VALRICO — Pat Kinnell has enjoyed baseball since his playing days at Middletown High School North in New Jersey.
As an adult, he played competitive softball up and down the East Coast.
For much of the past decade, he worked for the original Beef 'O' Brady's family sports pub, most of that time as the general manager. Now, he is about three months into life as an owner of a sports bar called Turn 2 Sports Restaurant, an ode to baseball's double play.
Kinnell, along with business partners Bill Hellemn and Erik Syvrud, opened the family-friendly establishment at 4351 Lynx Paw Trail in the River Hills Plaza.
He immediately painted the former Angelina's Fine Italian Cuisine bright Rays blue and has been known to give out free and reduced-price beer for Rays fans in gear when the team was in first place or hit home runs.
"It's a comfortable, relaxed feel," Kinnell said of the atmosphere at Turn 2. "We wanted a little variety without getting too crazy."
The variation is in the menu. For beverage aficionados, Turn 2 offers a full liquor bar and 16 beers on tap, including many craft options. There are two happy hours: One is from 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays and the other is from 9:30 p.m. until closing all week.
The restaurant has room for more than 100 guests, including an MVP party room that can be reserved for groups and an outdoor patio that overlooks the lake in front of the River Hills community.
Among the food offerings are hand-tossed pizzas with a number of topping choices, including a local favorite, peppadew, which is a sweet piquante pepper (the 10-inch peppadew pie costs $13.50), and calzones, which are baked in the brick oven.
The never-frozen, made-fresh burgers, including a barbecue bacon cheeseburger with a side for $9.29, are becoming popular.
With River Hills Country Club nearby, it is not unusual to see some patrons arrive via golf cart. Kinnell said special parking spaces are being planned for them. Turn 2 hosts a free golf swap on the patio during the final round of the golf majors. Guests are encouraged to bring in golf equipment and trade or sell their items.
Turn 2, which has more than 20 televisions and a small kids' game room, likes to get involved with the community as well. The restaurant hosts spirit nights and sponsors Cimino Elementary, Newsome High and FishHawk soccer. And on Mondays, which are Military Mondays, 10 percent of the tab is donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.
"We wanted to give something back a bit," Kinnell said.
For more information about Turn 2, visit the restaurant's Facebook page or its website, turn2sportsrestaurant.com.
Taco Bell to go in pink elephant's old home
Where once there was a pink elephant and a purple camel ridden by George Washington, soon will sit Locos Tacos and chalupas.
Taco Bell has begun construction on a new restaurant at 1350 W Brandon Blvd., where Shelton's Nursery, Gazebos and Spas used to operate and where Brandon's beloved pink pachyderm sat for 39 years.
John Knight bought the landmarks in July and moved them to his Tampa back yard, which abuts the Hillsborough River.
According to Taco Bell, the Brandon location will bring close to 45 jobs. It is expected to open before year-end. Interested applicants should apply at the Valrico Taco Bell at 2201 State Road 60.
There are nearly 6,000 Taco Bell locations across the United States.