Cheers Liquor Store Is Open In The Village At Hunter’s Lake, Despite The Owner’s Untimely Passing.

Cheers Liquor Store offers free tastings.

When the Cheers Liquor Store opened a couple of months ago at 8606 Hunters Village Rd. in the Village at Hunter’s Lake plaza (next to Starbucks), Jannah and I met the owners and discussed the possibility of the store advertising in the Neighborhood News.

I ended up not writing about Cheers in that issue and when I went back to take pictures for a write-up a month or so later, the store was closed — on a Saturday — so I put it off for another issue. 

When I went back to Cheers last week, the owner’s son, Ajay Bathija, informed me that his father had passed away the day before I visited when the store was closed.

“The store was my father Daleep’s baby,” Ajay told me, getting understandably emotional. “He designed the store, chose the inventory and then passed away less than two months after it opened.”

Ajay and his family continue to operate Cheers, which has a nice selection of not only unique liquor bottles, fine wines and craft beers, but also gift items like toy cars, fine chocolates like Ferrero Rocher and more. The store also offers free tastings.

For more information, call Cheers at (813) 360-1984 and tell Ajay and his family I sent you. — GN  

New Latin Fusion Cuisine Coming To Cross Creek Blvd.

It’s been something of a rough ride for the former pizza place on Cross Creek Blvd. (behind the Mobil gas station) which originally opened as Hawkeye’s NYS Pizza, and later became Deano’s Pizza, Fish Fiesta and (very briefly) Halal Café. The restaurant is in the process of getting ready to re-open as Macaw, a Latin Fusion restaurant co-owned by the same owner as New Tampa Auto Care, which is located in the same plaza.

Mike, the co-owner, is from Venezuela, but he promises to also have Cuban, Mexican and other Latin cuisine items available.

He says he hopes to open in the next month or two, but based on the picture I was able to take (right) when I visited last week, it looks to be a super-cute new place to eat.

We’ll update you as soon as we have more information.— GN

Here & There, This & That — New Tampa Comings & Goings

• In a previous issue, we told you that Gu Wei Noodles & Grill, the authentic Chinese restaurant that opened in the former location of Sukhothai on Highwoods Preserve Pkwy. at Galbraith Rd. (near the AMC Highwoods 20 movie theater) was closing temporarily to revamp the concept.

Well, when I visited recently, it didn’t appear that the restaurant was getting ready to re-open, so I checked the Chinese restaurant’s website, which thanked its customers for their support the past two years but said, “We’re sorry to announce we’re permanently closed.” 

We had no word at our press time what, if anything was moving into the space.

• Meanwhile, it looks as though the final two spaces in the Village at Hunter’s Lake plaza will be filled within the next couple of months, as Woof Gang (pet) Bakery & Grooming (which has a location on S.R. 56) will open between The Coder School & Poke Island Plus, and Caribbean Mystique Massage & Wellness Spa, which currently is located in the New Tampa Professional Park in Pebble Creek, will open next to the UPS Store in Hunter’s Lake. We’ll update you as to when these will open soon. — GN

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