There could soon be more tenants to announce for the Village at Hunter’s Lake development currently under construction on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., across from the main entrance to the Hunter’s Green community.

Regency Centers senior leasing agent Marc Elias, who already has signed a dozen occupants for the retail/restaurant portion of the project, will be the guest speaker at the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Briefing at Hunter’s Green Country Club on Thursday, June 20. 

While Sprouts, the first green grocer to enter the New Tampa market, is the anchor of the retail strip, other occupants currently listed on the Regency Centers website are Banfield Pet Hospital, The Coder School, Grain & Berry, Hair Cuttery, Heartland Dental, Nationwide Vision Center, Pink & White Nails, Poke Island Plus, Pure Beauty Salon, Starbucks, T-Mobile and Via Italia Woodfired Pizza & Bar.

There are, however, still six spaces available.

The Village at Hunter’s Lake will have 71,397 sq. ft. of commercial space. The project also will include a 30,000-sq.-ft. New Tampa Cultural Center, a dog park and a four-story, 241-unit multi-family complex to be called The Haven at Hunter’s Lake.

Addio, Chefs of Napoli?

Chefs of Napoli, an Italian restaurant that had been expected to open in the next few months at the old Beef O’Brady’s location in the Cross Creek Commons plaza off Morris Bridge Rd., is now unlikely to do so, after its owner was arrested last month and faces charges of conspiracy to commit human trafficking and lewd and lascivious battery.

While the primary trafficker was not named to avoid identifying the teenage victim, Luigi Barile, who founded the Chefs of Napoli restaurants in Spring Hill and Ocala, was one of nine men arrested on May 17 by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office after a two-year investigation.

Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis said at a press conference that the victim had been sexually abused by the men for six months. He said Barile brought three of his friends to sexually assault the teenager.

“Not only did he use the services of our young victim, he also brought, at least one time, at least three of his friends with him,” Nienhuis said. “And, all four of these men exchanged money for sex.”

According to the, Barile was released on a $25,000 bond — $10,000 each on two counts of kidnapping/human trafficking and $5,000 on a count of unlawful use of a two-way communication device.

The also reported that a number of special conditions had been placed on Barile, such as surrendering his passport, being placed on a GPS monitor and that he have no intentional contact with any child under 18. He also is not permitted to leave Hernando County.

Barile has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.

Time To Study…New Tampa

Students from the University of South Florida’s School of Public Affairs will meet for the first time on Tuesday, July 16, as they begin a study to determine the reasons for the outmigration of a number of local businesses from the New Tampa area and to find a potential solution, if there is one.

The meeting will be held at either the New Tampa Regional Library or Compton Park in Tampa Palms. The group is comprised of graduate students working towards their Master’s degrees in Urban and Regional Planning at USF. They will conduct a listening tour with local focus groups and businesses, as well as a field study. 

USF School of Public Affairs director Ron Sanders told the Neighborhood News in April that if the study produces something concrete, it could lead to the city conducting something “more extensive and sophisticated.”

District 7 Tampa City Council member Luis Viera also will attend the first meeting.

“I think this has a lot of promise,” Viera says. “If there is a problem, hopefully we can figure that out. But, it’s definitely something we should look at now, sooner than later.”

Brew Bus Coming!

Brew Bus Brewing, Inc., the company behind Florida Avenue Brewing Co. and Brew Bus Brewing, has officially announced that it has purchased the former Sports + Field location on S.R. 56. The new owners will convert Sports + Field into a brewery with a beer garden, full-service restaurant and event space.

The 34,000-sq.-ft., two-floor facility in Wesley Chapel originally opened in 2005 as a $10.5-million multi-purpose fitness center that trained professional athletes while also offering fitness programs for local residents. It closed in 2015.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Brew Bus Brewing Inc., Anthony Derby, told the Neighborhood News last month that his company was taking a close look at the property, located at 2029 Arrowgrass Dr., and saw a craft brewery as a missing part of the local Wesley Chapel/New Tampa bar/dining scene.

“We are excited to expand our operations into Pasco County to provide the community with a family-friendly brewery, event and restaurant destination,” Derby said in a statement. “By this time next year, Pasco residents will not only be working in our expanded operation, but also enjoying our products a bit closer to home.”

The completed deal is expected to create 46 new local jobs and more than $8.7 million in new capital investment in Pasco County. 

“It’s great to reactivate a dormant property with high-paying manufacturing jobs in a unique industry,” Bill Cronin, the president/CEO of the Pasco Economic Development Council, said in a press release. “A company like Brew Bus Brewing, Inc., is a win for the whole community, as they embody the ‘live, work, play’ notion so important to our community’s future economic growth.”

Brew Bus Brewing, Inc., created in 2011, currently operates both a brewery on N. Florida Ave. and buses that travel to breweries throughout the Tampa Bay area. In addition to brewing its own Brew Bus beer, the brand expanded in 2015, with the acquisition of Florida Avenue Brewing Co., in an effort to revive one of the area’s most historic breweries.  Both Brew Bus and Florida Avenue brands are distributed throughout the entire state of Florida.

“We are happy to welcome Brew Bus Brewing, Inc., to Pasco,” said District 2 Pasco County commissioner Mike Moore. “Not only are they creating jobs, but their new tasting room and restaurant will be a great destination for residents and tourists alike. Breweries are a huge part of the tourism market.”

For more information about Brew Bus Brewing, visit

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