A sign (see top photo on next page) on the building indicates that Bahama Breeze Island Grill, which is getting ready to open just east of Chuy’s Tex-Mex on the north side of S.R. 56, will open to the public on Monday, July 16. We’re trying to make sure we get an invite to the friends & family pre-opening, so look for a sneak peek on WCNT-tv before Bahama Breeze opens. Fresh seafood + live music one mile from where we live means Jannah and I will be frequenting Bahama Breeze…frequently.

•Also opening in July, next to Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt in the Shops at Wiregrass, is Nothing Bundt Cakes, which has been among the favorites at each of the last two Tastes of New Tampa & Wesley Chapel. At our press time, those amazingly moist bundt cakes with perfectly creamy icing still seemed to be weeks from being made or sold at this location, but a spokesperson for the store said “definitely in July.”

If you’ve still never tried Nothing Bundt Cakes, visit the N. Dale Mabry or another location before this store opens and have a couple of samples and please tell them the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News sent you!  You’ll be waiting with baited buttercream breath for Nothing Bundt Cakes to open here, too.

•Not enough for you? Pomodoro Pizza, which is opening in the space previously occupied by Kwan Ming Bistro in the plaza on S.R. 56 that also is home to Wolf’s Den, also is expected to open in early- to mid-July.

Pomodoro is the first local pizzeria to admit that it has New Jersey-style pizza — which I’ve tried to tell quite a few New Tampa and Wesley Chapel residents over the years — is similar to, but slightly different (in most cases) from New York-style. I’ll let the Pomodoro owners give you their take on the differences, but new pizza is never a bad thing for me to try.

•And last, but not least, another newcomer to the same plaza as Mellow Mushroom on the north side of S.R. 56, across from the Tampa Premium Outlets, is Sweetea Café, which is still mostly a shell inside and doesn’t look like it could possibly be open before the end of July, but we’ll keep you posted.

We’ll also have updates on Earth Fare (which looks ready to go vertical), Mod Pizza (in the getting-much-closer-to-completion building next to Starbucks on S.R. 56, in front of Costco) and the three hotels set to open in the next next issue.

Have You Tried Bayscape Bistro?

I’m sure most residents of that community have heard that the restaurant at the Heritage Isles Golf & Country Club off Cross Creek Blvd. in New Tampa has changed hands again, following a $1.3-million investment by the Heritage Isles Community Development District (CDD) to revamp the club house and the restaurant that rarely has been much more than a place for hungry golfers to stop and have a sandwich and a cold beer.

No matter how nice the renovations may be, unless the CDD found the right operator for the restaurant — one that could attract people who don’t live in Heritage Isles to check it out — it was likely to fail again.

Well, not only is the new Bayscape Bistro & Bar at Heritage Isles significantly more attractive looking than anything else that has occupied the space before, some of you may recognize the name of the guy who owns and operates it — and who has provided a much more restaurant-like menu than any of his predecessors.

Edward Bujarski, who ran one of the first and most successful high school culinary arts programs in Hillsborough County at New Tampa’s Wharton High for 17 years, is genuinely excited to bring real, fresh food to Cross Creek Blvd. near Morris Bridge Rd. and to be able to hire some of his former students to work at Bayscape.

I first visited Bayscape few days before we went to press with this issue, but the Bayscape chef salad I started with combines greens, roasted chicken, mojo pork, cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, tomatoes, cucumbers and four crispy seasoned pieces of grilled toast that I assure you are better than any croutons you’ll have anywhere.

Look for more about Bujarski’s new venture in a future issue, but go check it out and tell the happy crew we sent you!

Bayscape Bistro & Bar (10630 Plantation Bay Dr.) is open every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For more info, call (813) 994-3445 or visit BayscapeFlorida.com. 

I also spoke with Cary Anderson of Streetfront Commercial Properties, who is now leasing out the space in the Shoppes of Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms, which does have a few vacancies, including the 6,400-square-foot space previously occupied by Casa Ramos Mexican Restaurant.

Anderson says he has been close to closing a deal for the space, but that he is still looking for “something special, like a sit-down Italian or seafood restaurant or even a great sandwich place for that Casa Ramos slot.”

Amici Pizza Reopens…And The Crowd Goes Wild!!

It took so long to open that many fans on the Wesley Chapel Community Facebook page of Amici Pizza — previously located in the Grand Oaks Square plaza on Wesley Chapel Blvd. in Lutz but which has been closed for a few months— was never going re-open in its new, freestanding building located less than a mile north of its old location.

Well, our Neighborhood News Facebook page and WCNT-tv — Wesley Chapel & New Tampa Television — were among the first to announce last month that brothers Vincent and Rick Mannino had finally reopened at 26602 Wesley Chapel Blvd./S.R. 54, also in Lutz.

The result of our announcement was one of our most popular Facebook posts and WCNT-tv videos of 2018 — with a reach of nearly 26,000 people, 15,000+ views on YouTube and Facebook and 1,600+ likes, loves, shares and comments.

Happy Amici patrons across the area were raving about the layout and look of the new place, the food (like the true NY-style meat pizza above; photo by Gavin Olsen) and about the return of a 16-year-old local favorite. We wish the Mannino brothers luck, but it doesn’t look like they’re going to need it. We also wish Rick’s wife Tracy much success in her also-new Salon Tré Anne hair salon which shares the building with Amici.

Amici Pizza is open every day for lunch & dinner. For take out & more info, call (813) 973-9734 or visit Amici-Pizza.com and please tell ‘em the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News sent you! For Salon Tré Anne, call (813) 994-3553 or visit the salon’s page on Facebook.

Again, we’ll keep you posted. — GN

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