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NoLa Café changes its name, but not its personality

HYDE PARK — You'll still walk in and dance out, says NoLa Café owner Louis Robert Jr., repeating the motto of the business he opened seven years ago behind Walgreens on Platt Street.

Only now it's called Second Line Cafe.

"We're not changing ownership or concept,'' Robert said, nor are they changing the recipes for coffee and beignets, gumbo and jambalaya.

About a year ago, he said, the United States Patent and Trademark Office notified him that NoLa, the well-known nickname for New Orleans, happens to be trademarked to chef Emeril Lagasse.

Since Robert wants to franchise beyond the second location in downtown St. Petersburg, he decided to avoid trouble.

"They're not coming after us," he said, "but I'm not looking for legal fees and I might not even win."

Second Line, Robert explains, refers to people who parade down the streets of New Orleans, singing and dancing, twirling flamboyant umbrellas and waving napkins.

"They pull permits for the first line," he explained. "But the second line is everyone who comes out of their homes to join them."

New menus, shirts, caps, coffee cups and other promotional items with the new name and logo will arrive by the end of the month.

Second Line Cafe is located at 301 W Platt St. in Tampa. Call (813) 258-8778. In St. Petersburg, the store at 300 Beach Drive NE can be reached at (727) 498-8978.

Find the trendiest fashion at the Shop

Victoria and Mark Blair compare the Shop, their fashion forward women's boutique, to a high-end Forever 21.

"We go to New York and California every two weeks to buy the most current merchandise,'' Mark said, naming labels such as J Brand jeans and BCBG. "We seek out designers that you won't see all over town."

Look for the Shop to open this weekend on S MacDill Avenue, in front of the popular BT restaurant. This is the second location for the couple who also own the Shop on Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg.

"We're known for very trendy looks — jeans, T-shirts, dresses, jewelry for ages 16 and up,'' Mark said. "And our prices are surprisingly reasonable for the newest fashion."

The Shop is located at 2507 S MacDill Ave. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday; and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Visit

Tutorial service can bring grades up

Academic Aftercare has expanded to a second location at 4030 Henderson Blvd. to offer tutorial services every weekday afternoon.

"We've seen students come in struggling with C's and work their way up to all A's and B's," says owner Denise Diorio, a former Dale Mabry Elementary School teacher. Diorio opened the original site at 620 S MacDill Ave. in August 2009. Transportation is provided from most South Tampa elementary schools.

Sessions begin with daily homework help, supervised by one teacher for six to eight students. Then the children rotate to hands-on learning centers, Diorio said.

"If we are working on time, for example, we'll pull out clocks to practice on,'' she said. Blocks reinforce math lessons; board games can boost classroom vocabulary. The result is more self-confidence and higher test scores.

One-to-one tutoring is also available to help reach curriculum benchmarks, Diorio said, noting all teachers hold education degrees and Florida teaching certificates.

Art and Spanish are included every Friday. The Henderson location will offer summer camp programs. Next fall, enrichment options will include "Weird Science," tae kwon do and Zumba.

Call (813) 943-6530 or visit

NoLa Café changes its name, but not its personality 03/17/11 [Last modified: Thursday, March 17, 2011 4:30am]
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