PALMA CEIA — Sommelier Jennifer Bingham and husband Torrey like their wine chilled, but not their weather. The couple left Chicago to open Cru Cellars, a combination wine bar and wine shop, in the former Gianpiero's Pick of the Vine.
The new business stocks more than 350 wines, including more than 40 bottles under $13, said Bingham, who is certified by the Court of Master Sommeliers.
She offers 12 types of wine by the glass in the cozy bar in the back, starting at $6 a glass.
"If you know nothing about wine, I can help,'' she said, suggesting experimenting with "flights" or tastings of three different wines to learn more. Flights range from $11 to $13.
Oh, you're already an expert? Bingham, who favors pinot noir, is eager to discuss her wide selection. "From Barolo to Bordeaux, I can talk the talk,'' she said.
That goes for cheeses, too. The Binghams serve 15 cheeses as well as cured meats. Cheese plates can be ordered in the bar or to go.
On $15 Fridays, guests sample five wines and cheeses, then get a glass of whichever one they like best. Stick around the bar for $1 off all glasses featured that evening.
Cru Cellars invites the public to support their "Perfect Pairing" grand opening Nov. 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. by buying a $25 ticket. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Children's Home.
Cru Cellars is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. at 2506 S MacDill Ave. Call (813) 831-1117 or visit crucellarstampa.com.
Sneaker addict's ideal entry into retail world
Sneakerhead Korwin Wills opened the Sneaker Superstore somewhat selfishly, to feed his shoe addiction.
"I can buy them wholesale now,'' he joked, admitting he owns 500 or more pairs.
The small Kennedy Boulevard shop opened in August and sells 10 to 12 brands, including Nike, Skechers, Puma, Jordans and Somnio, up to size 14.
"And if we don't have it, we can get it,'' said Wills, 32.
The Alabama native came to Tampa in 2003 to work as photojournalist for WFTS-Ch. 28. His entrepreneurial side took over after noticing the convenience of shoe boutiques all over New York.
"My friends and I got tired of going to the mall,'' he said. "I can fit you in 10 minutes and you're out the door."
The Sneaker Superstore is located at 3601 W Kennedy Blvd. Hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call (813) 878-6800 or visit thesneakersuperstore.com.
It's mid-modern, Old World in one store
Charlie Cox, formerly of Cox-Feivelson Antiques & Design Gallery, and Sarah Hoy, of Hoy & Associates, have matched wits and good taste in their new partnership selling fine home decor on Bay to Bay Boulevard, next to Pinky's restaurant.
Cox and Alan Feivelson went their separate ways two years ago.
Hoy is new to the business, but Cox brings 30 years' experience in home fashions.
The two opened the business in September and claim "a new mix of the most unusual collections possible," said Cox.
"Old World to mid-modern," he continued, describing a hand-carved French sofa he had upholstered in metallic vinyl. Inventory ranges from collectible porcelain pieces to custom throw pillows, handmade jewelry and trinket boxes, lamps, mirrors and more.
"From what you need to the most nonuseful tchotchke possible."
Shop-at-home services are another niche. The decorators will be happy to come to your residence to measure for custom draperies, sheers and to reupholster.
Hoy & Associates is open at 3205 W Bay To Bay Blvd. Hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (813) 443-5763 for more information.