Research by Joel Provenzano
With so many bigger construction projects still on the horizon, here’s the latest on a number of new businesses now open or getting ready to open in the Wesley Chapel area:
Starbucks & Avis
These new buildings — Avis Car Rental (635 sq. ft.) and Starbucks (2,568 sq. ft; photo, above) — are located a few lots from each other, set in from Wesley Chapel Blvd./S.R. 54 (immediately adjacent to the southbound I-75 off ramp) at The Grove. Avis, which currently is only a wood frame, is located between the Cracker Barrel and the strip plaza that includes Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. (BWB); Starbucks is next to the Marathon gas station.
Construction of the Avis has been moving quickly, as it was just permitted in October, and is expected to be done this spring. Avis has more than a dozen locations across Tampa Bay, but currently the closest one to us is on N. Florida Ave., south of E. Fowler Ave., in Tampa.
We first told you about this Starbucks in May of 2022 and many locals have wondered when the project will be done. The plans were initially filed in 2022, but then withdrawn and resubmitted in the summer of 2023, hence the reason for the delay.
This large Starbucks will be unique and offer something not seen at any of the other stores in our area — double menu board ordering lanes (something you might normally see at a newer McDonald’s) and should make the drive-through more efficient.
The final touches are being put on the building’s exterior now, as the permits for the store’s illuminated signs were just approved at the end of December. A banner with the Starbucks logo that says “Coming Soon” is hanging on the front railing as a placeholder and a Starbucks spokesperson says the new location should be open by sometime in February.
Flying The Coop
In a Facebook post shortly before we went to press with this issue, the owners of King of the Coop, the Nashville hot chicken place that started in Seminole Heights, had closed its location at 27835 Wesley Chapel Blvd. (next to BWB) in front of The Grove as of Jan. 1.
King of the Coop also relocated its original Florida Ave. location to just south of the Front Porch restaurant on Florida Ave. in Seminole Heights, but that location also has closed.
The Facebook post blamed the closing of the Wesley Chapel restaurant on economic conditions across the Tampa Bay area that has indeed caused many businesses to be shuttered, but both several other new local fried chicken competition (Chick’n Fun, Slim Chickens, The Chicken Boss, etc.) and a difficult-to-read sign (at least from the road) may have contributed to its closing, too.
Spot X Hotel Renovations
The small (78-room) hotel that has had several other names at 5703 Oakley Blvd. is now the second privately-owned location of Spot X Hotel (the other is in Orlando).
Officially known as “Spot X Hotel Tampa Bay by the Red (Roof Inn) Collection,” the hotel is open and is expected to undergo a $1.2-million renovation that was originally supposed to begin in December but is now scheduled to start sometime next month.
For more information, call (813) 973- 1665 or visit RedRoof.com.
Paradise Grills Is Open; AutoNation May Be, Too
Here are updates on two new businesses we have been telling you about for a while in these pages:
The new Paradise Grills (photo, left) opened at 2705 Creek Grass Way (on the south side of S.R. 56 east of Rock & Brews) on Dec. 21 and it is an awesome showroom that anyone who owns a house with a back yard should definitely check out.
Paradise Grills specializes in not just grills, but full-on outdoor kitchens that will be delivered and installed for one price. If you want a built-in bar, large-screen TVs, a fire pit, tiki hut and/or unique patio furniture, Paradise Grills — which has 45 showrooms in six U.S. states (including 29 in Florida) — is your one-stop shop.
For more info, call (813) 328-2545 or visit ParadiseGrillsDirect.com.
Meanwhile, the AutoNation USA used car lot located at 2807 Creek Grass Way (just south of Cigars International, next to the Tampa Premium Outlets), wasn’t quite open at our press time, but appeared to be very close to opening, so it actually may be open by the time you receive this issue.
The huge lot already had a large collection of vehicles ready to be sold as we went to press and the big service department was buzzing with activity in anticipation of the opening.
For more info, call (813) 776-2811 or visit AutoNationUSA.com.