CHANNEL DISTRICT — Dominique Martinez's metal dragon sculpture has guarded his Channel District studio since 2002, and lately the artist's hockey player, "Bolt," rules the St. Pete Times Forum.
This month, Martinez opened Rustic Steel Creations Industrial Chic, a retail shop to sell home decor items he makes from recycled metal and found objects. Candlestick holders, wine racks, lamps, wall hangings, mirrors and furniture — all one-of-a-kind artisan crafted steel pieces. Prices range from $20 and go up to $8,000 for a dining room table.
"I had a lot of stuff inside the (studio) but no way to display it,'' said Martinez. "Everything is recycled steel, some from the railings and staircases we manufacture.''
Rustic Steel Creations Industrial Chic, 101 N 12th St., is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and by appointment. Grand opening is June 30. Visit rusticsteel.com or call (813) 222-0016 for more information.
Boutique features fashions with that 'surf shop flair'
Surf's up at Indigo Blue.
Not really, but Griffin Zysk hopes to ride her family's wave of success at the boutique she opened June 4 on S MacDill Avenue. Zysk's family owns the Salty Dog surf shops in Daytona Beach and Panama City.
The Florida State grad majored in fashion merchandising and said she has worked for Ralph Lauren and HSN. Zysk, 29, doesn't surf, by the way. She's more the ballet and gymnastics type.
The shop offers women's clothing "with a surf shop flair" as well as men's and women's accessories: belts, jewelry, handbags, 40 styles of Ray-Ban sunglasses and flip-flops by Reff and by Rainbow. You'll also find local designer Willy Bea's necklaces and headbands.
Indigo Blue, 3215 S MacDill Ave., is open noon to 5 p.m. Monday and 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; (813) 839-7420.
Upscale auto repair shop envisions a Starbucks vibe
A huge picture window in Signature Tire & Auto Care's waiting area overlooks eight service bays, giving customers a ringside seat to watch mechanics at work. The upscale repair shop is scheduled to open this month and promises to be clean, comfortable and not intimidating, owner Charles Calise says.
"We want to be a cross between a tire dealership and a Starbucks," Calise, a New Tampa resident, said, describing the 12,000-square-foot building he bought and renovated on Kennedy Boulevard near Howard Avenue. Previously, it was the Hyde Park post office annex.
Amenities include WiFi and computers in the business lounge; televisions and play toys in the family-friendly area.
"This was born out of our own frustrating experiences,'' said Calise, who has been collecting and restoring classic cars for 30 years. "For some reason the industry has gotten away with terrible service and people deserve better."
Calise plans to open several more Signature Tire & Auto Care stores. "We are changing the whole paradigm," he said.
For more information on Signature Tire & Auto Care, 2205 W Kennedy Blvd., call (813) 254-8473.
Beef 'O' Brady's Southdale quickly becomes a favorite
Beef 'O' Brady's owner Aaron Carricato coined the name Southdale for his second location — "as in the opposite of Northdale." The restaurant opened May 27 on S Dale Mabry Highway, just north of Gandy Boulevard.
Beef 'O' Brady's Southdale quickly became as popular as its MacDill Avenue spot, he said, due to the proximity to MacDill Air Force Base and Robinson High School. Carricato salutes the military with a 10 percent discount. The staff wear and sell camouflage shirts that say Support Our Troops.
Besides burgers, wings, fries and other bar food favorites, video games and 25 televisions keep fans happy. On Tuesdays, kids' meals are free with an adult entree. When the Tampa Bay Rays hit a home run, the cowbell rings and guests get a free 10-ounce Bud Select draft.
Beef 'O' Brady's, 4516 S Dale Mabry Highway, is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; (813) 837-5200.
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