APOLLO BEACH — After cooking meals for Bobby's Bistro & Bar for 13 months, Michael Reedy wanted a role that better utilized his 38 years of experience.
He wanted to be in charge.
So Reedy and his sister, Kelly, persuaded local financial adviser James Richard Tuberosa to purchase the restaurant at 6520 U.S. 41 in Apollo Beach and name it after himself.
Thus Ricky T's was born in March.
"I just know it's going to work," Kelly said. "We (Michael and I) treat it like it's ours. I'd like to be known as the Cheers of Apollo Beach."
Kelly said to bring that vision to fruition, it starts with building a meeting place for locals to enjoy "fellowship within these walls," where you might see somebody stop and say hello to another customer.
It also helps to have a regular customer named Norm, who Kelly says sits at the bar almost daily at 3:30 p.m.
Bartender Melissa Williams, who has worked at the establishment while it had three names and various owners for the past eight years, says Kelly and Michael have brought about a positive culture change.
"It's got structure and people who care about it," she said. "It's a nice change."
Michael still enjoys cooking and baking and recommends his homemade meatloaf for $11.95 and his chocolate cake for desert.
He says he used to spend $3,000 weekly on food and supplies from vendors, but now spends nearly double that because he wants to bring customers a better experience.
Michael points to Ricky T's Thursday $5 cheeseburger specials as an example. He said during the Bobby's Bistro days, selling 50 cheeseburgers in a day was a record. Now, it's not unusual to serve 124 on Thursdays.
Ricky T's is part sports bar, part family pub and part group meeting place. The Reedys say Saturday ladies nights and Sunday car shows have risen in popularity.
"You always want to make it fun," said Michael, who will gladly change the television so you can tune in your favorite team's game. "You have to cater to the customer."
Ricky T's is not affiliated with the Treasure Island bar that shares the same name. For more information, go torickyts.com.
Massage therapist opens new studio
Jenny Howard needed to work only three years as a professional massage therapist before she was ready to branch off on her own.
"I wanted a business to be able to do massages," said Howard.
So in March she opened Magic Touch Massage Studio in Apollo Beach offering various types of massages and body treatments. The studio is at 204 Apollo Beach Blvd. and specializes in Swedish, deep tissue and hot stone massages.
Rates start at $19.99 for 25 minutes and go to $89.99 for 75 minutes. Seaweed wraps, mud therapy and foot scrubs also are available.
"We listen to the customer's need," Howard said.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. Howard is the sole proprietor, but she does employ independent contractors as well. Call (813) 645-9687 to book an appointment.
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