TAMPA — Roadside Grill has revved up Harley-Davidson of Tampa by serving wings, burgers, sandwiches and "a bit of Puerto Rico" on the dealership's deck on N Dale Mabry Highway, south of Waters Avenue.
"We're a food truck that doesn't move," said Tracy Zuluaga, co-owner with husband Ernique. "There's really nothing else like it." A covered tiki bar seats 100, while another 50 can dine on the deck.
The son of a baker in his native Puerto Rico, Enrique is the former owner of Cafe Z near U.S. 301. He has worked at Bahama Breeze, Alessi's Catering, Wing House, Hooters and Shula's Steak House. His Latin specialities include breakfast sandwiches on pressed Cuban bread, deviled crabs, tostones and the Tripleta — grilled ham, roast pork and palomilla steak topped with melted provolone and mojo sauce.
Tracy, a former New Yorker with 30 years in the hospitality business, is checking into an unusual idea: selling $100 raffle tickets to win an equity stake in the restaurant. "We'd like to take over the space at Harley-Davidson of Brandon, if we can acquire a partner," she said.
Plans are in the works for Bike Night, mixed martial arts viewing, Saturday brunch and Latin Sunday with dominos on the deck.
Private parties, catering and lunchtime delivery are available.
Roadside Grill is at 6920 N Dale Mabry Highway. Hours "until we get a beer and wine license" are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Visit facebook.com/roadsidegrillandbrew or call (813) 508-2433.
New site for sewing store
Sewing enthusiasts and crafters are buzzing about Keep Me in Stitches' new location, just three blocks west of its previous Kennedy Boulevard store. High-tech sewing equipment, premium fabrics and high-quality notions fill the larger, more contemporary showroom. Sewing workshops and classes range from basic to highly skilled. The addition of a coffee bistro will make the store even more of a community hub for sharing do-it-yourself projects.
A 24-hour stitch-a-thon celebrated the grand opening this week with the goal of making 24 quilts for Alpha House.
Keep Me in Stitches, 4504 W Kennedy Blvd., is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Visit kmisinc.com or call (813) 282-1526.
From Bead Barn to Booty-tique?
Cowboys, Chewbaccas, Santas and pirates will still find more than 30,000 costumes to be rented, purchased or customized at Features, tucked behind Datz restaurant off S MacDill Avenue. And the selection of crowns, tiaras, boots, makeup and accessories remains as vast as ever.
But its sister store, the Bead Barn, is emptying its stock to transform into a home decor store featuring all things pirate, likely to be called Booty-tique.
Owner Joseph Stokes opened the costume shop on April Fool's Day, 1987, with his partner, the late Duane Wendel. Nearly 10 years later, they turned a shed across the street into the Bead Barn, starting off with a few dozen kinds of plastic beads. Inventory swelled to 600 varieties, including staff designs for krewes, sports teams and corporations.
"What's left now should last until the Ybor Knight Parade on Feb. 8,'' said J.B. Mason, nephew of the owner. "All kinds, stuffed in a grab bag for $20."
Get 'em while they last at 3015 W Barcelona St. Call (813) 835-0200 for hours.
Husband, wife open Hands on Sweets
Every day is Valentine's Day when husband-and-wife pastry chef team Carlos Ramirez and Marie Martinez create custom cakes at Hands on Sweets, their pastry shop at Kennedy Boulevard and Himes Avenue.
"Birthday cakes, wedding cakes, dessert bars," said Martinez. The Puerto Rico natives met during their training at Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island. They invite "all sugar addicts" to a Feb. 5 ribbon cutting at 5 p.m.
In addition to custom speciality orders, a retail counter features the couples' freshly baked cupcakes, macarons, truffles and cheesecakes.
Hands on Sweets, 3601 W Kennedy Blvd. Suite E., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday by appointment only. Visit handsonsweets.com or call (813) 810-6007.
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