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  1. Free and cheap fun: 5 things to do under $5 for March 5-11


    1Eat at Joe's Lunch and Concert Series: This monthly lunch and concert party in the Joe Chillura Courthouse Square this month salutes the Florida Strawberry Festival with food trucks serving up lunchtime dishes that incorporate strawberries, accompanied by live music in the park. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday at Joe …

    (Photo # 8) Strawbery shortcakes with whip cream, which is a #1 at Parkesdale Farm Market on U.S. Highway 92 in Plant City. Photo by Skip O’Rourke on 3/3/2004.   At Parkesdale Farm Market in Plant City the tour buses come daily, mostly because of the fabulous strawberry shortcake. The line of the dessert snakes outside the produce stand and a bank of women, behind a screen, take the orders and pipe mounds of whip cream onto the fruit from large tubes above them. There is also a produce stand there and it’s very old Florida. A little kitchy.
  2. Still No. 1 in Florida, Publix cracks $30 billion in annual revenues


    Publix, still the No. 1 grocery chain in Florida by market share, continued its consistent growth by racking up $30.6 billion in revenues in 2014, a 5.7 percent uptick from its $28.9 billion of 2013.

    Revenues at Publix climbed past $30 billion in 2014. This new Publix store opened at 3700 Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg in October. SCOTT KEELER   |   TIMES
  3. How Tampa Bay became a "foodie" paradise


    Do the words "locally sourced produce" make your pulse quicken? Is your Instagram page chockful of sexy snaps of you shopping for dry-aged beef in the hippest, selfie-coolest new market? Did you fake a sick day at work to celebrate the joyous arrival of a Trader Joe's to your city?

  4. Bloomin' Brands sells Roy's for modest $10 million


    Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands, parent of Outback Steakhouse and more, has sold off its interest in the seafood-based Roy's chain for $10 million. The sale, between Bloomin' and United Ohana, involves 20 restaurants and was agreed upon months ago, although the final tally wasn't revealed until Wednesday.

    Tampa's Bloomin' Brands sold Roy's restaurants for $10 million -- only about $500,000 per location. Stefanie Boyar | Times
  5. Yelp suit on reviews stirs the pot for local restaurateurs


    Don Arvin, co-owner of St. Petersburg's Casita Taqueria, routinely combs through his online reviews.

    Don Arvin, co-owner of St. Petersburg’s Casita Taqueria, says a bad review on Yelp! may be written by a disgruntled ex-employee and a good review by the chef’s mom. [DIRK SHADD | Times]
  6. Pei Wei, BurgerMonger coming to Fourth Street in St. Petersburg



    Pei Wei Asian Diner and BurgerMonger are coming to Fourth Street N

    Pei Wei will be part of the new construction on Fourth Street at 14th Avenue N.
  7. 5 things to do under $5 Feb. 26-March 4


    1Blast Friday: The free Blast Friday block party gets in the baseball spirit with baseball-themed vendors, a kids zone, games, prizes, live music by saxophonist Mindi Abair and representatives from the Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Clearwater Threshers, Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees. The nearby …

    The theme for this week’s Blast Friday in Clearwater is baseball, while the music will be provided by saxophonist Mindi Abair.
  8. Disney ticket prices rise, others may follow; $139 Florida resident deal still on


    Sunday Walt Disney World broke the $100 barrier, announcing a $6 price hike that puts Magic Kingdom admission at $105, but other prices at the world's most popular tourist destination also spiked.

    Fireworks and confetti fly over Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, in 2012. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel)
  9. Tampa Bay malls stress safety after global terrorist threat


    After a radical Islamist group released a video on Saturday threatening to terrorize various shopping centers around the globe — including those owned by the Westfield Corp., which operates several malls in the Tampa Bay area — local retail hubs promised security would be of the utmost importance.

     Westfield Corporation operates malls in Countryside, Brandon (pictured), Citrus Park plus two in Sarasota. Westfield malls in London were specifically threatened in the video. [Times files (2012)]
  10. American Express loses antitrust suit in nondisclosure policy case


    NEW YORK — American Express violated U.S. antitrust laws by barring merchants from asking customers to use one credit card over another, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

    A judge ruled against American Express’ policy discouraging merchants from encouraging consumers to use one credit card over another.