A mini golf course, being built by Ryan Mortti (who also happens to own the new Mahana Fresh restaurant in New Tampa), is currently in the design phase in The Grove at Wesley Chapel and could break ground by early September.

The course will be in front of The Grove theater and will be visible from I-75. According to Mortti, the course will feature a Hawaiian theme, with tiki huts and other tropical and water features.

By day, the course will keep golfers shielded from the sun with overhead sail shades and, at night, the holes will be illuminated with neon lights and glow-in-the-dark flags and balls.

“We’re looking to make it as comfortable as possible,” says Mortti. “We’d like to see at least 70 percent of it or so covered for shade.”

DON’T AXE ME WHEN: The Kilted Axe, plagued by permitting issues and a few aborted grand openings due to issues related to Covid-19, now has new owners.

Former minority partners in the Kilted Axe Brian and Rebecca DeCook have purchased the axe-throwing venue from previous primary owners Michael and Alicia Esenwein and hope to have it open sometime this month, with leagues beginning in mid-September.

The Kilted Axe, originally cast as a hip beer-and-wine bar and hangout for axe-throwing enthusiasts, as well as a venue for corporate events and leagues, was the first project to break ground within The Grove since the 200-acre retail development was purchased by developer Mark Gold, and it appeared ready to open on time back in January, when its original opening was scheduled. More than 3,700 people replied on Facebook that they were interested in attending that opening.

Permitting issues caused a delay in those plans, and a smaller, soft opening was held in February. An official ribbon cutting, later scheduled for March 7 and then moved to March 28, was then scrapped due to Covid-19 concerns.

The new owners say they plan to carry out the original plans. Rebecca says the most noticeable changes will be inside, where the facility’s original rustic look is getting a makeover into something more upscale and “more Armature Works-style, something that fits into the aesthetics here (at the Grove).”

Otherwise, the original vibe is expected to be the same.

“We plan on making the Kilted Axe something fun and something the community will get behind,” Brian says. “It’s going to be safe, healthy and fun. We think it’s a great business idea and that it’s going to be very successful.”

FEEL THE POWER: Power Martial Arts is the latest business to open in The Grove.

Owned by martial arts master instructors Matt Brown and his wife Lori, who have been teaching at Avalon Park and other locations in and around Wesley Chapel the past five years, Power Martial Arts began holding classes on July 20.

Matt, a 6th degree black belt (Lori is a 7th degree black belt), said he has been eyeing The Grove location for years, but due to inaction in the development, held off while teaching in Lake Bernadette in Zephyrhills and Avalon Park. “We think now that Mark bought the Grove, this is a really good location,” he says. 

The Browns started Power Martial Arts in 2006 in Billings, MT, before moving to Florida. They teach five different martial arts styles, from Jiu-Jitsu to Tang Soo Do, or Korean Karate. They offer classes for children, teens and adults, as well as family classes. Classes in other self-defense methods and anti-bullying safety also are available.

Power Martial Arts is located at 6027 Wesley Grove Blvd., Suite 201. For additional information, visit PowerMartialArts.com.

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