03/05/14 Human Interest
DeBartolo Family All Star Charity Gala
Few foundations have the resources to entertain patrons like the DeBartolo Family. Eddie and Candy, with daughters Lisa and Nikki, elegantly camouflaged a hangar at Peter O. Knight Airport in Davis Islands for their 11th All Star Charity Gala. Planes out; tables, stage, dance floor in. Acrobatic acts swung, orchids hung. Las Vegas act Bob Anderson sung, comic Jay Mohr stung....
DOWNTOWN TAMPA — Blending their last names to create Fynn's Bar & Grill, Michael Fisher and Michael Wynn are reinventing their Franklin Street restaurant's previous incarnations, Tunduree, Magic of the Indian Grill, and before that, Metro Restaurant and Lounge.
They look for late-night diners to be their niche. Appetizers, soups, salads, top sirloin, ribs and mahi mahi are available nightly until midnight....
02/25/14 Human Interest
Fashion Funds the Cure
Youngsters modeling at Fashion Funds the Cure earned thunderous applause from the 800-strong crowd absorbing sobering but inspiring statistics. In 11 years since the Pediatric Cancer Foundation asked cancer patients to be in the fashion show, 10 are in treatment, 70 no longer battle cancer, 15 passed away and $3.65 million has been raised for clinical trials and research, including $450,000 on Saturday night....
02/20/14 Human Interest
Art should push perceptions and challenge conventions, says Brandon Hicks, architect and president of the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, a Tampa outdoor art show older than he is. • "Everyone should have an opinion about art and architecture. That's the point," Hicks said, "to get people involved and engaged." • Controversial art, a.k.a. nudes, launched the festival when it got the boot from the Florida State Fair years ago. It turned into the Gasparilla Sidewalk Art Festival in 1970 and has been staged variously along Whiting, Ashley and Franklin streets until it landed at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in 2010. • Hicks, 40, oversees strategic planning for the prestigious juried festival, which is expected to draw 100,000 viewers Saturday and March 2. • Just one-quarter of 1,000 applicants are invited to display and sell their artwork, photography, sculpture, jewelry and fine crafts. • Hicks volunteered to help a friend with site planning in 2009. The next year he co-chaired that committee, then spent two years as festival co-chairman. He doesn't take the legacy lightly when he pursues partnerships to further a reputation for high-quality work, nationally prominent jurors and cash prizes totaling $75,000. • The University of Florida grad is influenced by the livability of Budapest, Prague and other capitals he visited during two semesters of study in Italy, where he met his wife, Sarah Joubert, also an architect and the festival's treasurer. Now Riverside Heights residents, the couple worked together for two years before she was lured to a large firm and he formed Twelfth Street Studio in the Channel District. Times reporter Amy Scherzer asked Hicks about the festival's longevity and the politics of art and architecture....
02/20/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Coffee entrepreneur Jessica Glover expanded into Seminole Heights this month, opening Jet City Espresso on N Florida Avenue, north of Hillsborough Avenue. Her Hyde Park coffee bar on Edison Avenue remains open daily.
Neighbors quickly swarmed to the cozy bungalow for coffee, espresso, chai latte and her signature Cafe Borgia, a honey- and orange-infused latte. They also liked the free Wi-Fi and ample parking....
02/20/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Most Americans are only familiar with foods from two or three Asian countries, say the owners of Royal Palace Thai. Now they say it's time to discover Philippine, Korean, Japanese, Indian, Vietnamese, Mandarin and other Asian cuisines.
Randall Knowles, who runs the S Howard Avenue restaurant with his wife, Tapanee Damrongwatanasuk, are introducing a new small-plates menu called SoHo Hawkers....
TAMPA — An indoor bounce house for the kids and a coffee lounge for the grownups could bring happy faces to South Tampa parents.
"My wife, Jenn, and I grew tired of driving to Westchase and Brandon to similar facilities with our two children," said Mike Addabbo, who is turning a 10,500 square-foot, former wrestling gym into PlayGrounds of Tampa on S Dale Mabry Highway, just north of Gandy Boulevard. ...
02/19/14 Human Interest
Florida Hospital Pepin's Valentine's Dinner
Bring your sweetie to dinner, Tom and Lauren Pepin proposed, to help Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute furnish a $3.7 million hybrid cath lab/operating room. Their annual Valentine's Day benefit attracted 400 guests to dine at tables for two, four, eight or 30 if you sat at co-chair Marilyn McPhail's table. Puff n' Stuff prepared a six-course French menu for a romantic Paris Ville de l'Amour theme, Novu Entertainment kicked up a Moulin Rouge can-can and a 22-foot tall Eiffel Tower illuminated TPepin's Hospitality Centre....
SAFETY HARBOR — The Sound of Music hooked Jerry Slutzky on musical theater at age 8. The Music Man sent him running to join the band, playing trombone like Professor Harold Hill in many high school productions. He landed the lead in The Pajama Game after law school, swapping orchestra pit for community stage.
Some 50 shows later, the north Tampa lawyer and certified financial planner, now 60 and divorced nearly two decades, realized he only needed an audience of one....
02/12/14 Human Interest
The Heart Gallery's Night in Foreverland
A Night in Foreverland co-chairs Katina Markowski and Meghan McGuire borrowed Peter Pan's longing for bedtime stories and goodnight kisses to market the Children's Board's Heart Gallery at the second annual Be Mine gala. They even got R.D. Curtis, 15, to wear green tights like the boy from Neverland. His mother, Tammy Curtis, adopted him, she told the sold-out party Feb. 6 at the Straz Center, because she saw his picture in the mobile gallery and website of foster kids seeking "forever families."...
DOWNTOWN TAMPA — Four of his favorite things were missing from the downtown Tampa food scene, said newcomer Chuck Goldstein, who opened Sunny Side-Up this week to fill that perceived culinary gap.
The longtime Memphis caterer sold his business, moved to the Channel District and with his wife and co-chef Marci began exploring restaurants in their new city. Their research resulted in a tiny, take-out restaurant in the former Duckweed grocery mart around the corner from Tampa Theatre....
02/06/14 Human Interest
TAMPA — Tampa philanthropist and volunteer Mary Lee Farrior went to lunch Thursday at the Florida State Fair to thank Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet for granting $350,000 to Mary Lee's House.
Instead, officials honored Farrior when the Tampa Metro Civitan Club named her its Citizen of the Year for creating Mary Lee's House to consolidate child abuse assessment, counseling, prevention and forensics services....
Arirang brings Korean cuisine near MacDill AFB, Chocolate Pi sweenens SoHo; Five Guys closed in SkyPoint.02/05/14Retail
INTERBAY — The Mundell family looks forward to serving MacDill Air Force Base employees and their families at Arirang, a casual, Korean restaurant set to open this week.
"Many of them have lived in Korea and miss the cuisine," said Sowon Mundell, explaining the choice of location, south of Gandy Boulevard. Her late father was a contractor at MacDill, so she and her mother, Misook Mundell, who previously operated restaurants in Osan, South Korea, already knew the area....
02/05/14 Human Interest
MOSI's 19th annual Einstein on Food & Wine
Proving the space-time continuum theory, 2,000 people packed the Museum of Science and Industry on Saturday, inching between three floors of tasty bites (25 vendors) embedded between exhibits and 60 tables of wine, beer and spirits (thanks, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits) at the 19th, and biggest yet, Einstein on Food & Wine sampling.
The energy-momentum equation worked in the driveway, too, where Texas Roadhouse grilled steaks near six cigar stands and four food trucks. How does wild game poutine sound? That's what Fan Favorite winner NYO (Not Your Ordinary) Food Truck calls its fries topped with cheese curds and antelope, camel, buffalo and llama gravy....
TAMPA — Roadside Grill has revved up Harley-Davidson of Tampa by serving wings, burgers, sandwiches and "a bit of Puerto Rico" on the dealership's deck on N Dale Mabry Highway, south of Waters Avenue.
"We're a food truck that doesn't move," said Tracy Zuluaga, co-owner with husband Ernique. "There's really nothing else like it." A covered tiki bar seats 100, while another 50 can dine on the deck. ...