SOHO — Three-year-old SoHo Sushi closed its busy location on S Howard Avenue on Saturday and is moving to a bigger space — one that is, conspicuously, not in SoHo.
"We just figure there's a SoHo in every city," manager Kevin West said. "We're going to keep the name and roll with it."
The new space at 3218 W Kennedy Blvd. is about 3,000 square feet and will feature 20 tables, twice as many as before. Though leasing details were not final as of last week, it is expected to open in mid to late May.
Business has been good since owner Jeff Hall opened SoHo Sushi in 2005 at 311 S Howard Ave. So good, in fact, that in the past year or so, the 2,000-square-foot space regularly has been overcrowded.
"We have seen an exponential growth in our customer base," West said. "Ninety percent of our clients are repeat customers. They come back on a weekly basis."
The food and the staff will be the same in the new location.
For the first time, SoHo Sushi will open for lunch, something that would not have worked in the less accessible Howard location, West said. Curbside service also will be available.
Lunch hours will be 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and dinner will be served from 5 to 10 Monday through Saturday.
Tart frozen yogurt craze arrives in Tampa
Another offspring of the Pinkberry tart frozen yogurt craze is opening in Tampa. Former New Yorker Simon Amar said he misses the Pinkberry that was right next to his former Manhattan home, so he decided to bring the taste to Tampa.
Amar's version of the tart-yet-sweet frozen yogurt, called Berryism, is expected to make its debut May 9 in his shop at 701 S Dale Mabry Highway, at the corner of Swann Avenue. Two other locations of Berryism are in development, he said. Amar also owns St. Petersburg restaurant Fusion Grill.
Another Pinkberry clone, SunniBunni, is expected to open at 1413 S Howard Ave. this month.
Amar's Berryism yogurt will be "a little bit sweet, a little bit sour," he said. "It has an addictive taste, too."
Berryism will offer four flavors: original, green tea, coffee and mango.
Toppings will include fresh fruits, cereals, nuts and other dry goods.
The so-called "frozen yogurt cafe" also will hold exclusive rights to sell Barnie's Coffee in South Tampa, Amar said.
Pastries and cupcakes also will be available.
Hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. A grand opening event, May 9 and 10, will feature free tastings and giveaways.
Catering business returns to W Kennedy
Widely known Tampa caterer Rita Carlino has moved back to the 1920s brick building that she occupied 10 years ago.
Only now, her business has taken over the whole 5,000-square-foot ground floor.
Carlino relocated from her too-small digs at 2507 S MacDill Ave. two months ago.
The new location of Rita Carlino's, at 1116 W Kennedy Blvd., doesn't feel much different from her first stint there, she said, but the area around it "is so upgraded."
Though her MacDill location had a cafe, Carlino has decided to drop that concept and stick to catering.
"It's just a nice feeling to know that we're home," Carlino said.
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