The unsightly former Ruby Tuesday property will get a trim before construction begins on a new Aldi supermarket at the same location.

As he is wont to do (see AMC Theater, the old Sweetbay store, etc.), Tampa City Councilman Luis Viera met with code enforcement officials last week in an attempt to have the area around the closed Ruby Tuesday restaurant cleaned up.

Now owned by Aldi, which has yet to begin construction on its store on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., Viera requested that someone come take care of the overgrown foliage around the former restaurant.

Viera got some good news — not only have Aldi officials said they will come clean the area up — which they did — they also confirmed that construction is set to begin construction on the New Tampa location soon. The German supermarket chain recently opened a location in Wesley Chapel in front of the Costco on S.R. 56.

(TACO) SHELL GAME: The Shell station on Doña Michelle Dr. could soon be a Circle K gas station, according to paperwork filed with the City of Tampa.

If those plans go forward, it could mean the end of the popular Taco Bell located adjacent to the current Circle K. According to information presented at a pre-application consultation last month, Circle K Stores Inc. is looking to redevelop the existing Shell gas station to become a larger Circle K gas station, and according to the preliminary concept, that would involve transforming the current convenience store to a 5,187-sq.-ft. store.

The Taco Bell would be replaced in Circle K’s plans by five parking spots and a sitting area, as well as a second proposed entrance/exit behind the convenience store.

Pre-application consultations are very conceptual and very vague, however. Here’s hoping this doesn’t mean the end of late-night taco and burrito runs.

LEGAL WEED: The Mattress1 One store in the Shoppes of New Tampa plaza in front of the New Tampa Home Depot (not to be confused with the Shoppes at New Tampa in Wesley Chapel; see below) has closed, and plans have been filed to transform the former store into a VidaCann medical cannabis dispensary.

According to county records, the location, which is across BBD from Panera Bread and next door to MIT Computers, will undergo a $90,000 renovation. 

It will be New Tampa’s first dispensary, and the second Tampa location for VidaCann, joining a location on W. Kennedy Blvd. that opened in 2018. For more information, visit

THE BEALLS TOLLS: The Bealls store (above) in the Shoppes at New Tampa plaza on BBD in Wesley Chapel is being replaced and will become a Ross Labels For Less store.

Bealls’ parent company Stage Stores, Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on May 11. Ross is the largest off-price retailer in the U.S. It is a popular place to pick up name brand items at affordable prices, hence the tagline “Dress for Less.”

The $250,000 Bealls demolition job began on July 1.

MORE WESLEY CHAPEL: The new Ross could have a new neighbor soon — Keke’s Breakfast Cafe, a popular Florida-only chain of about 50 restaurants throughout the state; the nearest locations are in Lutz, Temple Terrace and Carrollwood. The signs on the former real estate office tease that the breakfast joint is “coming soon,” although we are hearing that Keke’s is on hold at the moment, also likely due to Covid-19.

• Miller’s Ale House, which will be a new link in a popular Orlando-based franchised chain of sports-themed bar/restaurants, is officially under construction now in the Cypress Creek Town Center on the southwest corner of S.R. 54 and the Wesley Chapel Blvd. extension, across the street from the new Aldi grocery store.

• The Morgan Auto Group is beginning construction on its new 130,000-sq.-ft., seven-story (which will make it the tallest building in Wesley Chapel) BMW of Wesley Chapel, on S.R. 56, adjacent to the existing Mini of Wesley Chapel dealership (also owned by Morgan Auto Group), just east of I-75.

• Right across S.R. 56 from BMW (on Silver Maple Pkwy.), the long-awaited (plans were first filed in 2014) Volkswagen of Wesley Chapel dealership is much further along, as the building is now standing and the construction is continuing.

The Volkswagen dealership will feature a 21,796-sq.-ft. first floor, a 5,990-sq.-ft. second floor and a 2,604-sq.-ft. car wash.

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