RUSKIN — Jan Falcione was well-rested after the long weekend and looked forward to returning to work at the Rose Boutique on July 6. But before she reached the building, she noticed something was horribly wrong.
Over the Independence Day weekend, someone had stripped all the copper and aluminum from the boutique's central air conditioning compressors.
Police said the thieves probably got a couple of hundred dollars for the metal from the compressor. But it forced the boutique, a nonprofit shop that raises money for the Mary and Martha House, to shut down until repairs could be made.
"We tried to open a few times, with fans, but it was unbearable," said Falcione, the manager of marketing and development for Mary and Martha House, which operates three south Hillsborough shelters in the Riverview area for women and children in crisis.
Even worse, replacing the units cost Mary and Martha House more than $9,000.
"It ended up being about $8,000 for the units and another $1,300 for the cage," Falcione said. "Now everything's all locked up so this won't happen again."
The boutique reopened July 30. A local resident donated much of the money for the repairs, but some money came out of the nonprofit's operating budget.
The Rose Boutique, at 100 E Shellpoint Road, originally opened in April of last year and offers new and used name-brand clothes, shoes and accessories for women. Every item is priced at $20 or less.
The Rose Boutique is open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. until noon on Saturday. The owners plan to extend hours in the fall. Meanwhile, clubs and groups can make an appointment to visit the boutique in its off-hours.
The boutique will host a "pantry party" from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday. Food will be provided. Instead of an admission charge, guests are asked to donate paper products or cleaning supplies for the use of Mary and Martha House and its residents.
For more information, call (813) 645-7628.
McDonald's to get new look
SEFFNER — If you're a local fast-food aficionado, you may have been distressed when you had a hankering for a Big Mac and discovered that the McDonald's on Martin Luther King Boulevard had been torn down.
Don't worry too much, though. A bigger and more modern McDonald's is scheduled to reopen in the same spot in October.
Caspers Co., which owns 51 McDonald's franchises in the Tampa Bay area, regularly renovates and rebuilds its restaurants. The Seffner location, which opened in the 1980s, was due for modernization.
"Seffner was very rural when that restaurant was built," said Bob Conigliaro, Caspers vice president of marketing and communications. "You have to keep up not just with population growth but with changes in culture."
The new restaurant will have a more modern look inside and out, Conigliaro said, with more comfortable seating. It will be about 50 percent larger. There will be significantly more seating, but some of the extra space will be devoted to an indoor play area, replacing the outdoor play area from the original restaurant.
Until the new restaurant opens, the nearest McDonald's for Seffner residents is at 4650 McIntosh Road in Dover.
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