PALMA CEIA — Nary a burger will be seen at PDQ. Only chicken and turkey sandwiches, tenders and salads roost at PDQ, opening Pretty Darn Quick on south Dale Mabry Highway, just north of Plant High.
Principal owners Bob Basham, an Outback Steakhouse co-founder, and Nick Reader are targeting Oct. 31 to open the first of what they hope will be many of the "fast-casual" restaurants, combining speedy service with the characteristics of a served meal. The partners adapted the concept from a chain called Tenders in the Carolinas.
PDQ seats about 85 diners, offering a view of the open kitchen design. Fresh and fast is the appeal. Sauces, salad dressings and fries are made on the spot, nothing is prepackaged.
Even the drive-through window gets a human touch. Those squawk boxes must be a personal pet peeve, because an employee will be stationed in the hospitality booth to take orders. Combo deals featuring salad, sandwich or tenders with fries or fruit and a drink are priced under $7.
PDQ, at 2207 S Dale Mabry Highway, will be open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, till 11 p.m. Visit eatPDQ.com or call (813) 254-7373.
Former Buc opens Cigars of SoHo
Former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Chidi Ahanotu, 41, was introduced to cigars during his nine years on the team. Smoking a stogie took the edge off a high-stress environment, he said.
"I never really smoked a cigar until I got here,'' he said. "It fits my lifestyle and mellows me out."
The defensive end parlayed that passion into Cigars of SoHo on Armenia Avenue near Platt Street, hosting a grand opening Oct. 8.
"This is not your traditional cigar lounge/store,'' Ahanotu says. "Everyone who walks in the door says, 'Whoa.' There's a certain glow here." The lighting, music and plush leather couches, he ads, are meant to make women feel comfortable. "It's not some old man's, dark corner lounge."
Watch what happens on Thursdays and Fridays.
"The parking lot becomes Club SoHo,'' says Ahanotu, with a deejay and cash bar. That's also when his business partner Jason Wagner, 26, hosts hookah night. Another partner, Stewart Hansell, 44, is a familiar face to south Tampa cigar aficionados.
Cigars of SoHo, 212 S Armenia Ave., is open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. till midnight; Thursday through Saturday, till 3 a.m. Visit sohocigars.org or call (813) 769-9151.
Spa promotes all-natural skin care
Come early, slip into a robe and slippers and sip tea before your facial or massage, urges Edyta Chylinski, esthetician, Reiki master and owner of Spa Sundara. The former makeup artist opened the "holistic sanctuary," as she calls it, Sept. 2 to offer all-natural skin care, including detox and cellulite wraps.
"People were always asking me for skin care advice,'' Chylinski said. "Out of necessity, I learned to provide the answers." Her research led her to study Reiki, an ancient Japanese healing technique. Soon she was receiving it "for various ailments, and I had to share it with others."
Spa Sundara, 2406 S MacDill Ave., is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit spasundara.com or call (813) 837-4300.
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