Amy Scherzer, Times Staff Writer

Amy Scherzer

Amy joined the Times in January 2002 to help launch the weekly City Times edition serving South Tampa and nearby neighborhoods. Her column, Amy Scherzer's Diary, takes readers along as she makes her rounds on the social circuit. Camera in hand, Amy captures the galagoers, wine tasters, Gasparilla kings, debutantes and bay area philanthropists.

Amy earned her bachelor's degree in mass communications and political science at the University of Pittsburgh, and has been a Tampa resident since 1978. She and her husband, Robert, live on Davis Islands, proud parents of two grown children. Any free time is spent people watching, entertaining, boating and reading.

Phone: (813) 226-3332

Fax: (813) 226-3381

Email: ascherzer@tampabay.com

  1. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Brews at Best of Tampa Bay; fashions at Tampa Palms Women's Club lunch

    Human Interest

    Best of Tampa Bay

    The beer garden on the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts waterfront was hopping with 11 microbreweries tapping samples at the Best of Tampa Bay. Cigar City, 7venth Sun, Coppertail Brewing, Two Henrys and the others "made a difference with attendance this year," said Rob Witmeyer, co-chairman of the 29th annual culinary fundraiser with his wife, Sara, and the Producers volunteer group. About 1,800 guests descended on 40 restaurants, caterers and vendors April 5 on the Riverwalk and inside the performing arts center. Neither Witmeyer would reveal a favorite, but Rob raved about "incredible scallops" from Dempsey's Steak House at Saddlebrook Resort and Sara loved the eggplant dish from Anaar Bar and Grill. Music filled the night, ending with dancing to Daniel B. Marshall tunes. The event added more than $100,000 to the $2 million-plus it previously raised for performing arts education at the Straz....

    Susan and Ken Hagan, Hillsborough County commissioner, from left, and their children, Jake and Elizabeth, celebrate at the Hillsborough Community College Presidential Showcase with Ken Atwater, HCC president and Tom Dorety, CEO of Suncoast Credit Union.
  2. Urban Juice to open; tot-to-teen salon; boxing club begins presales

    Retail

    TAMPA — A fresh-pressed juice bar with a tech lounge on the first floor, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa on the second floor and a video conference center on the third floor — that's the vision for the Urban Juice Co., opening in mid May in "the Franklin," a historic building on Franklin Street.

    "We are looking to build a brand that is a modern-day version of Starbucks that centers around fresh juice meals and healthy foods rather than coffee and pastries," said Todd Lax, co-owner with Kevin Kenny. Originally, the two lawyers, both 42, and friends since their Chamberlain High School days, thought they would house their legal and real estate practices there....

  3. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Karamu XXVI wows Lowry Park Zoo

    Human Interest

    Karamu XXVI

    The nocturnal jungle of Lowry Park Zoo awoke in vivid splendor, unleashing couture spring glamor and Latin and reggae music at Karamu XXVI, the zoo's annual black-tie gala. Co-chairwoman Toni Everett greeted nearly 400 guests in a custom-designed tangerine gown by Magali of Buenos Aires. Her daughter and co-chairwoman Henderson Everett Lee wore a stunning fuchsia design by Herve Leger coupled with sky-blue Christian Louboutin heels....

    Kids Charity of Tampa Bay board chairman Adam Palmer and his wife, Elizabeth, celebrate A Kid’s Place shelter’s fifth year of foster care services at the Masquerade Ball on April 4.
  4. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Tim Gunn adds flair to United Way Suncoast event

    Human Interest

    United Way Suncoast's Art of Giving

    On the runway: fashions by designer Rami Kashou, nattily narrated by Lifetime's Project Runway co-host and mentor Tim Gunn at United Way Suncoast's 10th anniversary Art of Giving dinner April 4.

    Near the tarmac: live music and buffets by Air Culinaire, PDQ and Timpone's at Peter O. Knight Airport. Hangar acoustics were a challenge but Gunn and emcee Rod Carter, WFLA-Ch. 8 anchor, expressed endless admiration for United Way services. Gunn made it personal during the Q&A session and live auction, including inviting Martin and Nancy Koch for lunch during the New York trip they bought for $6,600. Funds raised provide Summer Care early literacy and financial education classes for working families, said CEO Diana Baker, who plans to retire later this year....

    Chairwomen Gretchen Dominquez, left, Catherine Christie-Zangi and Heidrin Divers hosted the 17th annual Moments in Time Gala.
  5. From This Day: Keith Bucklew and Mark Anderson

    Relationships

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The cherry blossoms began to bud along the Tidal Basin, a splash of pink consolation for Keith Bucklew and Mark Anderson, whose home state did not allow them the legal right to get married.

    Instead, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor welcomed the couple to wed in her Capitol Hill office. Keith's former sister-in-law, U.S. District Judge Susan Bucklew, officiated Thursday.

    The ceremony that morning, the first wedding to take place in Castor's office, seemed surreal....

    Unable to be legally married in Tampa, Mark Anderson, left, and Keith Bucklew wed Thursday in the Capitol Hill office of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, then flew home to celebrate with friends and family.
  6. Amy Scherzer's Diary: 'Jersey Boys' entertain at St. Joseph's Hospitals gala

    Human Interest

    St. Joseph's Hospitals' Stepping Out Gala

    Oh, What a Night was Saturday night, when the original cast of Jersey Boys packed the dance floor singing at the Midtown Men at St. Joseph's Hospitals Foundation's Stepping Out gala. The elegant dinner and auction topped the charts, just like the Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits sung by the band. Gala co-chairs Johnny and Susan Adcock were delighted to honor their friend Lee Kirkman, physician of the year, head of the BayCare and HealthPoint medical groups, "and my mother's doctor," Johnny Adcock said....

    Michael and Michele Murman Bradner, from left, visit with Kevin and Poonam Makati at St. Joseph’s annual gala.
  7. Roux to roll out of Datz, Bourgeois Pig to make noise by summer, Chic Home teaches 'upcycling'

    Retail

    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Seminole Heights will have a new place to linger over coffee, lunch and dinner by midsummer when the Bourgeois Pig opens in a long-vacant Nebraska Avenue bungalow.

    Owners Lysa and Michael Bozel offered a taste of what's to come at a recent benefit for another restaurant, Domani Bistro, which was destroyed by fire in February. A citrus gulf shrimp Florida roll with avocado, pickled red onions, baby greens and fresh herbs nestled in rice paper was a hit....

  8. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Gasparilla Film Fest wows

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival

    The number 18 has a spiritual meaning in Judaism, making the 18th annual Tampa Bay Jewish Film Festival extra special, chairman Stewart Donnell reminded the opening night audience at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Jewish federations of Tampa, Pinellas and Pasco counties ("We're bi-Bay," quipped Tampa Jewish Federation director Jack Ross) partnered to offer 12 Israel and Jewish heritage films at 10 theaters....

    Prevent Blindness Florida Person of Vision award dinner co-chair Lorna Taylor, left, with Betty Castor, award dinner co-chair Jim Davis and U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.
  9. The Palm closing; Pampered Pets moves to Kennedy Blvd

    Retail

    SOUTH TAMPA — The caricatures on the wall of the Palm restaurant are crying at the news that the tony watering hole known for steaks and giant lobsters is closing Monday.

    "So much competition, so many good restaurants," said general manager Mark Colbath, "where we used to have a captive audience.

    That said, the upscale Westshore Plaza corner has been slammed with customers as they've heard the news. ...

    SP_312915_KEEL_BURGERS_ TAMPA (10/08/2009)   2. The 837 Club Burger, made with prosciutto di parma , roasted red peppers, pesto aioli, and fontina cheese, served at the Palm Restaurant, Tampa. FOR TASTE.
  10. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Jane Seymour attends Scouts' Women of Distinction luncheon

    Human Interest

    Patel birthday bash

    Happy Birthday, Kiran Patel, sang several hundred friends and family members March 10, as admirers were invited to plant 65 trees in honor of his 65th birthday. The festivities began at the 14-acre Patel family compound being erected on White Trout Lake in Carrollwood, then moved a few miles west for an Indian dinner buffet and a golf course-shaped birthday cake at the India Cultural Center. Photos of the businessman, cardiologist, father, grandfather and golfer with "big dreams" flashed across screens as many guests rose for laudatory toasts. Tearfully, Dr. K, credited his late father and everyone there for "pushing me up that mountain."

    51st Chiselers Auction Preview Party ...

    Wizcraft International Entertainment co-owner Sabbas Joseph, left, celebrates the birthdays of Kiran and Pallavi Patel as they plant a weeping bottlebrush tree March 10 on their Carrollwood estate, symbols of roots in a community.
  11. From This Day: Bartenders mix well together

    Relationships

    NORTH TAMPA — Two bartenders walk into a bar. … One asks the other to marry him. Heck yeah, she says.

    No joke, that's how Pedro Vicens and Julia Holzemer ended a shift at Skipper's Smokehouse in late 2012.

    The couple, both 41, who have heard just about every bar joke out there, personify bartender traits — attentive ear, empathetic counsel, a generous pour — coincidentally, qualities that can benefit a marriage....

    Julia Holzemer and Pedro Vicens, bartenders at Skipper’s Smokehouse in north Tampa, married Feb. 1 in Rincón, Puerto Rico. Their bartender traits — attentive ear, empathetic counsel, a generous pour — should serve them well in marriage.
  12. Hyde Park Village asks for patience as it seeks new tenants

    Retail

    HYDE PARK — The new owners of Hyde Park Village are asking for patience as they try to resuscitate the high-end retail complex in the heart of historic Hyde Park.

    "Vacancy is never good for anybody," vice president of development Lou Masiello told a group of homeowners and preservationists at a recent breakfast gathering. "Not the landlord, not the city, the public or the other tenants."...

    The three-day Chalk Walk Festival is March 14-16 at Hyde Park Village.
  13. New businesses: West Shore seafood market; kids' consignment in Palma Ceia; Apollo Beach art gallery

    Retail

    The lure of fresh fish reeled in a crowd at Southern Seafood's March 8 grand opening on S West Shore Boulevard.

    "I got tired of asking for the fish of the day and hearing it was something from across the globe. That's ridiculous," said co-owner Pete Palori, a fifth-generation Tampa native and a 1999 Plant High grad.

    The daily menu is whatever divers caught or speared that day: snapper, grouper, hogfish and other local species. Shrimp comes from the Versaggi Co....

  14. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Opera Tampa gala nets $45,000

    Human Interest

    Opera Tampa Gala

    Opera philanthropists Dr. Zena Lansky and Warren Rodgers honored Straz Center director Judy Lisi by sponsoring Saturday's Spanish-flavored Opera Tampa Gala hosted by co-chairwomen Lea Davis and Kathleen Casey-Shannon. The black-tie evening opened with cocktails on the set of Bizet's Carmen in Morsani Hall with Carmen herself, Alessandra Volpe. Dinner starred lobster risotto, tenderloin and basil gnocchi in the lobby where maestro Daniel Lipton proudly presented Opera Tampa singers to the 140 guests....

    Nick Peterson gets some help from Nyjah, left, and Saylor at Easter Seals’ annual A Pair to Remember luncheon and auction Feb. 28 at the Tampa Yacht Club.
  15. Amy Scherzer's Diary: Cattle Baron's Ball kicks it up

    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....

    Eddie and Candy DeBartolo hosted their 11th annual All Star Charity Gala on March 1 at the Peter O. Knight Airport.