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Arielle Waldman, Times Staff Writer

Arielle Waldman

Arielle Waldman traded in the chilly New England winters for the Tampa sunshine in 2007, when she moved to attend the University of Tampa. Now, she is an editorial assistant covering the Things To Do section and a staff writer reporting on human interest stories.

Phone: (813) 226-3321



  1. Blackjack Pizza looks to deliver in South Tampa


    TAMPA — Franchise owner and operating partner, Matt Blackburn officially opened Blackjack Pizza's first Florida location on Nov. 14.

    "Blackjack Pizza started out of Denver, Colorado, in 1983 so it has been around for a while out west," Blackburn said. "In 2012, it was acquired by Askar Brands who made some improvements to the company. There are now about 42 locations but they are all out west, mostly around the Denver area."...

    Blackjack Pizza opens its first Florida location. Photo courtesy of Blackjack Pizza.
  2. Mother, daughter open Lowry Park Central hangout


    LOWRY PARK CENTRAL — Guava and Gouda are staple ingredients on the menu of a new restaurant and bar that opened one month ago: Above the Salt Cafe.

    Founded by a mother-daughter duo of Tampa natives, Sonia and Christina Piasecki, the cafe serves breakfast and lunch Mondays through Wednesdays and all three meals Thursdays through Saturdays, re-opening at 6 p.m. for dinner.

    "I love to cook and feed people," Sonia said. "If it makes them happy, it makes me happy. For years I've wanted to open a cafe but I've done everything but."...

    Mother-daughter team, Sonia and Christina Piasecki opened Above the Salt Cafe, a restaurant and bar with a Cuban flair. Photo courtesy of Christina Piasecki.
  3. Craft-beer driven c. 1949 in Old Seminole Heights keeps it local


    LOWRY PARK CENTRAL — One year after opening Ichicoro Ramen in Old Seminole Heights, owner Noel Cruz celebrates the opening of a new concept, c. 1949, a craft-beer driven bar boasting 40 taps, dedicated to breweries all over Florida.

    "Craft beer is a booming industry," Noel Cruz, owner, said. "We have a big focus on the Florida craft brewing scene including the backyards of Tampa and St. Petersburg."...

    The patio of the new Florida-beer driven bar, c.1949 seats up to 90 guests. Photo courtesy of c.1949.
  4. Trip's Diner stumbles into Seminole Heights


    Trip's Diner owner Gordon Stevenson wasn't looking to expand the restaurant, but when one of his regular customers mentioned a building for sale in Seminole Heights he had to take a look.

    "I wasn't looking for a third location, but six months later and I own the building," Stevenson said. "The Seminole Heights neighborhood is similar to the neighborhoods we are in, especially in St. Petersburg."...

    Trip's Diner opens in Seminole Heights bringing popular menu items like the meatloaf. Photo courtesy of Trip's Diner.
  5. South Tampa furniture store specializes in affordable, handmade pieces


    SOUTH TAMPA — Inside the recently opened Nadeau — Furniture With a Soul store, everything is done by hand.

    The solid wood furniture, imported from local artisans in India and Indonesia, is handmade, there is no point-of-sale system and invoices are handwritten.

    "We are kind of like an old-school mom-and-pop type shop," said president Brian Pickler. "It's a very hands-on atmosphere."...

    Nadeau, Furniture with a Soul, opens their 32 location in Tampa. Photo courtesy of Eric Billingsley.
  6. Junior League's Entrepreneur writes her way into business


    TAMPA — The Junior League of Tampa will host their annual Holiday Gift Market beginning Thursday night and continuing through Sunday at the Florida State Fairgrounds Expo Hall.

    The shopping event features more than 150 specialty merchants from across the country offering unique gift items.

    One of those merchants is Old City Calligraphy started by Janeé Scarle who was this year's winner of a grant from The Junior League's Young Women's Entrepreneur Program. ...

  7. World of Beer location opens on a whole new level


    The World of Beer opening in Avion Park, near the Tampa International Airport, International Plaza and Bay Street and Westshore Plaza has a new look different from its predecessors.

    "We have a flight deck upstairs with an outside bar which has full spirits and 16 taps," said partner Paul Jacobs. "There are fire pits on the lower and upper decks. We really tried to craft a fun place to come to that the television and music is still there but not overwhelming."...

    World of Beer opens a new location in Avion Park. Photo courtesy of Time Moore.
  8. New boutique opens in Seminole Heights


    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Not one for fashion trends, Elke Lockert began adding her own flair to store-bought clothes, creating her own garments and accessories.

    When friends and strangers started inquiring about where she bought her outfits and where they could buy them, she simply said "I made it."

    So, she started selling the clothes right off her back.

    Inspired, she founded Gypsy JunQue and set up tents at events and festivals selling her handmade goods....

    The JunQuelow by Gypsy JunQue sells unique, handmade items in Seminole Heights. Photo courtesy of Elke Lockert.
  9. Success of Pig Jig fundraiser overwhelms kidney patient who inspired it


    TAMPA — Each year Will Wellman attends the Pig Jig in downtown Tampa, he climbs to one of the highest points of Curtis Hixon Park and comes close to tears as he admires the size of the crowd.

    This year, on Saturday (Oct. 22), he'll see people enjoying barbecue, beer and music while raising money for research, advocacy and awareness to help patients with the rare kidney disease, focal segmental glomerulosclerosis....

    Friends of Will Wellman, who has a rare kidney disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, launched the first Pig Jig as a backyard barbecue. Now, the event draws crowds each year to Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa.
  10. Shoppes of South Dale bring multiple options to South Tampa


    In June, real estate developers Paradise Ventures began construction at the Shoppes of South Dale to provide the South Tampa community with new restaurant, workout and salon options.

    "We're excited to be near completion. It's a center we are proud of and we are excited how the lineup came together," said Chris Zimmerman, head of acquisitions and development.

    On Oct. 8, Crunch Fitness was the center's first tenant to open....

    Tijuana Flats will open in the new Shoppes of South Dale across from Britton Plaza. Photo courtesy of Steve Fischer.
  11. Shoppes of South Dale bring multiple options to South Tampa


    In June, real estate developers Paradise Ventures began construction at the Shoppes of South Dale to provide the South Tampa community with new restaurant, workout and salon options.

    "We're excited to be near completion. It's a center we are proud of and we are excited how the lineup came together," said Chris Zimmerman, head of acquisitions and development.

    On Oct. 8, Crunch Fitness was the center's first tenant to open....

    Crunch Fitness was the first tenant to open at the Shoppes of South Dale on Oct. 8.
  12. Mother, daughter bring skills to South Tampa's SoHo Wellness


    Mother-daughter duo Becky, 22, and Debbie Dubickas, combined their skills to open SoHo Wellness, serving the body, mind and soul.

    Originally from Scotland, the Dubickases moved to Tampa six years ago.

    "My mom and I are in this together," Becky said. "I went to school for skin and nails and my mom does hypnotherapy. She used to work in an office on Kennedy Boulevard."

    After what felt like forever in a search for the perfect space, Debbie happened onto the location at 103 South Blvd. while driving to a conference at the Tampa Museum of Art....

    SoHo Wellness serves the body, mind and soul with spa services and packages. Photo courtesy of Becky Dubickas.
  13. Seminole Heights' Urban Bungalow adds coffee shop


    Urban Bungalow owners David Hansen and Chris Salamanca and Cleanse Apothecary owners Greg Curtis and Terry Bellamy have teamed up to bring specialty coffee roasters Intelligentsia Coffee to Seminole Heights.

    The retail store and bath and body shop share a space at 6500 N Florida Ave., connected in the middle through glass french doors.

    "The community had been asking us to add a coffee shop," Hansen said. "Greg had 10 or 12 years of experience with Starbucks in the past, so he knew how to run one."...

    Bungalow Coffee brings specialty coffee roasters Intelligentsia Coffee to Seminole Heights. Photo courtesy of David Hansen.
  14. Entrepreneurs bring cigar bar to Seminole Heights


    SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — Glenn Genereux and Benny Blanchard met through a Facebook cigar club.

    About a year and a half ago, they were interested in trading cigars and when it came time to plan a meet-up, they realized they lived a mere seven blocks from each other.

    They connected on the corner of Central Avenue and Hanna Avenue in Seminole Heights and not only traded cigars, but formed a new friendship....

    Heights Cigar Bar seeks to fill a missing niche in Seminole Heights. Photo courtesy of Debbie Genereux.
  15. Earl of Sandwich spreading out in Tampa Bay


    TAMPA — The reopening of the Earl of Sandwich inside International Plaza and Bay Street's food court on Sept. 23 marked the beginning of the restaurant's takeover of Tampa Bay.

    "We have signed for a location in downtown Tampa at the Element, one by Raymond James Stadium, Bayport Commons and there's several more coming," said Robert Earl, one of the founding partners.

    Before reopening inside the food court located at 2223 N West Shore Blvd., the sandwich shop had served International Plaza customers at its original location on Bay Street for 11 years....

    Earl of Sandwich re-opens inside the food court at International Plaza and Bay Street. Photo courtesy of Rick Tauceda.