Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Here are some ideas for vacant Brandon pizza place

The image, not to mention the taste, began to fade as soon as I realized the owners removed the sign.

The vision of golden pasta chips piled high with mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage and pepperoncinis stands as just a memory now that Old Chicago Pizza shuttered its doors at Brandon Crossroads on Providence Road.

The restaurant closed Dec. 27, but I can lament the loss of Italian nachos and Old Chicago's lunchtime pizza buffet for only so long. This situation calls for action.

You see, when Johnny Carino's — another place that served Italian nachos — went belly up a couple of years ago, I quietly waited for a new restaurant to fill the void. It didn't have to be another Italian place, but I did want something new and different.

Nothing against our current options, but in an area dominated by familiar chains, variety remains a needed spice for our dining lives. But instead of a new dinner option at the Johnny Carino's site, we ended up with a cell phone store. Sorry Verizon, but I'm interested in meal plans, not phone plans.

So I won't stand idly by and just hope another restaurant comes to fill the 6,000 square feet left vacant by Old Chicago. Even though I've got a feeling some chain already has designs on the spot, I'm putting in my specific requests now.

Sure, I've got about as much influence as a drop of olive oil in heavily-seasoned pasta dish, but I have to try.

In no particular order, here's my personal wish list.

Lee Roy Selmon's

Selmon's has long been rumored to want a Brandon location. In fact, it once had designs on a State Road 60 location before the deal fell through. If it comes, we get great barbecue, awesome cheese grits and, of course, some pretty good nachos.

Square One

The gourmet burger outlet now has three locations, one in Tampa and two in Sarasota. With nine different burgers, three types of buns, 25 toppings, 12 cheeses and 13 sauces, I think it can find a home in Brandon, especially with my cheeseburger-loving son just blocks away.

Boston's Restaurant and Sports Bar

It's similar to Old Chicago, but I would rate its pizza better. A location on Anderson Road in Tampa seems to be enjoying quite a bit of success.

Datz

It may be asking too much for owners Roger and Suzanne Perry to expand to Brandon. After all, their first foray into the restaurant business in South Tampa has gone from a New York-style deli to a gourmet beer/bar/restaurant that's open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I can dream of having such treats as the Ty's Two-Fister (warm pastrami and corned beef, Swiss and Muenster cheeses, and honey mustard on toasted pumpernickel) closer to home.

P.F. Chang's

I'm not sure if the Old Chicago location provides enough space for the upscale Chinese bistro — where would they put the giant horse? — and we already have a number of Asian places (Lee House is awesome). But P.F. Chang's kung pao scallops are calling out to me.

Texas de Brazil

We've already seen one churrascaria-style restaurant come and go, but Texas de Brazil stands above the other Brazilian steak houses I've tried. However, with plans to open a location in Tampa this year, they may not want to expand again so soon.

Ceviche

The first of these tapas bars opened in Tampa in 1997, but it has since expanded to five locations. Why not make it an even half-dozen?

Jason's Deli

I don't often get excited about salad bars, but this place proves to be the exception. It's stocked with so much good stuff, I often opt out of their sandwiches.

Krystal

Okay, the spot is way too big for the South's version of White Castle, but I grew up on those square burgers and I'm surprised we don't have one in Brandon.

Our Place

What's our place? Well, right now, it's a concept that exists only in my mind, but I think it would be nice to have another locally owned restaurant that you can't find anywhere else. We have a few that fall into that category, but not nearly enough. I'm not opposed to chains, as you can see from this list, but it would be cool if a dynamic chef rose up and gifted us with a place that we could call our own.

Who knows? Maybe for once the trendy spot would originate in Brandon and then everybody would envy us.

That's all I'm saying.

Here are some ideas for vacant Brandon pizza place 01/13/11 [Last modified: Friday, January 14, 2011 5:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays Tales: The stories behind Corey Dickerson's ascension

    The Heater

    The 25 pounds DH/LF Corey Dickerson lost during the winter through diet and exercise are considered the primary reason for his ascension to one of the American League's most productive hitters, going into the weekend leading in hits, multi-hit games and total bases, and ranked in the top five in average, runs and …

    Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) connects for a sac fly, scores Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Steve Pearce (28) in the fourth inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, June 15, 2016.
  2. Gregg Allman of The Allman Brothers Band dies at age 69

    Music & Concerts

    SAVANNAH, Ga. — Music legend Gregg Allman, whose bluesy vocals and soulful touch on the Hammond B-3 organ helped propel the Allman Brothers Band to superstardom and spawn Southern rock, died Saturday, a publicist said. He was 69.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  3. Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a former senator, dies at 85

    Ml

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Jim Bunning, a former Hall of Fame pitcher who went on to serve in Congress, has died. He was 85.

    In this June 21, 1964 file photo, Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitches a perfect game against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium in New York.  The Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0.  Bunning retired all 27 batters who faced him in the first game of a doubleheader to become the first pitcher in 42 years with a perfect game in regular season play.   (AP Photo/File)
  4. Trump to decide next week whether to quit Paris climate agreement

    Environment

    TAORMINA, Italy —President Donald Trump declined to endorse the Paris climate accords on Saturday, saying he would decide in the coming days whether the United States would pull out of the 195-nation agreement.

    President Donald Trump, right, arrives to a G7 session with outreach countries in Taormina, Italy, on Saturday. Climate and trade were sticking points at the two-day summit in Taormina, Sicily. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)
  5. Gregg Allman, iconic Southern rocker from Florida's Allman Brothers Band, dies at 69

    Blogs

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.