DOWNTOWN — It has stood nearly empty for more than a year, but the ground floor of SkyPoint soon should be buzzing, just in time for the Super Bowl.
Two more restaurants have been announced for SkyPoint, the 32-story, 380-unit condo building that opened in summer 2007 at 777 Ashley Drive.
RAWbar, a sushi and fusion dining spot, should be open in time for Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa on Feb. 1.
The casual Azteca Mexican Kitchen also should open early next year.
The new restaurants will join Taps Wine and Beer Merchants, which opened in April, and a Five Guys Burgers and Fries franchise scheduled to open in December. With the additions, all but 1,300 of the building's 10,000 square feet of retail space will have been filled.
Taps owner James DeVito is behind the 2,600-square-foot RAWbar. It will be next door to but "completely different from Taps," he said.
Taps has a limited kitchen; much of the focus is on its more than 400 varieties of beer and wine. RAWbar will have a full kitchen. The emphasis will be on sushi, but it will also offer Japanese-style entrees with Peruvian and Caribbean influences.
"What downtown is missing — what Tampa is missing — is good sushi," DeVito said. "What is out there can be improved upon. This is going to be very high style. We're going to be competitive on the price point, though. I think my chef (Patrice Knezevic, also of Taps) has a really good palate."
Taps has succeeded despite the economic downturn, DeVito said, motivating him to open the second restaurant. He hopes to take advantage of Super Bowl crowds and SkyPoint's nearby sister project, Element, which will open next year as a rental building.
"We're very happy," DeVito said. "The overall (restaurant) market is probably down 20 percent or more. ... Even with a slight pullback we're doing well ahead of what we were expecting."
Azteca Mexican Restaurant, owned by SkyPoint resident Chris Rivas, will take over an 1,840-square-foot space. It will be a sit-down restaurant and bar with moderate prices and both indoor and outdoor seating, according to a SkyPoint news release.
Love That! boutique opens on MacDill
There's no underlying style dominating Angela Llewellyn's new boutique, which is packed with an eclectic mix of clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts priced from $20 to $600.
The main thing the pieces have in common is Llewellyn's hope that they will inspire the words she said she often hears from customers: "I love that!"
That's the logic behind Love That!, which Llewellyn opened in August at the home of the former Art Tarts, 4109 S MacDill Ave. For a year before that, she borrowed space to sell her items from nearby furniture store Blue Moon Trading Co.
It went well enough that Llewellyn decided it was time to open her own shop. Love That! carries casual and dressy clothing, handcrafted jewelry, specialty T-shirts, lingerie, shoes, handbags, gifts and items from local artists.
"It's urban elegance meets metro meets vintage," Llewellyn said. "It sounds kind of crazy, but it's working for us. ... People come in and say, 'Wow. It kind of takes my breath away.' "
Love That! is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 to 6 on Sunday. The store Web site is www.lovethatonline.com.
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