Sara DiNatale, Retail, Tourism and Workplace Culture Reporter

Sara DiNatale

Retail, Tourism and Workplace Culture Reporter

I’m a Buffalo native who has been thawing out in Florida since joining the Tampa Bay Times in 2015. I started as a night cops reporter in Tampa. But these days, I’m running to new grocery stores instead of crime scenes. As our retail, tourism and workplace culture reporter, I’m able to use my sleuth-shopper skill set and eye for trends combined with my favorite pastime, telling stories. I search out topics I know will resonate with readers and get them thinking or talking. I’m a coupon clipper, yogi novice and eyeglasses enthusiast. You’ll rarely spot me on the weekend without my mini schnauzer, Addy, in tow. We’re regulars at St. Petersburg’s Dog Bar and the area’s several dog parks. So feel free to say hi or give us a news tip. Addy gives great high-fives.

Blind Tiger Cafe is taking over a former Starbucks at WestShore Plaza

Roberto Torres poses in front of Blind Tiger Cafe's Ybor location. The cafe's fifth location is slated to open in Westshore Plaza next month. Jones, Octavio  |  Tampa Bay Times
The local business says its fifth location will be open at the Tampa mall next month.

She, he or they: Tampa Bay bars train to better serve LGBTQ customers

Kate Quinn, 26, chats with a patron at MacDinton's in St. Petersburg. Quinn and her fellow bartenders recently went through a LGBTQ+ diversity training to help them better interact with customers. MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times
Workplace classes about navigating pronouns, gender identity and sexual orientation are getting more popular in the local customer service scene.

LGBTQ job fair selects Tech Data exec as keynote speaker

Cal Jackson, the director of diversity at Tech Data, will be a keynote speaker at Metro's annual LGBTQ+ career fair. Tech Data  |  Tech Data
The career fair will be held in St. Pete on Sept. 18

Aldi is testing grocery pickup in at least two Tampa Bay stores

Aldi has added curbside pickup to its location at  1551 34th St N. in St. Petersburg. (SARA DINATALE | TIMES)
Aldi has been quietly unrolling curbside pickup in select markets, including Tampa Bay and Orlando.

UberEats is fueling a ‘ghost’ restaurant trend in the Tampa Bay area

Caroline Bond looks through mobile orders on one of the five tablets behind the register of Ichiban, the sushi restaurant she owns near USF. She relies on Uber Eats for about 20 percent of their business. [ANGELIQUE HERRING | Times]
Tampa sushi spot Ichiban grows its business through its ‘virtual restaurant,' Ramen Depot.