Mike and Eva Baldridge of Belleair have opened Belleair Char-Broil, specializing in "char-burgers," grilled hot dogs and grilled and roasted chicken.
The couple moved here three years ago from Raleigh, N.C., where Baldridge owned a pawnshop. Eva Baldridge is a Clearwater native and her sister and brother-in-law, Nick and Stephanie Chaconas _ who are experienced in the restaurant business _ are working with them.
"My husband wanted to be in this business and I love working with people," Eva Baldridge said.
The couple invested $200,000 in the property and had the building constructed.
The menu features beef burgers, veggie burgers, chicken, tuna, Greek and tossed salads, french fries and onion rings as well as beverages, milk shakes and ice cream. Prices range from $1.49 for a plain char-burger to $3.89 for the tossed salad with grilled chicken and the Greek salad.
There's no seating inside the business at 1359 S Fort Harrison Ave., Clearwater, but five picnic tables with awnings are arranged outside under a large oak tree.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday. Call 467-0880.
Krista Hinrichs has been hired as a business assistance specialist for the Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, 1130 Cleveland St. The business assistance program, a partnership between the city, chamber and the Pinellas County Economic Development council, puts a business assistance specialist in the community to talk to small business owners about growth possibilities and other concerns. She most recently was a business banking relationship manager at First Union national Bank.
Katie E. Cole has joined the chamber as vice president of governmental affairs and economic development. Her duties will include working closely with local and state elected officials as the link between government and the business community. She previously worked in public and community relations for TransWorld Diversified Services.
Creative Contractors, 620 Drew St., Clearwater, has hired three new managers.
Bruce Blatz is a 33-year veteran of the construction business and came to Creative after 15 years with Maryl Construction in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He has been appointed project manager of the St. Petersburg-Clearwater International Airport expansion project.
Todd Pope is a recent graduate of the University of Florida. He is assistant project manager of the six media centers for the Hillsborough County School Board.
Melanie Rognstad has 10 years' experience in the construction industry. She is assistant project manager of the surgery support renovation project at Lakewood Regional Medical Center.
Raytheon Systems defense and aerospace company has awarded a $760,100 contract to Hennessy Construction Services, 2300 22nd St. N, St. Petersburg, for 28,500 square feet of interior renovations to its new quarters in the STAR Center on Bryan Dairy Road. As the center's anchor tenant, Raytheon occupies 300,000 square feet of the former Department of Defense plant.
Don Bergemann of Tarpon Springs is the new treasurer of the Florida Pharmacy Association based in Tallahassee. He is a 15-year member of the association and will serve a two-year term. He is a 1972 University of Illinois pharmacy graduate and also has a master's in business administration from the University of South Florida.
Dr. James P. Gills, founder and director of St. Luke's Cataract & Laser Institute, based at 43309 U.S. 19 N, Tarpon Springs, was a featured speaker at the recent Fifth International Symposium on Cataract and Lens Implant Surgery in Caracas, Venezuela. He was one of four U.S. surgeons to be invited speak at the program. He gave six lectures on topics including multiple lens implant techniques, correcting astigmatism and refractive lens surgery.
Cathy Chafin has joined OneSource Group, 18167 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater, as vice president of property and casualty. Sherry Holthusen has joined as an account executive specializing in employee benefits programs.
OneSource Group was created by a merger between Jones & Hawkins Insurance of Clearwater, Bisbee-Baldwin Insurance of Jacksonville, Robbins Insurance of Tampa and Self-Insured Benefit Administrators of Clearwater.
Judy Haner has joined Coldwell Banker Commercial Wikle Properties, 3302 Alt. U.S. 19 N, Palm Harbor, as a sales associate. She has 26 years' experience in commercial property management and sales and most recently was with Ross Realty Group.
_ News of businesses and business people can be faxed to the Business Digest at (727) 445-4119 or mailed to Business Digest, 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. We are interested in new and unusual businesses, promotions, expansions and major new contracts. Photos can be sent, but not all will be used and they cannot be returned.