizzeria have joined the mix, including the area's first Toys "R'' Us Express store, a mini version of its big box stores, which opened last weekend.
One of my favorite's is Crazy 8, a kids' clothing store. It's Gymboree's less-expensive sibling and, until now, had only one store in the Tampa Bay area, at the Shops at Wiregrass in Wesley Chapel. The clothes are cute, affordable and durable — a trifecta for moms.
Parents will also like P.S. from Aeropostale, a warmup for the trendy Aeropostale clothing store for teens, which targets children ages 4 to 12. It is the first local P.S. store, joining more than 95 others across the nation. There are nearly 1,000 Aeropostales in the United States and Canada.
Other newbies at Citrus Park include Brighton Collectibles jewelry, charms and purses, Windsor Fashions for special events, Sephora makeup, and PeachMac, an Apple specialist that attracted a lot of buzz when it opened in November. Papaya and Rue 21 add to the clothing lineup.
All of the new stores had been requested by customers, said Caitlin Tyler, the mall's marketing manager.
Get ready to see more of Grimaldi's, a New York City pizza chain with 27 locations nationwide and more in the works. Citrus Park's is the Hillsborough's first and a second is opening this spring at WestShore Plaza between JCPenney and Saks Fifth Avenue. The restaurant's iconic photos of the Big Apple and music by Frank Sinatra appeal to anyone homesick for New York or at least in the need of a visit.
The chain swears that the secret to true New York-style pizza is the water and employs a chemist to recreate the water for its location. The restaurant gives kids pizza dough to play with while they're waiting for their meal, a welcome alternative to paper and crayons.