Saturday, June 16, 2018
Business

Ragin' Sports Grill roars into the Channel District; Ceviche expands in new SoHo spot; Taco Bus opens on Franklin; Botanica International triples in size

CHANNEL DISTRICT — You can bet they'll be watching the Super Bowl at Ragin' Sports Grill, while eating grilled chicken, ribs and burgers.

Jim Cheatham, the restaurant's founder, opened Wednesday in the Channel District, the third location in the chain and the first with a full service bar and sports theme. The first two Ragin' Grills opened last year, at 1719 W Kennedy Blvd. and 9100 Fourth St. N in St. Petersburg.

A large, circular bar, dubbed the Cab Calloway Red Zone, centers the 200-seat restaurant, named for former NFL player Chris "Cab" Calloway, a partner in the business. Memorabilia from his career is on display. More than 22 televisions line the walls, including a 120-inch projection screen.

Ragin' Sports Grill, at 1120 E Kennedy Blvd., is open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. Delivery is available within 3 miles. Call (813) 223-9000.

Ceviche's back in a new location

New location, new hours, "same energy, same great food,'' said Ceviche owner Joey Orsino, 29, describing the restaurant's fifth location. Ceviche reopened Jan. 17 in the former Circles restaurant near the intersection of Azeele Street and Armenia Avenue.

"We closed out the old place on S Howard Avenue on New Year's Eve, right on schedule,'' Orsino said. Extensive renovations opened the dining room to the bar area, added a stage for live entertainment six nights a week and turned an adjacent pottery studio into a private party room for up to 100 guests.

Nightlife hovers around a fountain on the landscaped patio. The kitchen stays open late; happy hour specials are poured from midnight to 3 a.m.

Previously only open for dinner, Ceviche adds a lunch service starting Monday.

The dinner menu features 110 traditional Spanish tapas items, including Orsino's favorite, tuna ceviche. On Tapas Tuesday, sangria and 30 kinds of tapas are $4 each.

Ceviche, at 2500 W Azeele St., will start serving weekend brunch beginning Sunday and will open daily at 11 a.m., closing at midnight Sundays and Mondays, and at 3 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit ceviche.com or call (813) 250-0203.

Taco Bus opens on Franklin Street

"I've been dreaming of this for many years,'' said Rene Valenzuela, at the opening of his third Taco Bus location earlier this week.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn snipped the red ribbon wrapping the Franklin Street facade, and admired the yellow metal school bus replica nailed outside to remind diners of the restaurant's beginnings. For years, Valenzuela drove an old school bus equipped with a kitchen, taking taco orders through the window.

The tidy storefront "bus" seats about 50 in wood booths and on stools, plus another dozen at outside tables. A separate window handles pickup of online and telephone orders.

The menu is identical to the first two Taco Buses, which are located on E Hillsborough Avenue in Tampa and on Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Made-from-scratch tacos, burritos and tostadas can be stuffed with beef, pork, chicken, shrimp or tempeh, all under 10 bucks.

Fan favorites include ceviche, braised beef (barbacoa), butternut squash tostadas and cochinita pibil tacos, marinated pork made the ancient Mayan way.

Beer is coming soon; catering is available now.

Taco Bus, 505 Franklin St., is open Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday, closing Sunday at 9 p.m.; visit tampatacobus.com or call (813) 397-2800.

Botanica triples in size

Botanica International, the award-winning floral and evening design company owned by Ian Prosser, is scheduled to move to a building three times the size of its current Henderson Boulevard location next week.

"We outgrew our space, happily so,'' said Prosser, who is also adding a new division that will cater to the luxury wedding industry. Botanica has 11 on staff, "plus lots of freelance help," as needed.

The new design center on Cypress Street near Rome Avenue is easy to spot, thanks to a bright orange door.

"Very Tory Burch," quipped Prosser.

Prosser's designs have been seen at numerous corporate and charity events, including the 2001 inauguration of George Bush and several Pavilion galas at Tampa Museum of Art. Next month, he will be involved with a benefit for the Children's Cancer Center's 2012 Calendar for a Cause.

Botanica International Design Studio will open at 1713 W Cypress St. Visit botanicaflorist.com or call (813) 831-0965.

Share new business news with Amy Scherzer at [email protected] or (813) 226-3332.

Comments
Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

Your barista is a robot. Should it be friendly?

SAN FRANCISCO - The cold, steely arm of Fernando the Barista swirled the foam of my matcha latte, set it down gently, and waved goodbye from inside a glass case. San Francisco, 2018. Where you can get robot pizza and robot salad, and now, a robot mat...
Published: 06/16/18
Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

Extending Albert Whitted’s runway could help Innovation District take off

ST. PETERSBURG — Albert Whitted Airport wants to extend its main runway. But what would benefit the airport could also benefit the St. Pete Innovation District.Moving the runway would ease building restrictions around the airport, allowing the Univer...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Florida’s unemployment rate drops to 3.8 percent

Just when it seemed like Florida’s unemployment rate couldn’t get lower, it did. According to the state figures out Friday, Florida’s jobless rate dipped to a near 18-year low of 3.8 percent in May after holding steady at 3.9 percen...
Published: 06/15/18
St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

St. Petersburg home becomes finalist in HGTV contest

ST. PETERSBURG — A house in St. Petersburg’s Old Northeast is a finalist in HGTV’s Ultimate House Hunt contest. Built in 2007 in the Mission Revival style, the 4,000-square-foot home a block from Coffee Pot Bayou is among 12 nationwide in the "curb a...
Published: 06/15/18
Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

Florida’s first not-for-profit coding school is opening in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — Filling in a hole that was left by The Iron Yard’s exodus last year, a new computer coding school will open its doors to its first class in downtown St. Petersburg on July 23.The Academy at Suncoast Developers Guild will operate thro...
Published: 06/15/18
Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates pays $43-million for Boynton Beach apartment community

Tampa-based Robbins Property Associates, has bought Aventine at Boyton Beach, a 216-unit apartment community, for $43 million.Aventine, garden-style apartments that are 95 percent occupied, will be renovated and renamed "Verona at Boynton Beach."It i...
Published: 06/15/18
Florida craft beer guild: Big Beer is pushing us out of Publix

Florida craft beer guild: Big Beer is pushing us out of Publix

The national battle between Big Beer and local craft breweries is playing out on the shelves of your neighborhood Publix — and some favorite Florida brewmakers are losing.The guild that represents Florida brewers says at least 12 small breweries have...
Published: 06/15/18
Accused of racial profiling, Lowe’s ends policy of checking customer receipts as they leave

Accused of racial profiling, Lowe’s ends policy of checking customer receipts as they leave

Memorial Day weekend was supposed to bring three productive days of home improvement for Will Mega, a dean at a North Philadelphia charter school.He’d go to two Lowe’s locations near his home in Philadelphia’s Wynnefield neighborhood for a grill and ...
Published: 06/15/18
McDonald’s to test alternatives to plastic straws in U.S.

McDonald’s to test alternatives to plastic straws in U.S.

NEW YORK — McDonald’s said Friday it will switch to paper straws at all its locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and test an alternative to plastic ones in some of its U.S. restaurants later this year.The burger chain and other fast-food comp...
Published: 06/15/18
Strange brew? Tampa Bay group hopes to grow hops and medical marijuana in the same spot

Strange brew? Tampa Bay group hopes to grow hops and medical marijuana in the same spot

ST. PETERSBURG --- Among topics that stir passionate interest, two that rank high are medical marijuana and craft beers.A group of Tampa Bay entrepreneurs has ambitious plans to profit from both.They are leasing a vast warehouse space in St. Petersbu...
Published: 06/15/18