Frances Belisle
New Tampa Financial Center leader Frances Belisle (with scissors) cuts the ribbon, with members of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce, at the new BB&T Bank branch on Doña Michelle Dr. at Bruce B. Downs Blvd. on Apr. 16.

The latest &greatest news about dining, shopping, retail and more in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel.

World Of Beer to leave, Ciccio’s to replace it?

Although former Tampa Palms Ciccio’s Lodge managing partner Robert Garofano couldn’t confirm anything about his restaurant reopening in the same space, we do know for certain that the World of Beer (WoB) in the Shoppes at The Pointe plaza in Tampa Palms is closing — and could already be closed as early as the day you receive this issue in your mailboxes.

The WoB anchor space in this difficult plaza with limited parking and tiny parking spaces (which originally was expected to be an Old Chicago restaurant) has been through a few different incarnations since the plaza opened five or so years ago, but WoB definitely seemed to be the most successful endeavor in that location, especially considering how successful some of the other WoB locations are (including the two nearest to us now.

Garofano says that the Ciccio’s management group, which also owns multiple successful restaurants in South Tampa (including Water sushi restaurant, Daily Eats, The Lodge, The Lime and Ciccio’s), has been looking at the WoB space, but at our press time, no announcement was imminent.

We hope you’ll check our website,, for updates about Ciccio’s, a possible new location for Sushi Tsu Japanese restaurant and other same-day dining news. If we get any finalized, announce-able dining info before our next issue hits your mailboxes, we will make it our “News Item of the Day” on our website, so stay tuned!

Coffee Beanery also closing?

Although, at our press time, no formal announcement had been made, despite our efforts to reach the owners, we have been told by a reliable source that the Coffee Beanery Café in the same Shoppes at The Pointe plaza also was getting ready to close.

We also know that the Beanery hasn’t replaced its broken espresso machine for several months (not a good sign for a coffee shop) and I personally was on hand at the Beanery more than once (because I’m a fan) when the space was being shown by Realtors to possible new tenants during regular business hours, which isn’t good for business if a place plans to stay open. But, we’ll keep you posted.

BB&T cuts a ribbon at former Krispy Kreme locale

Although a few of us miss having a Krispy Kreme Donuts shop at the corner of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. and Doña Michelle Dr., just north of I-75, there’s no doubt that the new BB&T (Branch Banking & Trust Co.) Bank that recently opened in the space previously occupied by Krispy Kreme, is already proving to be a great community partner.

New Tampa BB&T Financial Center leader Frances Belisle and her team were on hand for the new branch’s Grand Opening and New Tampa Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting on April 16. A few dozen people got to enjoy a delicious breakfast from the nearby New Tampa Panera Bread and find out more about BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT), which is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $178.5 billion in assets and market capitalization of $21.6 billion, as of June 30, 2012.

Based in Winston-Salem, NC, the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, DC, and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others.

The New Tampa BB&T is located at 17502 Doña Michelle Dr. For more info, call 1-(800) BANK BBT (226- 5228) or visit

AliBaba Hookah Lounge to open in Cross Creek Center

For those of you already “hooked” on the whole hookah water pipe flavored tobacco craze and those who have heard about it but never tried it, the AliBaba Hookah Lounge (10038 Cross Creek Blvd., in the Cross Creek Center plaza), which is set to open by around May 1 in the Cross Creek Center plaza, is the place for you. AliBaba will have about a dozen tables, lots of hookah pipes and flavored (all legal) tobaccos, plus a variety of coffee and other beverages, sandwiches, desserts and more (but no beer, wine or alcohol).

For more info, call 991-1216.

Café Olé’s busy May!

As if being one of the last true sitdown, non-chain fine dining restaurants in New Tampa isn’t enough, if you’ve never been to Café Olé (10020 Cross Creek Blvd., also in the Cross Creek Center), or it’s been a while you’ve been, you owe it to yourself to visit this outstanding “Taste of the Mediterranean” restaurant this month.

It starts on Cinco de Mayo (Sunday, May 5), when Café Olé is will offer special menu items and $2 Corona bottles. The May festivities continue on Mother’s Day (Sunday, May 12), when Café Olé will feature your choice of eight tapas (appetizers) and eight entrées (see the ad on pg. 53 for the full menu) to enjoy with your mom, your wife or other significant other. And finally, on Saturday, May 18, Café Olé will offer the latest installment of its popular flamenco show, with a great dinner deal with your choice of three tapas, three entrées and three desserts.

For reservations and more information about these great events, plus open hours and more, call 907-5242 or visit

Happy Cow grand opening!

A little north of the Pasco County line, at 1646 BBD, next to the Bonefish Grill in the Shoppes at New Tampa plaza, Happy Cow Frozen Yogurt, Sorbet & Gelato will celebrate its Grand Opening on Friday, May 10, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Co-owner/GM and Wesley Chapel resident Ray Perez says there will be plenty of free yogurt, sorbet and soft-serve gelato samples given away (while supplies last) that day, as well as prizes (restrictions apply) and even balloon animals. And, the first 100 customers that day will receive a 20-percent discount. The store, which is expected to open a few days before the Grand Opening, also will offer 60 toppings and sauces, as well as fresh-baked cookies and brownies.

For additional information, visit or call 531-5421.

Pura Cycling cuts a ribbon

The Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) continues to get involved in the Wesley Chapel business community and this time of year is always busy for Chamber ribbon cuttings and events. The most recent ribbon-cutting ceremony we attended was on April 2 for Pura Indoor Cycling Studio (1822 BBD, in the Shoppes at New Tampa plaza, near Publix) which opened last December, but as many businesses do, waited several months before celebrating. For more info, call 501-2124 or visit

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