Fried chicken to waft downtown
One year after the closing of Gilbert Jewelers, a downtown fixture for six decades at 364 First Ave. N, a new business is going in the corner space. Krispy Krunchy Chicken will serve up a variety of fast food.
"Any time I go to Publix I see lines just for fried chicken. There is nothing else downtown like this," said Abdul Alabadi, who is opening the franchise. "It is something quick you can eat even in the car or anywhere you want. This will also be a breakfast place with chicken biscuits."
Louisiana-based Krispy Krunchy Chicken has 900 locations in restaurants, convenience stores and supermarkets in 27 states, according to the website.
Alabadi will serve desserts and Middle Eastern foods, too, such as hummus, tabbouleh, chicken kabobs and falafel. He plans to hire 12 to 17 people.
He also runs the convenience store and hookah lounge just south of the restaurant. All three businesses are in a building owned by real estate investor Terri Anderson.
Import shop, music school open
Just when you had given up on finding a local store that carries lederhosen, Pinellas Park comes to the rescue. MyDirndl import store, specializing in German and European goods such as beer steins, dirndls, decorations and souvenirs, is open at 5741 75th Ave. N.
Hoeft Music School has opened next door at 5721 75th Ave. N. It offers classes in violin, viola, bass guitar, piano, drums and singing. The music school also provides acting and modeling coaching.
Doodads for her in Grand Central
Another store with an eclectic mix of merchandise is adding to the ambience of the Grand Central District. Shannon's Web, at 2454 Central Ave., specializes in candles, gifts and home decor. Many of its products are handcrafted by local artists.
USF St. Petersburg senior Shannon Kelly wants to give women a chance to focus on shopping, so her new store includes a "man cave" with a couch and TV as well as a play pit for kids.
Snitzer gallery launching on west side
There's plenty of business activity on Central Avenue these days. Herb Snitzer Fine Art Photography Gallery is opening in March at 7214 Central Ave., next to Griffin Bookbinding.
Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer