Volume 19 Issue 2
Inside: Win Tickets To The Straz Center! See page 27!
January 15, 2011
The Direct-Mail News Magazines Serving Wesley Chapel & New Tampa Since 1993! THE INDEPENDENT COMMUNITY NEWS MAGAZINES DIRECTLY MAILED TO: WESLEY CHAPEL: Aberdeen • Belle Chase • Brookside • Chapel Pines • Country Walk • Lexington Oaks • Meadow Pointe • New River • Northwood • Pinewalk • Pine Ridge • Saddlebrook • Saddleridge Estates • Saddlewood • Seven Oaks • Lakes at Northwood • The Villages of Wesley Chapel • Wesley Pointe • Westbrook Estates • Williamsburg NEW TAMPA: Arbor Greene • Cory Lake Isles • Cross Creek • Grand Hampton • Heritage Isles • Hunter’s Green • Hunter’s Key • K-Bar Ranch • Lake Forest • Live Oak Preserve • Pebble Creek • Richmond Place • Tampa Palms • West Meadows
Wesley Chapel Medical Center Construction Is Under Way By Michael Smith The once-sleepy hamlet of Wesley Chapel has taken perhaps its largest step ever towards becoming a modern metropolitan area when a groundbreaking ceremony for the community’s firstever full-service hospital was held in Wiregrass Ranch last month. The December 14 groundbreaking, which took place at the site of the planned 80-bed facility – 52 acres that lie a half-mile north of S.R. 56 on the east side of Bruce B. Downs Blvd., within the Wiregrass Ranch Development of Regional Impact (DRI) – was the culmination of a collaborative effort between University Community Hospital (UCH) and the Adventist Health System (AHS). The two healthcare companies officially merged under the AHS banner earlier in 2010, but originally, they each had sought to build a hospital in the area. The two joined forces after the state Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) denied their individual
Certificate of Need (CoN) applications in 2006. The following year, the two companies announced that they would form a joint venture to build the new hospital, and their new CoN application was subsequently approved by the AHCA over another application submitted by the Baycare Health System, which had proposed building a teaching hospital in conjunction with the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine. The new hospital was originally proposed for a site across from the Saddlebrook Resort & Spa, but it was relocated to the Wiregrass site after residents in the area of the first site voiced opposition to the plan. All of the legal wrangling delayed the start of construction on the hospital for several years, but really, it was a much longer process than that, according to Don Porter, the patriarch of the ranching family that originally settled the 5,000-acre Wiregrass Ranch property before opening it up to development a few years ago.
The Wesley Chapel Medical Center will be the focal point of the Wiregrass Ranch development.. Bruce B. Downs Blvd. is the road to the far left. The Shops at Wiregrass mall is located a half-mile south of the planned hospital. At the groundbreaking ceremony, Porter talked about growing up in a cabin on the land just a few yards away from the site of the new hospital, and said that a plane had crashed there in 1943. He said that the entire crew of the plane had died because there were
no doctors in the area at the time. Porter also told of a ranch hand who had been injured in an accident a few years later who had to be treated by a veterinarian. “But now, our family is proud to be a small part of helping this See “Hospital” on page 6.
Fireworks + Dry Conditions = New Year’s Day Brush Fires
School Board Approves Boundary Changes, A Look Back At The Top News Stories Of 2010, A Visit To AAP Fitness & Much More!
Our Editor’s 2010 Restaurant Favorites, A Tasty Review Of Asian Buffet & Your Chance To Win Tickets To ‘A Night Of Stars’ At The Straz Center!
See pages 3-22!
See pages 23-36!
NEWS, BUSINESS, SPORTS & EDUCATION UPDATES
one of eight that were reported on New Year’s Day in and around the Bay area, Fogler said. The largest consumed 78 acres near Dade City and came close to threatening several homes before being extinguished. Although its cause also is still under investigation, fireworks also are suspected. Fogler added that in spite of recent rain, the threat of wildfires in our area is still elevated, because freezing weather in December further dried out vegetation that was already parched by drierSee “News Briefs” on page 4.
Also Inside This Issue!
approximately 25 acres of undeveloped land on the south side of S.R. 56 in Wesley Chapel. According to Forestry spokesman Dave Fogler, witnesses reported seeing some people in the Northwood subdivision lighting fireworks before the brush fire broke out. Fortunately, Fogler said, winds gusting towards the north kept the fire away from homes in the subdivision, but smoke drifting over the roadway did cause fire officials to close down a portion of S.R. 56 near the intersection of Bruce B. Downs Blvd. for about an hour. There were no accidents that were reported as being caused by the smoke, however, and Fogler said the cause of the fire is still under investigation. The Wesley Chapel fire was just
PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID TAMPA FL PERMIT 2801
While some area residents welcomed the New Year with the age-old tradition of setting off fireworks in their backyards and driveways, others unfortunately had the job of fighting the brush fires that those fireworks were
ultimately blamed for causing. According to a report from the Florida Division of Forestry, there were a number of brush fires that sprang up all around the Tampa Bay area on New Year’s Day which were suspected of having been caused by errant fireworks, including one that burned across
Dated Material Please Rush!
By Michael Smith
For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 2 • Januar y 15, 2011 • www.WCNeighborhoodNews.com
Grand Hampton $184,900 Maintenance-free, luxury end-unit townhome w/3BR, bonus room, 2.5BA, 2 car garage & 2,304 sf. Granite countertops, 42â€? upper cabinets, stainless steel appliances
Lexington Oaks $139,900 Move-in Ready! Immaculately maintained 4BR/2BA home. 1,956 sf w/partial pond/ conservation views, vaulted ceilings, water softener, built-in desk and eat-in kitchen
Meadowood Estates $84,900 Move-in Ready, no complications. Hidden gem with large fenced backyard. 3BR, 1BA, 1CG & 987 SF. Eat-in kitchen, spacious family room, great location.
Town â€˜nâ€™ Country $280,000 Pool home on close to an acre of property w/4BR, 3BA, 2 separate 2 car garages, & VI6WDLQOHVVVWHHOĂ€UHSODFHSULYDWHODnai off master, living room, & 2 water heaters
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Seven Oaks $250,000 Conservation views, upgrades galore, 5BR, 3BA, & 2,881 sf. Granite counters, maple cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, formal living room, formal dining room, split plan
The Preserve at Lake Thomas $179,000 Spectacular pool home in gated community offers 3BR, 2BA, 2CG & 2,174 sf. Open Ă RRUSODQIRUPDOGLQLQJURRPQDWXUDO wood beams throughout, & fenced yard
Arbor Greene $242,000 Spacious pool home w/4BR, 3BA, 2CG & 2,275 sf. Fenced yard, formal dining room, formal living room, vaulted celiings, split EHGURRPĂ RRUSODQZHOOPDLQWDLQHG
Tampa Palms $399,900 6LJQDWXUHKRPHZ%5RIĂ€FHERQXVURRP 3BA, 3,526 sf, 3 car garage & fenced yard. Granite, center island, formal dining room, SRUFHODLQ JUDQLWHĂ RRULQJXSJUDGHVJDORUH
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
West Meadows $185,000 Conservation views from this 4BR, 3BA KRPHZLWKRIĂ€FHFDUJDUDJHIHQFHG\DUG 2,496 sf. Formal areas, Large secondary bedURRPVEXLOWLQGHVNVLQRIĂ€FHÂľFDELQHWV
The Reserves-Tampa Palms $1,000,000 Private, gated retreat with water views and sophisticated elegance. Custom built Mediterranean pool home with 4BR, study, bonus, 4.5BA, 3CG & 5,579 sf.
Clearwater - Sand Key $395,000 Gulf front condo w/ white sand beaches & IDQWDVWLFDPHQLWLHV0LQWUGĂ RRUXQLWZ 3BR, 2BA, & 1,630 sf. Chefâ€™s kitchen, generous sized great room, & private balcony.
Forest Acres $80,250 Updated home with 3BR, 2BA & 1,476 sf. Granite tile counters, brick backsplash, beveled cabinets, neutral dĂŠcor, carport, large fenced yard, mature oaks.
Call Team Bohannon 344-4131
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
Call Team Bohannon 379-9578
For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 â€˘ Volume 19, Issue 2 â€˘ Januar y 15, 2011 â€˘ www.WCNeighborhoodNews.com
Here’s A Shocker: A Reader Compliments The S.R. 54 Road Work! To the Editor: Most people complain, but few compliment, so I would sincerely like to compliment all the construction people working on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. and S.R. 54. They have done one heck of a job of keeping traffic moving as they very methodically work on one side at a time, keeping two lanes going and, for the most part, keeping the entrances to area businesses open. Road construction isn’t always pleasant, but these people are doing their best to make a construction situation tolerable...and boy, the end of it will be worth it! Marlene Short Wesley Chapel I was stunned that long-time reader Marlene Short sent in this letter because, in my nearly 17 years of doing this same job, I have received precious few letters complimenting any governmental entity/contractor regarding road construction. But, I have to admit that I agree with Marlene, especially considering that S.R. 54 was one of the toughest local road projects to begin because, unlike Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., which is bordered on all sides by large, planned communities, S.R. 54 was Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News 15345 Amberly Dr., Tampa, FL 33647 Phone: (813) 910-2575 Fax: 910-2483 Website: WCNeighborhoodNews.com Adv. E-mail: Ads@NTNeighborhoodNews.com Editorial E-mail: NTNNEdit@yahoo.com
Publisher & Editor Gary Nager Managing Editor Michael Smith Correspondent Melissa O’Brien
Advertising Sales & Customer Service Managers Nikki Bennett • Kelly Porter * David Zacharia
Art Director Tony Sica Office Assistant
Billing Manager Ashley Knoblach Distribution Assistant
Nothing that appears in Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News may be reproduced, whether wholly or in part, without permission. Opinions expressed by Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News writers are their own and do not reflect the publisher’s opinion. The deadline for outside editorial submissions and advertisements for Volume 19, Issue 4, of Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News is Tuesday, January 31, 2011. Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News will consider previously non-published outside editorial submissions if they are double spaced, typed and less than 500 words. Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News reserves the right to edit and/or reject all outside editorial submissions and makes no guarantees regarding publication dates. Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News will not return unsolicited editorial materials. Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News reserves the right to edit &/or reject any advertising. Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News is not responsible for errors in advertising beyond the actual cost of the advertising space itself, nor for the validity of any claims made by its advertisers. © 2011 JM2 Communications, Inc.
An editorial by Gary Nager dotted with much smaller, individually-owned parcels. That fact alone meant that Pasco County officials had to have all of their ducks in a row as they went about purchasing and/or condemning a multitudinous multitude of parcels along this most overcrowded of local roadways before the construction could ever begin. Marlene didn’t also applaud, but I surely will, the fact we reported in August that the State Department of Transportation’s review committee and the county also made a major concession to the residents of the two communities (SaddleRidge Estates and Citrus Trace) located off of Caroline Dr. at S.R. 54 when they changed the original plan — which would have forced those residents to make Uturns onto and off of 54 in order to enter or exit their communities. The addition of an at least temporary median break (the developer of a new subdivision called Estate Woods, located between Caroline Dr. and Tupper Rd., will eventually move the median break to, and add a light at, Tupper Rd.) and turn lanes at Caroline Dr. shows that residents can make their voices heard by local governments. I also have to agree that it seems that the previously neverending tieups
on 54 just east of the Publix-anchored Hollybrook Plaza (basically in front of Applebee’s and Super Buffet) have somehow already improved, even though the project is still in progress. On the other hand, while managing editor Michael Smith was unable to get confirmation from Pasco County about this prior to our press time for this issue, we also have heard (from a number of the still-suffering businesses in the area) that the completion of the BBD widening south of 54 is taking a little longer than planned to reach completion, as we originally heard that the widening of BBD from S.R. 54 all the way south to County Line Rd. could be completed by the end of 2010. Now, that project is not expected to be completed until March of this year. Even so, with the recent groundbreaking on the Wesley Chapel Medical Center on BBD a little north of S.R. 56 (see page 1) , the expansion of the S.R. 56/BBD intersection into one of the largest in the entire country, the impending building of a Pasco-Hernando Community College (PHCC) campus near the hospital and the commencement of the widening
of Interstate 75 from north of Fowler Ave. to north of S.R. 54 (which is expected to begin within the next month or so), it appears that Wesley Chapel’s future is very bright indeed. The key is for the businesses in the area to somehow make it through those times, so we hope that you will make every effort to get out and support those businesses with your hardearned money. And of course, we also sincerely hope that you’ll tell the businesses that advertise in this publication that we were the ones who sent you!
Table of Contents LOCAL NEWS, BUSINESS, EDUCATION & SPORTS UPDATES...............................Pages 1-22 News Briefs (cont. from page 1)...................................4 School Board Approves Boundary Changes Illegal Electric Hook-Up Leads Cops To Grow House Man Hit By Car After I-75 Accident Three-Car Collision Under Investigation Holiday Thieves Were Busy In Our Area Wharton Locked Down After Report Of Weapon Hospital (cont. from page 1)........................................6 2010 News Year In Review............................................10 New Tampa Community Calendar..................12-13
Local Business Updates............................16-21 Custom Car Shows Both Successful......................................16 Shops At Wiregrass Mall To Host Upcoming Events..........17 AAP Fitness Can Help You Get Started!...............20-21
Neighborhood Magazine How Do Your Favorite Local Restaurants Match Up With Ours?.........................................................23, 30-31 Local ‘Idols’ Sing To Benefit The Homeless...............24 Realty Office Collects Food For The Needy...............25 Win Tix To “Night Of Stars” At The Straz Ctr!...25 Snap Fitness Can Help You Keep Your Resolution!....26 Ballet Students Shine In ‘The Nutcracker’..................28 Liang’s Bistro Is Still Our Readers’ Favorite Asian Cuisine!..29 Neighborhood Nibbles.........................................................32 Seafood Lovers Should Definitely Visit Asian Buffet............33 . . WESLEY CHAPEL COLOR CLASSIFIEDS........34
For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 2 • Januar y 15, 2011 • www.WCNeighborhoodNews.com
“News Briefs” Continued from page 1 than-usual conditions over the previous months. A Forestry Division forecast also is predicting a higher-thanusual potential for brush fires throughout 2011 in Florida, thanks to a prevailing La Nina weather pattern that has shown a connection with increased fire activity in the past. Fogler says that accidentally setting a wildfire is a misdemeanor, but if a person is convicted, he or she also can be held responsible for the expense involved in fighting the fire they started, and he recalled one case where that bill exceeded $30,000.
School Board Tentatively Approves New Boundaries Despite protests from a number of unhappy parents (and some students), the members of the Pasco County School Board in December unanimously approved boundary changes for several schools in the Wesley Chapel and Dade City areas. The changes would affect some students who currently are within the attendance boundaries for Dr. John Long Middle School and Wiregrass Ranch High, both of which are located in the Wiregrass Ranch Development of
Regional Impact in Wesley Chapel. Under the new proposal, those students would attend Thomas E. Weightman Middle and Wesley Chapel High beginning in the 2011-12 school year. The plan also calls for some other students who currently are zoned for Long Middle School to be moved to Raymond B. Stewart Middle School in Zephyrhills. District officials say the changes are necessary to relieve overcrowding at both Long Middle and Wiregrass Ranch High. Although recent enrollment figures have been relatively flat, both of those schools are seriously over capacity, while some others, including Wesley Chapel High, Pasco High, and Stewart Middle are all under capacity. As is always the case when school attendance boundary changes are proposed, some parents are unhappy with the plan, and several of those attended the School Board hearing on December 21 to vent their displeasure. One mother, from the relatively new subdivision of Ashley Pines in Wesley Chapel, even brought in a petition opposing the changes which she said was signed by 70 percent of the residents of that subdivision. She also presented the School Board members with an alternative plan that she said would allow the students living in Ashley Pines to remain at Long Middle and Wiregrass Ranch, rather
than be transferred to Weightman and Wesley Chapel High. School Board chairwoman Joanne Hurley said that she would review the mother’s proposal, but would not commit to altering the current plan, which was devised by a committee made up of parents, school administrators and District officials. The final vote on the changes will be held at the School Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, January 28, at the District offices in Land O’Lakes. For more information about the proposed boundaries, including maps, visit the Pasco County School District website at Pasco.k12.fl.us.
Another Pot Grow House Found In Wesley Chapel For the second time in two months, an illegal electric connection led authorities to a marijuana growing operation in Wesley Chapel. In the most recent case, it was a Tampa Electric Co. investigator that alerted police to an illegal electric connection at a home at 1713 Upper Rd., in the New River Ranchettes subdivision off Morris Bridge Rd. While executing a search warrant at the home on January 5, vice detectives with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office subsequently discovered 43 marijuana plants and growing equipment.
The occupant of the residence, 48year-old José PerezBermudez, was arrested and charged with one count of cultivation of marijuaJosé Perezna and one count of Bermudez grand theft for the illegal electric connection, which authorities say diverted $2,500 worth of electricity to the home. He was released from custody after posting $7,000 bail. A woman also was arrested in November after another grow house was discovered when an illegal connection supplying power to the growing lights caused a transformer to blow out in a Wesley Chapel neighborhood.
Tampa Man Hit By Car After I-75 Fender Bender A Tampa man was seriously injured in December when he was hit by a car as he was crossing I-75 following a minor traffic accident. According to a report issued by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), Jeffrey Curtis Frandsen, 44, of Tampa was traveling south on I-75 near the Bruce B. Downs Blvd. exit on the afternoon of December 29. At that time, Frandsen’s 2004 Chevy Blazer swerved out of its lane and struck a 2006 Ford
For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 2 • Januar y 15, 2011 • www.WCNeighborhoodNews.com
Explorer driven by 25-year-old Michael Terrell Hallman of Plant City. After the collision, Frandsen stopped his vehicle on the outside shoulder of the roadway, while Hallman stopped on the inside shoulder. Hallman told investigators that Frandsen got out of his vehicle and asked if Hallman was okay, and then tried to run across the interstate. That’s when he was hit, however, by a third vehicle, a 2007 Chevrolet Impala driven by 27year-old Elton Shomari Johnson of Wesley Chapel. Johnson told investigators that he had seen Frandsen but was unable to stop from hitting him. At our press time, Frandsen was listed in good condition at Tampa General Hospital. Neither of the other drivers was injured.
into the eastbound travel lane, where it collided with a 2005 F150 driven by 48-year-old Michael G. Degroot, also of Wesley Chapel. A third driver, 55year-old Paula A. Porton of Tampa, was unable to avoid the vehicles and struck the rear of Degroot’s trailer with her 2009 Pontiac. Degroot was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa with unspecified injuries, while both Sandretzky and Porton received minor injuries. Toxicology reports are pending, and the cause of the crash remains under investigation. FHP is asking anyone who witnessed this accident to call the district office at (352) 797-5737.
Three-Vehicle Crash Is Under Investigation
While most of us were busily preparing for the holidays, thieves were busy as well, victimizing several people in Tampa Palms in the days leading up to Christmas. According to the Tampa Police Dept. (TPD), an unknown suspect kicked in the door of an apartment at the Promenade apartments in Tampa Palms on December 17 and made off with two television sets, jewelry, cash and an ATM card. According to a TPD report, the break-in occurred between 6:30 a.m.
The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) is investigating a three-car pileup in Wesley Chapel that left one man critically injured. According to an FHP report, the crash happened just after noon on January 5, when 28-year-old Matthew B. Sandretzky of Wesley Chapel was traveling west on S.R. 54 near the entrance to the Grand Oaks subdivision. For some reason, Sandretzky’s 2005 Ford F250 pickup truck suddenly swerved
Holiday Thieves Were Busy In Tampa Palms
and 4 p.m. A survey of the neighbors by TPD officers yielded no clues, but the report states that the female occupant of the unit suspects the former tenant, whom she said was recently evicted. TPD said, however, there was no evidence to support that claim. Then, on December 19, a woman who was exercising at the Lifestyles Family Fitness center on Amberly Dr. had the window of her vehicle broken out, and the thief was able to reach in and steal her purse, which was inside the vehicle. There were several credit cards inside the purse, but none were used before the theft was reported and the cards were canceled. Also, sometime between 1 a.m. on December 18 and 8:30 p.m. on December 19, a thief entered an unlocked 1997 Honda Civic that was parked at the Camden Live Oak apartments in Tampa Palms and made off with the vehicle’s electronic control module. Again, a neighborhood survey yielded no suspects.
Reported Weapon Leads To Lockdown At Wharton Students at Wharton High were kept late one day last month after a student reported seeing a weapon in the possession of another student, resulting in a campus-wide lockdown.
According to a report issued by the Hillsborough County School District, the incident took place at around 1:40 p.m. on December 17. That's when a student reported that he had seen another student with a weapon in a boys restroom. The student was quickly identified and searched, but no weapon was found. As a precaution, school security officers searched the other students in the suspected student’s classroom with a hand-held metal detector, and also searched trash cans and lockers, but were unable to find a weapon. According to the release, schools automatically go into lockdown, which means students have to remain inside their classrooms and the classroom doors are locked. In addition, all outdoor activities are suspended and no one is allowed to enter or leave the school until the lockdown ends. The lockdown lasted approximately 90 minutes, and the students were dismissed about 15 minutes late because of it. Neither of the students was identified, nor was the type of weapon that was supposedly seen identified in the report. Possession of a weapon at school is considered a crime, and automatically results in expulsion of the student for the remainder of the school year.
“Hospital” Continued from page 1 hospital come to Wesley Chapel,” he said.Along with Porter, numerous hospital officials and local politicians also spoke at the ceremony, praising the improved access to health care that the new facility will offer to residents of the area, as well as the positive impacts it also will have upon local revenues and employment. “It’s a great day for Wesley Chapel,” said Norm Stein, the former president and CEO of UCH, who was instrumental in the planning of the new hospital. He was
just one of the officials at the ceremony who said that they actually live in the area, and Stein said he was happy to finally see his pet project come to fruition, not only for local residents, but for he and his family, too. According to hospital officials, construction of the new facility, which will only be about ten miles from UCH, will take approximately two years. Initially, the 200,000-sq.ft. hospital will have 80 patient beds, but it will be expandable to up to 300 beds in the future. The facility will offer a full range
Members of the Porter family, representatives of Adventist Health System and University Community Hospital were joined by Pasco County officials at the groundbreaking for the future Wesley Chapel Medical Center. of services, including obstetpital takes advantage of the rics, pediatrics, general surgery, area’s natural scenery, officials an emergency room with a said, and one of the highlights helicopter pad, and a compreof that design will be a healing hensive medical fitness progarden, which got its start with gram for both employees and the planting of a tree at the members of the community. conclusion of the groundThe plan also calls for the con- breaking ceremony. struction of a 100,000-sq.-ft. The dignitaries in attenmedical office building on the dance at the groundbreaking site in a future phase of the also were invited to toss a medical center project. handful of grass seeds into the A major part of the AHS garden, as a symbol of “plantiphilosophy is healing the mind ng the seeds of health care in The Wesley Chapel Medical Center will open with 80 beds, sometime around the end of and spirit as well as the body, the community,” as hospital 2012 or beginning of 2013. It can be expanded to up to 300 beds in the future. so the design of the new hosofficials said.
2010 Will Be Remembered For Oil Spill & Political Upheaval By Michael Smith In our first issue of every year, we typically take a look back at the top news stories of the year before. As we were brainstorming this year, however, we realized that while there were a few stories that stood out from the dozens that we reported, most of the things that 2010 will most be remembered for did not have a great impact on our area, for better or worse. According to a list compiled by the editors of the 2011 World Almanac and Book of Facts, the Top Ten news topics of 2010 were as follows: 1. Republicans Take House, Win Big In State Races. While Republican candidates were capitalizing on voter discontent to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives, the November midterm elections didn’t result in any big surprises on the local level. Although many voters were dismayed by the amount of negative campaigning that took place, and by the scandals that were reported, including allegations of impropriety lodged against long-time Hillsborough County commissioner Jim Norman, who was running for the Florida Senate (a race Wesley Chapel voters helped decide), most of those who were expected to win their races — including Norman —
did end up winning. 2. Economic Recovery Stalls. Wesleyu Chapen and New Tampa have been pretty fortunate in that we don’t seem to have been hit as hard by the economic downturn as have some other areas, although a lot of local businesses are hurting. While it may be of little comfort to those who lost their homes to foreclosure or who had to close up their businesses last year, a quick look around our area shows that home sales are on the rise, and there are still plenty of new businesses opening here. 3. U.S. Winds Down In Iraq, Surges in Afghanistan. While the U.S. military actions overseas continue, many residents and businesses in our area have been actively supporting our troops through fund raisers and other events. We also know that there are plenty of local residents who are among those who are serving in either Iraq or Afghanistan, and we want to thank them for their service to our country and keep them in our prayers. 4. Oil Well Blowout in Gulf Causes Huge Oil Spill. Thankfully, the oil from the spill did not reach the shores of our area in any real amount to do serious damage to the local tourism industry. Of course, many experts say that the full long-term consequences of the spill have yet to be realized.
5. Earthquake Devastates Haiti. & 6. Pakistan Floods Leave 8 Million Homeless. While we had our share of wet and nasty weather in 2010, we were spared any natural disasters on the scale seen in some other areas. We did have some local residents with family members in these horrifically affected places, however, and we hope that by now, at least some of them have recovered from their experiences. 7. U.S. Congress Enacts Comprehensive Healthcare Legislation. Ever a controversial issue, we’re sure there are some families (and health care providers) in our area who are thankful that this long overdue legislation was passed, although not everyone is happy with its ramifications. We’ll have to wait and see how this plays out in time. 8. Debt Crisis Forces European Budget Cutbacks. Again, see item #2 above. 9. Kagan Joins Supreme Court. The addition of Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court marks the first time that three women have served on the high court at the same time. It remains to be seen, however, what effect, if any, this will have on the panel’s future decisions. 10. Olympics & World Cup Showcase International Athletes. I think most of us had a good time
cheering our athletes at the XXI Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC, Canada, where Americans led in the overall medal count by bringing home a total of 9 gold, 15 silver and 13 bronze medals; and at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa this past summer, especially the U.S. team’s thrilling overtime victory against Algeria on June 23. Meanwhile, here in Wesley Chapel, the beat goes on regarding the other major stories of 2010, such as the widening of Bruce B. Downs Blvd. between S.R. 54 and County Line Rd., which is nearing completion, and the widening of 54 itself between the interstate and Curley Rd., which will continue through 2011 (see page 3). And, 2010 also will be remembered as the year we lost a great friend of the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel communities, former New Tampa Community Council president (and former Seven Oaks club manager) Frank Margarella (right), who passed away in March from complications related to food poisoning. His hard work on behalf of the community, through the NTCC, the New North Transportation Alliance and other activities, is truly missed.
WELCOME TO FAMILY & COSMETIC DENTISTRY
Dr. Neeraja Jasthi • Cleanings (Ages 4 and up) • Crowns, Bridges and Implant Crowns • Veneers • Zoom & Take Home Whitening • Root Canals & Extractions
FAMILY & COSMETIC DENTISTRY 20441 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. (across the street from Wharton H.S., in front of Live Oak)
“Let Our Family Be Here For Yours”
Dr. Neeraja Jasthi, DMD
W ESLEY C HAPEL
Wesley Chapel Toastmasters
Monday, January 17 – The new Wesley Chapel Speaks Toastmasters Club meets on the first and third Monday of every month, 6:15 p.m., at Hyundai of Wesley Chapel (26944 Wesley Chapel Blvd.). Club meetings are open to all interested parties. For more information, call 4065931 or visit Toastmastersd84.org.
MOMS Club Monday, January 17 – The Moms Offering Moms Support (MOMS) Club of Wesley Chapel, a non-profit social group for stay-athome mothers, meets at 10 a.m. on the third Monday of each month at the Lexington Oaks clubhouse (26304 Lexington Oaks Blvd.) for activities, field trips and more. For more information, e-mailHeather at WCMoms@yahoo.com.
Free Networking International Monday, January 17 – Free Networking International (FNI), a group of area business owners, meets each Monday for networking and discussion,
8 a.m., at the Lexington Oaks Golf Club (26140 Lexington Oaks Blvd.). For more information, call Stacy Dalton at 469-5499.
Business Networking International Tuesday, January 18 – Business Networking International (BNI), a group of business professionals who work to support each other through qualified business referrals, meets every Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. at Song & Dance Studio (27221 Foamflower Blvd.) in Wesley Chapel. For more information, contact Nancy Cross at 789-7836 or by email at email@example.com.
East Pasco Networking Group Tuesday, January 18 – The East Pasco Networking Group meets every Tuesday morning, 9 a.m., at Beef O’Brady’s (1660 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., in the Shops of New Tampa at Wesley Chapel plaza). For more information, contact Frankie Ammons at 479-7997 or by e-mail at Frankie@studioglory.com.
Networking On The Nines
Tuesday, January 18 – Expand your circle of business contacts while you play 9 holes of “Best Ball” golf for only $15 per person (includes greens fees and cart rental). Tee time is 3 p.m. at the Lexington Oaks Golf Club (26140 Lexington Oaks Blvd.). Call 817-5655 for more info.
Wesley Chapel Rotary Club Wednesday, January 19 – The Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel meets every Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. at Dempsey’s Steak House at Saddlebrook Resort (5700 Saddlebrook Way). For more information, call 8628989 or 391-3895.
Civil Air Patrol Wednesday, January 19 – The Wesley Chapel Civil Air Patrol squadron meets every Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., at Tampa North Aero Park (4241 Birdsong Blvd.). For more information, visit wesleychapelcap.com or call Cheryl Spence at 973-7270.
Networking For Your Success
Thursday, January 20 – The Networking For Your Success group meets every Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-10 a.m., at Song & Dance Studio (27221 Foamflower Blvd.) in Wesley Chapel.
For more information, call John Anglada at 298-3232 or visit NetworkingForYourSuccess.com.
Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble
Thursday, January 20 – Come blow your horn with the Wesley Chapel Wind Ensemble, a community group of brass and woodwind players, which meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. at Crossroads Community United Methodist Church (26211 County Line Rd.). New members are encouraged to join. For more information, contact Glenn at 746-4821 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Business Connections Networking Thursday, January 20 – The Christian Business Connections (CBC) Networking Group meets every Thursday at 8 a.m. at the Lexington Oaks Golf Club (26140 Lexington Oaks Blvd.). The CBC Networking Group is open to all business leader and professionals in New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, and surrounding communities. CBC members’ core philosophy puts God first and bases business decisions on Christian values, both moral and ethical. Christian Business Connections focus on helping each other’s
businesses prosper by networking, sharing ideas and business practices. For more information, call Jeff Hanneken at 600-9200.
WC Sunrise Rotary Friday, January 21 – The Wesley Chapel Sunrise Rotary Club meets every Friday at 7:15 a.m. at the Lexington Oaks Golf Club (26140 Lexington Oaks Blvd.). For more information, call Lynne Wilson at 695-6466.
Funny Divas To Bring Laughs To Temple Terrace Saturday, January 29 – Everyone’s favorite local female comic troupe, the Funny Divas, including New Tampa resident Susan Saiger, will
(Clockwise, from top left): Funny Divas Long Island Mary, Robin Savage, Susan Saiger & Aniria Wilson
present their new show, “Hey, Hey, She’s Funny,” at 8 p.m. at the Backstage Café (8858 N. 56th St., Temple Terrace). Tickets cost $7 per person. For more info, call 293-2511.
Arts In Motion Auditions Friday-Saturday, February 4-5 Arts in Motion Community Youth Theatre & Art Education. Inc., (aka AIM), will hold auditions for its upcoming youth production of “The Sound of Music.” Auditions are open to all students in grades kindergarten through 12. For an application, send an e-mail to Janet Nathe at email@example.com. All applications must be postmarked by January 25. There will be a pre-casting rehearsal on February 1. “The Sound of Music” will be presented at the Eleanor Dempsey Performing Arts Center in Hudson on May 13-15. Tickets will go on sale April 1 at the AIM website, ArtsInMotionPasco.org. Visit the website for more info about AIM, as well as dates for upcoming productions. For other information, contact Patti Corjay at 838-1975 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PACA Thursday, February 10 – The Pasco Alliance of Community Associa-
tions (PACA) will meet at 7 p.m. at the Land O’Lakes Community Center (5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd.). The group’s guest speaker will be Pasco County Superintendent of Schools Heather Fiorentino. For more inforMembers of the Wesley Chapel Republican Club recently premation on PACA, sented an appreciation plaque to Hyundai of Wesley Chapel. contact either memPictured are (L.-R.) club secretary Jean Alley; bership director club president Peter Hanzel; Hyundai of Wesley Chapel GM David Quinones at John Gauvey, and past club president Lynda MacPherson. 991-1505 or club president Joe Wyatt photo and caption) meets on the secat 907-2081, or visit the PACA web- ond Thursday of each month, 7 p.m., site at MyPACA.org. at Wesley Chapel Hyundai (27000 Wesley Chapel Blvd.). New members Wesley Chapel and guests are welcome to attend. Republican Club For additional information, conThursday, February 10 – The tact Peter Hanzel at 907-6614 or at Wesley Chapel Republican Club (see WesleyChapelRepC@aol.com.
ATTENTION COMMUNITY CALENDAR ITEM SUBMITTERS: In order to make sure that our Community Calendar is current, we are asking all club and group representatives to please update their meeting and contact info ASAP for the New Year. To do so, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. You may also submit info by fax at 910-2483 or by regular mail to: New Tampa Neighborhood News, 15345 Amberly Dr., Tampa FL 33647, Attn: Community Calendar. Call 910-2575 if you have any questions. Thank you. — MS
Car Shows Still A Big Draw At Wiregrass Mall & Peabody’s Within the last 30 days, area custom and classic car enthusiasts have had a couple of great events to get excited about. First, on December 18, when Peabody’s in the Shoppes of Amberly plaza in Tampa Palms hosted another successful car show organized by Ultra Evolution and attended by numerous car clubs, car enthusiasts and vendors, and on January 8, when the “Cruisin’ at Wiregrass” Car & Truck Show took center stage at the Shops at Wiregrass mall in Wesley Chapel. This was Ultra Evolution’s third show at Peabody’s in 2010 and even though it started out a bit rainy, it
1320 Engineering was again a proud participant at the Ultra Evolution Car Show at Peabody’s.
ended up being a great day with an enthusiastic crowd that was given the opportunity to share their passion for cars and enjoy some great deals on Peabody’s awesome wings and adult beverages. More than 100 unique cars filled Peabody’s parking lot, with everything from domestic “muscle cars” to European roadsters, there was something for every auto enthusiast. Ultra Evolution provided judges who slected winners in a number of categories, including Best of Show, Car Club, Participation, VIP, Motor, Female, Stance, Wheel/Tire and Cleanest Ride. There also was judging for different classes of cars, such as car maker, Euro and Domestic. A number of local vendors used this car show as an opportunity to display their products and services. Among those was New Tampa resident Jon Pacheco, who began his 1320 Engineering about four years ago. Pacheco’s shop, which is located in Land O’Lakes, specializes in import performance builds and fabrication along with offering a wide range of specialty products for numerous car brands for sale. Many of the cars displayed at the show were worked on by 1320 Engineering. Another vendor at the Peabody’s event, Boost Lab, specializes in turbo
sales, turbo rebuilding and fuel injector cleaning. Other vendors include NOS Energy Drink, Simply Clean, State of Stance, SSP Vinyl, Prosport Gauges, Cianfrocca Detailing, Sun Scion and Toyota and Enhanced Customs. Car clubs that attended were Team Sunworks, Squadron 1 predominantly JDM Hondas, Team Solo, Classic convertibles, like this Pontiac GTO, were Team Styles run by among the favorites at the “Cruisin’ at Wiregrass” “Celi Girl,” Street Dreams, 350z Club of Car & Truck Show on January 8. Photo by Jeff Miller For specialty parts or fabrication Florida, Central Florida Rx8, Cobra from 1320 Engineering, located at Crew, Deviant Concepts, and F1 Body. 4107 Land O’Lakes Blvd. (U.S. 41) This show is an opportunity for the in Land O’Lakes, call 973-8816 or shows to get together as a group and visit 1320Engineering.net. show of their cars. Peabody’s is located at 15333 The Ultra Evolution car show was enjoyed by all who attended, in spite of Amberly Dr. For food and beverage specials and entertainment schedules, the weather, Ultra Evolution is looking call 972-1725 or visit PeabodysBilfor more venues interested in hosting liards.com.For Ultra Evolution Car xar show events. Anyone interested can Shows, visit UltraEvolution.com. visit UltraEvolution.com. You can also For the latest upcoming enterfind more pictures of the event at their tainment and event schedule at the website and on Facebook. All of the Shops at Wiregrass, see the next page venors, sponsors, and hosts can be or visit TheShopsAtWiregrass.com. found on Facebook.
Mall To Host Arts Fest, Band Battle & More It was a busy and successful holiday season for the Shops at Wiregrass mall and its businesses, but the mall isn’t resting on its laurels. The Shops has a great schedule of upcoming entertainment and other events worthy of calendar-marking. First is the 6th annual Suncoast Arts Fest, which will be held at the mall (and other art destinations throughout Pasco County) the weekend of January 22-23. There will be more than 110 artists and craftsmen selling their wares throughout the weekend, plus an “emerging artist”
area, plus great food and live music. Speaking of music, the mall also is seeking local bands for its first “Battle of the Bands” to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Tampa Bay on Saturday, February 19, 2 p.m.-9 p.m., with a total of more than $1,000 in cash and prizes to be awarded to the top three bands. And, the first Saturday of each month, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., the Shops will host its “Fresh Market at Wiregrass,” with great local food, crafts & music. For additional information, visit TheShopsatWiregrass.com.
AAP Fitness Offers Expertise & Encouragement To Help You Get Fit By Michael Smith If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight and/or get into better shape, you could join an ordinary health club or gym to try and meet that often-elusive goal. Or, you could achieve the same results as many of your friends and neighbors already have, with the unique mix of expertise and enthusiasm offered at AAP Fitness, located in the Cory Lake Isles Professional Center on Cross Creek Blvd. in New Tampa. The “AAP” in the company’s name stands for owners Alex and Ashley Poptodorov, who have been providing customized personal training services at their intimate 900-sq.-ft. facility for the past five-plus years. Actually, however, Alex, who is a native of Bulgaria, has been a personal trainer for more than 15 years. Inspired by a father who played hockey on the Bulgarian national team and an uncle Alex (for whom Poptodorov was named), who was very actively involved in health and wellness, as well as by movie and TV musclemen such as Steve “Hercules” Reeves and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Alex says he began
lifting weights when he was 12 years old and his family moved to the U.S. He later expanded his knowledge while studying microbiology at the University of South Florida, and that became the basis of what he calls the “AAP Health & Wellness System.” It wasn’t until he met the vivacious Ashley — a true personal training success story — that Alex was really inspired to open his own training center. Ashley is an amazing success story who attributes her accomplishments to the system that Alex has developed, which includes a custom fitness routine specifically designed for each client, as well as dietary guidelines that focus on fresh fruits and vegetables and other raw, unprocessed foods. Ashley says she was struggling to lose weight after reaching more than 200 pounds when she met Alex, and with his help, she was able to shed 80 pounds and to get into the best shape of her life. Inspired by her own success, Ashley says she then decided that she would make helping others do the same her life’s work. “That’s when I really started wanting to help other people change their lives, just as I had done,” she says.
For the new year, Alex and Ashley Poptodorov invite you to find the more fit, healthier you hiding inside your body at AAP Fitness in the Cory Lake Isles Prof. Center. So, the couple started out with a small training service that they initially operated out of their home, but as word of their success began to spread (and demand for their services began to grow), they eventually moved into the Cory Lake Isles facility. Now, the Poptodorovs offer a variety of programs for men, women and children. They’ve had customers from
ages 8 to 80, and the walls of their facility are lined with photos of some of their clients who, like Ashley, have achieved pretty amazing results. One of those clients is 49-year-old Cheryl Ryan of Wesley Chapel, who says she has been working out with Alex and Ashley for about three years. A long-time runner, Cheryl went to AAP because even though she had
always been fairly fit, she says she wasn’t happy with her weight and wanted to lose another 10-15 pounds. Three months after joining AAP, she dropped 18 pounds and was able to add muscle that lowered her overall body fat into the single digits. “One of the things that they taught me was that it’s not so much about your weight but more about body fat,” Ryan says. “Before that. I think I was just too focused on the number on the scale. Now, I feel great and I am healthier than I have ever been in my life.” After losing her weight, Cheryl says she actually quit going to AAP for a while in 2009, but returned after finding that she actually missed working with Alex and Ashley. “There’s just something about the environment there,” she says. “Ashley and Alex keep up with every client and are very encouraging. Plus, they really walk the walk, too, because you can see they’re both in really great shape.” The Poptodorovs have a variety of programs to fit just about anyone’s personal goals, schedule and budget. They include onsite one-on-one and small group training, in-home personal training and even online training, which they say is ideal for clients who spend a lot of time traveling.
In addition, they’ve recently begun a series of AAP “Fit Camps,” which are similar to the boot camp sessions offered by other trainers, but which include more emphasis on balance and coordination, in addition to weight training and aerobic conditioning. The Fit Camp sessions are offered several times per week, in the mornings and evenings, as well as midday — again, so that they are accessible to most anyone’s schedule. Ashley says that the Fit Camps also are optimal for people of just about any fitness level, because they have multiple instructors who can tailor the workouts for each individual. Participants also are divided up into pairs of similar levels, so that they can help and encourage each other during the sessions. “We pay really close attention to the proper form and injury prevention, so whatever your fitness level, you really can do it,” Ashley says. Ashley also notes that the social aspects of training are a big part of the AAP philosophy, too. Not only do they encourage whole families to work out together, but she also spends a lot of time writing motivational notes and messages that she posts all around the AAP gym and on the company’s website, and she is even in the process of writing an inspirational book about her
own experience, which she calls That’s Not My Shadow Anymore. “I’m a huge believer in the power of positive thinking,” says Ashley. “And a positive attitude is definitely part of our approach, because it helps people deal with everyday stress from the inside out.” Alex says learning the proper technique is an important part Positive of getting the results you expect from your fitness regimen. thinking and self In addition, Alex says he plans to confidence also are part of the inspirabegin offering online dietary consulting tion for another program that AAP will to help everyone learn about the imporbe starting this year, called “AAP’s tance of the nutritional aspects of health Angels,” which Ashley says is designed and wellness. to help some of their advanced female “Studies show that the ideal diet clients get in shape for competitive figfor man is [primarily] raw fruits and ure model, fitness and bikini exhibivegetables, and we made a big mistake tions. Since her transformation, Ashley when we started adding chemicals and has been participating in those events, processing our food,” he says. and she says doing so has really helped AAP Fitness is located at 10335 to build her self-esteem. Cross Creek Blvd., Suite A, in the “Competing is definitely about Cory Lake Isles Professional Center. stepping out and facing your personal For additional information, call 943fears, because that’s when you really 8069, or visit AAPFitness. com. grow,” she says.
We’ve Seen Your List Of Favorite Restaurants; Here’s Mine! By Gary Nager Sadly, many of my favorite restaurants in our area — and yours — closed altogether or at least changed hands in 2010, including my perennial favorite, Circles New Tampa Bistro, as well as Polo’s Italian Grill, the Louis Pappas Market Café and others that have really shaken up my annual favorites rankings, especially in New Tampa. The good news is that there are still plenty of great places in our area, with new ones I hope to add to this list someday opening to replace those that have closed. My Wesley Chapel list of favorites below wasn’t nearly as affected by restaurant closings as my New Tampa list, and it features a few chains and a couple of newcomers, but with many of my long-time favorites still dominating my rankings.
Our editor says this “cowboy” ribeye steak at Dempsey’s is the Best in the Bay! 1. Dempsey’s Steak House, Saddlebrook Resort Tampa Saddlebrook owner Tom Dempsey’s tribute to the country’s best steak-
houses, Dempsey’s is among my top two or three steakhouses in the entire Tampa Bay area, thanks to its (in my opinion) Best-of-the-Bay bone-in cowboy ribeye, thick New York strip steaks, awesome fresh local fish, the top steakhouse hash brown potatoes and the best salad bar anywhere. 2. Bonefish Grill - My favorite Outback-owned concept restaurant. The local fish is always fresh (try the miso sake-cured grouper or sea bass) and the semispicy sauce on the black-and-white sesame seed seared ahi tuna appetizer (above) should be sold by the bottle. And, the awesome bar area features ultra-premium spirits and equally excellent wine specials. 3. Cantina Laredo - I hear a lot of people say it’s too expensive for a Mexican restaurant, but the tableside-prepared guacamole (below), outstanding fajitas and even the fresh
fish have kept Cantina in my top five in Wesley Chapel since it opened. And, the ultra-premium bar enhances its position as my favorite restaurant in the Shops at Wiregrass mall. 4. GrillSmith - Just one notch below Cantina at the Shops at Wiregrass for me, GrillSmith features unique preparations on items like the caprese (mozzarella and tomato) stack, a miso-glazed sea bass, great steaks like the Argentinian-style chimichurri steak and a superb wine list that are all well worth checking out on your next visit. 5. La Prima Pizza - My favorite true New York-style pizza in the Tampa Bay area (which is saying a lot; there actually are a lot of great pizzerias across the Bay area), coupled with excellent Italian cuisine (great lasagne and other pastas), keep La Prima Pizza near the top of my Wesley Chapel list year after year. 6. The Tropics Restaurant, Saddlebrook Resort Tampa Although it’s not open year-round and the menu changes with each incarnation, The Tropics still has the same Dempsey’s steaks and outstanding fresh fish, along with unique pastas. It’s also my favorite Sunday brunch locale in our area. 7. Outback Steakhouse Outback jumped back up a little higher on my list when it brought back its delicious New Zealand rack of lamb and the steaks and remoulade sauce
served with the shrimp on the barbie (even though I don’t eat shrimp anymore) are consistently good. 8. The Hungry Greek - More than just the best gyros and Greek salads in our area, The Hungry Greek’s fried grouper sandwiches, cheeseburgers and even the authentic, decadent Greek desserts, coupled with fast, friendly service, never disappoint. 9. Texas Roadhouse - If not for having the entire wait staff take breaks every hour to line dance, the awesome steaks at the Texas Roadhouse might have kept it even higher on my list. 10. Santo’s Italian Grill Great pizza, even better “create your own pasta” and, with the addition of a premium full liquor bar and excellent, thick-cut prime rib on the weekends, Santo’s is still one of Wesley Chapel’s best-kept secrets. 11. Remington’s Steakhouse - You still can’t beat the value-conscious combination of Outback-quality steaks at outstanding prices at Remington’s, which also has superb baby back ribs, fresh fish and even a free hot buffet for weekday happy hours. 12. Aja Wiregrass - In addition to being the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel area’s top dance locale (and my favorite bar in our area, too), Aja is an underrated restaurant with great fresh snapper, tasty steaks and upscale bar fare. See “Favorites” on page 30.
Karaoke Party To Benefit The Homeless Draws A Crowd! I am proud to say that I have known U.S. Marine reservist Taylor Gardner and his family since Taylor was about five years old. I am also proud to have been able to help Taylor, for the second time in two years, put on a great event that helped people in need. Two years ago, Taylor and yours truly cohosted a karaoke party at Mulligan’s Irish Pub at the Pebble Creek Golf Club (PCGC) to benefit a program that teaches disabled veterans how to handle a kayak without the use of their legs and takes them on some great kayaking adventures. This time, Taylor was back at PCGC, to raise money and collect non-perishable food, clothing and other basic needs to help benefit the thousands of homeless people living in Hillsborough County. At least 150 people brought in those necessities and donated $1 for chances to win some great prizes (many, but not all of which we donated) and to do a little singing with the help of CeCe Productions (973-4221) karaoke on Dec. 14. By the evening’s end, more than $900, plus 6,000 pounds of food and supplies, 2,000 lbs. of which were donated by Hope Presbyterian Church in Lutz, were collected. All of those proceeds were donated to Five and Two Food (FiveandTwoFood.com) and Barefoot Hope (BarefootHope.tumblr.com), through Re:Wired Worship, a ministry of Van Dyke Church on Van Dyke Rd. in Lutz which meets at St. James United Methodist Church of Tampa Palms. Todd Leet, who leads the college programs (Clockwise from top left) Event organizer Taylor Gardner (right) and his friend Aaron step up to the mic. Van Dyke for Re:Wired Worship, called Gardner “A natural Church college programs minister Todd Leet thanked Gardner & everyone in attendance for helping the homeless. The born leader who has heard the calling to help othevening was full of great singers. Boxes filled with warm clothes, blankets and food for the homeless made everyone happy. ers.” I would have to agree. — GN The room inside Mulligan’s Irish Pub at the Pebble Creek Golf Club was full and festive.
Florida Executive Realty Distributes Food To The Needy
Hundreds of needy local families received food and sundries in time for the holidays, thanks to the staff at Florida Executive realty in Tampa Palms. In the spirit of the holiday season, ly was given one bag of food items and Florida Executive Realty, independent another of toiletries. and locally owned since 1992, held a Representatives from Hunter’s food drive to benefit families in need Green, Lewis, Muller and Clark Elefor 7 local schools and2 churches. mentaries, Liberty and Weightman The company’s agents sent letters Middle Schools and Freedom High to their clients enlisting their help in and two local churches came the next providing non-perishable food items, morning to pick up the contributions. toiletries and clothing. These donations Many were surprised to see the stagwere collected at the FER office and by gering amount that was supplied by December, a mountain of goods had the community for this event. flooded the office and needed to be FER is still receiving many donatransferred to the Compton Park recre- tions from generous individuals and ation room. The company gathered businesses in our community and will there on Dec. 3rd to create individual continue to distribute them. bags for distribution. Florida Executive Realty is With all hands on deck, the FER located at 15802 Amberly Dr. For staff was able to create enough bags to more info, call 972-3430 or visit help a total of 110 families! Each fami- FloridaExecutiveRealty.com.
Snap Fitness 24-7 Can Help You Keep Your New Year’s Resolution! By Gary Nager Since you’re receiving this issue on January 14 or 15, I’m assuming that many of you are still hoping to fulfill a resolution to lose weight and get in better shape. If the big, commercial gyms haven’t worked out for you in the past, I suggest visiting Snap Fitness 24-7, which is located in the Shoppes at Pebble Creek plaza on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., across from Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse, in the plaza that has Wendy’s as an outparcel. Owner Jordan Levy says that one of the things that sets Snap Fitness apart from the big gym chains is true 24-7 access. Every member receives a key to the place, which means that you can get in to work out whether you work 9-5, the “graveyard shift,” or have different times on different days when you can get to the gym. “Every member on a month-to-month or annual contract also receives a free consultation with one of our three certified trainers where they get to talk about their goals and expectations and take measurements,” says Levy. “In addition, every client receives a full orientation on how to use the machines.”The strength training machines at Snap Fitness are mainly Cybex machines, which Levy says “are known to be among the best in the business.” Levy and his staff recently held a Grand
Opening party and ribbon cutting with the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce and he says he plans to be active in the Chamber and the community. Snap Fitness also has affordable single, joint and family memberships available. In addition, if you just want to try it out, you can get a free one-week pass to the gym, but the pass only allows you to work out when a staff member is present, usually from 8 a.m.8 p.m. every day. The club’s motto is “Get fit. Feel great. Be well.,” and the bet here is that it will work for you! Snap Fitness 24-7 is located at 19402 BBD Blvd., in the Shoppes at Pebble Snap Fitness 24-7 owner Jordan Levy (top) cut the ribbon with representaCreek plaza. For additional information, tives of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce (above) in November. call 994-4434 or visit SnapFitness.com.
Win Tickets To ‘A Night Of Stars’ At The Straz Center! If you enjoy great music AND a great meal, Opera Tampa is sponsoring a fun contest just for you! The winner will receive VIP treatment for the “A Night of Stars” concert on Thursday, February 24, in Carol Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts (formerly the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center)! The Grand Prize winner’s package (a $250 value!!!) includes: two premium seats for the Feb. 24 “A Night of Stars” concert AND dinner for two at Maestro’s, inside the Straz Center, before the show! (Please note that the dinner does not include alcoholic beverages or gratuity.)*** To enter the contest, all you have to do is go to OperaTampa.org to find the correct answers to these
three questions & fill them in below: 1. Who is the leading baritone of his time and a three-time Grammy Award winner? ____________________________ 2. What opera is being performed on the Carol Morsani stage on Apr. 29 & May 1? ____________________________ 3. What is the local telephone number to order tickets? ____________________________ To be eligible to win, you must answer all three questions above correctly and fill out all of the info below. Entries are due by Thursday, February 10, and can be mailed or emailed to the addresses given below.
Your Name _________________________________________ Address (with zip code) ___________________________________________________ Phone # _____________ Email _______________________ Have you ever been to an Opera Tampa performance? ___Yes ___No Mail to: Neighborhood News Straz Contest, 15345 Amberly Dr., Tampa, FL 33647 Email to: NTNNedit@yahoo.com. Note: The winner will be notified by telephone! ***Tickets are for the “A Night of Stars” concert. They do not include the gala after the concert.
America’s Ballet School Students Shine In ‘The Nutcracker’ In November and December, students from the DanzAmerica’s Project program at America’s Ballet School in Tampa Palms (under the direction of Paula Nunez), enthralled audiences with their breathtaking performances of “The Nutcracker.” The cast featured dozens of youth and adult performers, who presented their hard work in two outreach programs for Pasco County students at the
Wersley Chapel Center for the Arts on December 10-11, and also in a couple of shows at the University of South Florida’s Theater 1. The students also performed at the Hyde Park Christmas celebration in November. For more information about America’s Ballet School, which is located at 15365 Amberly Dr., in the Shoppes of Amberly, call 5580800 or visit AmericasBallet.com.
Liang’s Bistro Is Still Our Readers’ Favorite Asian Cuisine! By Gary Nager Every year since 2005, Liang’s Bistro Asian Cuisine (located next to Chick-fil-A and Walgreen’s on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. in North Palms Village in New Tampa) has been named by our readers as their Favorite Asian and/or Chinese Restaurant in New Tampa & Wesley Chapel. That’s a pretty remarkable accomplishment, considering how many great Asian restaurants we have had in New Tampa each of those years. Obviously, Liang’s, which also has won many other awards (see below) for its outstanding fusion of Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese and Korean cuisines, has been and continues to be doing something right. The restaurant’s casual, but elegant setting and prime location on BBD can only take it so far. If Liang’s didn’t have a chef from New York providing great food at always fair prices, there’s no doubt it wouldn’t still be around today. The starters are always excellent, beginning with what I believe are the best egg rolls in New Tampa, perhaps in the entire Tampa Bay area. Then, there are the perfectly not-oversauced New York-style baby barbecued spare ribs and other favorites like crispy fried cheese puffs, delicious pan-fried dump-lings and more. And of course, all of Liang’s starters go great with the incredible trio of house-made sauces — the best sweet Thai chile sauce I’ve ever tasted, a great dumpling sauce and a spicy Thai chile sauce. I also enjoy Liang’s wonton soup, although it usually comes with shrimp in it, which I’m unfortunately allergic to, but they do make it for me without the shrimp. The starters are so good that it may be difficult to save room for entrées, but there are lots of great options from which to choose. On our most recent visit, our entire office had a chance to sample a wonderful filet of red snapper in a semispicy oyster sauce and wonderful mixed veggies. This may be
With starters like these, it’s hard to save room for your main course at Liang’s Bistro Asian Cuisine on Bruce B. Downs Blvd.: (l. to r.) Crispy cheese puffs, the best egg rolls in New Tampa and delicious New York-style baby barebcued spare ribs. my favorite entrée ever at Liang’s, although I’ve always been partial to the prepared-tableside sizzling teriyaki steak with mushrooms and onions that blows doors on any sizzling fajitas I’ve had! Even though only one of us was a vegetarian, we all also enjoyed the Vietnamese lemongrass tofu, which is stirfried with broccoli, asparagus and red and green peppers in a wonderful brown lemongrass sauce. My favorite veggies at Liang’s are the sautéed green beans, which I order a little spicy. We all also agreed that all of Liang’s breaded and fried entrées, including General Tso’s chicken, sesame chicken, orange peel beef or chicken and Liang’s beef or chicken in the tra-
ditional “crispy jacket” are all great, although I try to stay away from the fried entrées myself. Liang’s continues to expand its seafood selections and we had a chance to sample two of the house’s specialties — the Golden Nest Seafood, which combines fresh lobster, shrimp, scallops and crabmeat with mixed vegetables in the chef’s “secret” (similar to a lobster) sauce, all served in a beautiful golden nest, made out of potato; and the walnut shrimp, which has a cream sauce and a touch of pineapple on top of jumbo shrimp. I did sample the Golden Nest, just not the shrimp, and it was wonderful, but I did not try the walnut shrimp. Managing editor Michael
Smith, an avowed shrimp lover, said the walnut shrimp was his favorite dish. And of course, Liang’s serves a variety of hot teas and offers beer, wine and catering. In addition to its annual Neighborhood News honors, Liang’s also is a Golden Spoon Award winner, has received a Diamond Award from AAA every year since 2005 and recently won an urban Spoon Award as one of the 100 best restaurants located within the Tampa Bay area. Liang’s Bistro is located at 17515 BBD Blvd. and is open for lunch and dinner every day at 11 a.m. For more info, call 978-1225 or visit LiangsBistro.us.
Among our favorite entrées at Liang’s are (top to bottom) the incredible red snapper, the Golden Nest Seafood, the sizzling teriyaki steak and sautéed green beans. For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 2 • Januar y 15, 2011 • www.WCNeighborhoodNews.com
“Gary’s Favorites” Continued from page 23 13. PizzaMania - PizzaMania’s pizza is great, but I really love the calzones, meatball and veal parmigiana hero sandwiches and the Italian salad even more...and its new location in the same plaza is a lot nicer, too. 14. Los Vallartas Mexican Restaurant - With very good Mexican fare and much better prices than Cantina Laredo, Los Vallartas is likely to remain a fixture in Wesley Chapel for years to come. 15. Taste of Boston - The fried haddock (in a platter in this photo) and blackened basa are great, but my friends from New England tell me that the fried whole baby clams are the best in the Bay area and I also love the “Best Outside of Philly” cheesesteak sandwiches and fries. 16. Pagelli’s Italian RestauRestaurant - My favorite dishes to date are the thick pork chop alla griglia and the Jo-Jo pollo, but Pagelli’s also has great steaks, good pasta, excellent desserts and a beautiful bar area.
17. Yamato Japanese SteakSteakhouse - Very good sushi and even better hibachi steak, chicken and seafood at very fair prices are likely to keep Yamato around and growing in popularity for years to come. 18. Café Fresco - Delicious sandwiches (super Italian bread), including the excellent blackened grouper sandwiches on Fridays, plus awesome baked goods make Cafe Fresco a true favorite. 19. Cosi Cafe - Still my favorite cup of coffee in our area, Cosi also has fantastic flatbread sandwiches and pizzas, as well as great fresh salads and desserts. 20. Bonsai Sushi - The best sushi in Wesley Chapel and very good Japanese fare make Bonsai Sushi a local favorite worthy of being in my Wesley Chapel top-20. 21. Wolf’s Den - Outrageously low prices on breakfast and very good sandwiches, pizzas and hot foods (folks rave about the chili) have brought Wolf’s Den an almost cult following of local patrons. 22. Sonny’s Real Pit BBQ The new bar area is very nice, the salad bar is consistently fresh and although I’m not a big BBQ lover, Sonny’s has added a few very good
new items (including the High Springs grilled chicken) for those of us who need more than just BBQ chicken, ribs and pulled pork. 23. Woody’s Pizza & Wings - Another very good New York-style pizza place in our area, Woody’s also has excellent wings and sandwiches. 24. Red Robin - The hamburgers are very good, the grilled chicken and roast beef au just sandwiches are even better and the bottomless fries don’t disappoint at Red Robin (yum), which also has a premium liquor bar and big-screen TVs. 25. First Watch - The breakfast is very good, albeit a little pricey, and the lunch sandwiches and salads keep First Watch on my Wesley Chapel list, although not as high as on our readers’ list. Honorable Mention Asian Buffet (see page 33), Bagelicious & More, Boardwalk Frozen Custard, Café 365, Super Buffet (S.R. 54), Dairy Queen, Beef O’Brady’s, MochiBerri, Winner’s Grill, China Taste, Don Pan Int’l Bakery, Ho Wok
Gary’s Favorite New Tampa Restaurants
1. Ciccio’s/The Lodge Always in my top two when it was just
Ciccio & Tony’s, the closing of Circles and the addition of favorites from The Lodge (another South Tampa staple owned by the same partners) and weekly dinner specials has bumped it up to my Numero Uno for the first time. The black and white sesame tuna “Lodge TV Dinner,” New Tampa (cooked grouper and onion) American sushi roll and chicken Fit 4 Life are all among my favorite choices in New Tampa. 2. Acropolis Greek Taverna - With the closing of the Pappas Market Cafe, Acropolis can now safely call itself “Greek.” The grilled lamb chops, fresh grouper and Mahi-Mahi and steak, chicken and pork kabobs are all among my faves. 3. Cafe Ole Tapas & Spanish Cuisine - Based on its off-yourcharts showing in the 2010 Reader Survey, this favorite of mine definitely ranks as New Tampa’s most underrated restaurant. Delicious fresh fish, succulent authentic Spanish sauces and perfect paella, plus amazing lunch specials daily, all make Cafe Ole a must-try. 4. Sukhothai - I guess I love Asian food more than our average reader does and Sukhothai is my favorite of
CALL US TODAY! New Tampa’s Premier Self Storage Facility + WE RENT TRUCKS + We Sell Boxes and Packing Supplies + State-of-the-Art Video Surveillance and Fire Alarm System + Storage Access 365 Days/Yr. + Climate & Non-Climate Controlled Spaces + We now will sell your items on Ebay for you
Up to 3 Months SEND REFERRALS
FREE *New customers only
*Refer your friends and receive a gift card of your choice. *Two referrals per household per month.
17231 Dona Michelle Dr.
– WE PAY YOU!
COMMITTED TO QUALITY...COMMITTED TO YOU
a long list of great Asian places in our area. Awesome sushi, including a signature tilapia tataki, is complemented by a unique steak teriyaki, delectable crispy duck, super spring rolls and an incredible combo fried rice. 5. Fushia Asian Bistro Fushia gets the nod from me for best Chinese cuisine in our area because it is truly New York style, with real dim sum appetizers and the best beef with Chinese broccoli and Yong Chow fried rice in New Tampa. 6. Liang’s Bistro Asian CuiCuisine - Just a shade below Fushia to me, our readers’ annual favorite Asian restaurant in our area for six years running definitely is a local treasure, with the best egg rolls, excellent BBQ spare ribs and the best homemade sweet Thai chile sauce I’ve had in Florida. 7. Thai Ruby - Again, just a notch below the three above because it doesn’t have sushi like Sukhothai, Thai Ruby may be the prettiest of the bunch and has my favorite crispy duck with ginger sauce and great combo fried rice, spring and egg rolls. Try the daily dinner specials, too. 8. Urban Culinary Cafe Much more than just an urban soul food place, you can’t beat the value at UCC, which adds great weekend entertainment to the best fried chicken, great fresh fish specials and unique sauces. 9. Wood Fired Pizza & Wine Bar - Still focused on the best ingredients and most unique 850-degree wood-burning oven-baked pizza in town, Wood Fired also has an incredible selection of fine wines and craft draft and bottles beers at unbeatable prices to go with its awesome pizza pies named for sexy female movie stars. 10. Bella Vita Italian RestauRestaurant & Market - OK, so it’s no longer Circles and didn’t retain many of the old fave’s dishes. On the other hand, Bella Vita’s pizza is now the best NY style in New Tampa and the homemade pastas (ridiculously good raviolis) and sauces at the new market side definitely keep it in my top 10. 11. La Cubanita Cafe - So new I almost didn’t have time to sample much of its menu (and almost certain to move up on my list next year), I already can vouch for this newly opened cafe’s incredible breakfast sandwiches, the best roast pork in the area, an incredible chicken fricase, delicious desserts & more. See page 32! 12. Sushi Ko Chinese & Japanese Cuisine - The best BBQ spare ribs in New Tampa, a superb garlic sauce and always fresh sushi have been joined by a new selection of gourmet Chinese seafood dishes and unbeatable lunch & dinner specials, making Sushi Ko well worth another visit if it’s been a while for you. 13. Sushi Tsu Japanese Steak
& Sushi - Always great sushi and topnotch hibachi steak, chicken and scallops keep Sushi Tsu high on my list and yours. You can even get the hibachi specialties to go. 14. Soho Sushi - The sushi is always fresh and the asparagus & steak maki, the best tempura in our area and incredible boxed meal specials keep Soho Sushi among my local favorites. 15. Stonewood Grill & TavTavern - Excellent steaks and appetizers like sesame seared tuna and smoked salmon on crispy toast points, as well as the rocking bar area make Stonewood a top local favorite. 16. Cole’s BBQ - The best BBQ sauce in our area is perfect on everything from Cole’s pork ribs to beef brisket, but sides like buttered green beans and savory baked beans have made Cole’s one of my favorite 2010 newcomers to our area. 17. Las Palmas Spanish Cafe - Always reliable for Cuban style roast pork and merluza (a flaky white fish) a la Russe, Las Palmas also has great pressed Cubans, ropa vieja and one of the best lunch crowds in New Tampa. 18. Lee Roy Selmon’s - The awesome spicy Caesar salad, grilled NY strip steak, grilled chicken with wild rice and the multitude of TV screens make Selmon’s my favorite restaurant for watching football, baseball, basketball and hockey games. 19. Wasabi Japanese SteakSteakhouse - Very good sushi and hibachi grill dishes in one of the prettier restaurant settings in our area make Wasabi a top local choice for a fun night out. 20. Jersey Mike’s Subs - As an avowed roast beef addict, Jersey Mike’s house-roasted roast beef might be enough for the place to make my list, but add in superb tuna salad, Italian and “club” combos and Philly cheesesteaks, and you have a place well worth a top-20 ranking. 21. Five Guys Burgers & Fries - A favorite of mine since the first Bay area location opened on Fowler Ave., Five Guys combines big, juicy burgers and skin-on Idaho potato French fries with, of course, free peanuts while you wait. 22. Ploy Thai - Great duck, excellent fresh fish and great spring rolls in an elegant setting make Ploy Thai another New Tampa dining. 23. Panera Bread - The best of the bigger chain restaurants in New Tampa, crusty bread, excellent soups, salads, sandwiches and coffee, plus some decadent baked goods, make Panera one of New Tampa’s favorite breakfast and lunch locales. 24. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream - I also really like Cold Stone, Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins, but I love Bruster’s — dense, creamy and with the mix-ins already mixed in. Plus, Bruster’s
ice cream pies are the best ice cream value in town. 25. Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop - Another great newcomer with outstanding bread, Jimmy John’s, now located in the slot formerly occupied by Smoothie King, has become a local sub shop favorite very quickly. Honorable Mention - Mr. Dunderbak’s, Saffron Indian Cuisine, Biagio’s II Pizza & Pasta, Coffee Beanery Cafe, Cold Stone Creamery, Olive Branch Deli, Peabody’s, PizzaZone, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Panda Buffet, Ruby Tuesday, Maggie’s Tea Room, Bullseye Saloon and the new Joy of Tokyo (see page 45). My 10 Favorite Asian Restaurants In New Tampa & Wesley Chapel are: 1. Sukhothai 2. Fushia Asian Bistro 3. Liang’s Bistro Asian Cuisine 4. Thai Ruby 5. Sushi Ko 6. Sushi Tsu 7. Soho Sushi 8. Wasabi Japanese Steakhouse 9. Yamato Japanese Steakhouse 10. Bonsai Sushi My 5 Favorite Coffee, Tea & Smoothie Shops in NT/WC are: 1. Cosi Cafe 2. Coffee Beanery Cafe 3. La Cubanita Café 4. Café Olé 5. Starbucks
3. Wood Fired Pizza 4. PizzaMania 5. Santo’s Italian Grill My 5 Favorite Sandwich & Sub Shops in NT/WC are: 1. Jersey Mike’s Subs 2. Jimmy John’s Sandwich Shop 3. Panera Bread 4. Café Fresco 5. Olive Branch Deli My 10 Favorite Bars/Taverns in NT/WC are: 1. Aja Wiregrass 2. Peabody’s/The Palms 3. Acropolis Greek Taverna 4. Café Olé 5. Linkster’s Tap Room 6. Lee Roy Selmon’s 7. Santo’s Italian Grill 8. Ciccio’s/The Lodge 9. Stonewood Grill & Tavern 10. Bullseye Saloon My 5 Favorite Places for Dessert and/or Ice Cream in NT/WC are: 1. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream 2. Cold Stone Creamery 3. Boardwalk Frozen Custard 4. Baskin-Robbins 5. Dairy Queen
My 5 Favorite Italian Restaurants in NT/WC are: 1. Ciccio’s/The Lodge 2. Santo’s Italian Grill 3. La Prima Pizza 4. Bella Vita 5. PizzaMania My 5 Favorite Pizza Places in NT/WC are: 1. La Prima Pizza 2. Bella Vita
Nibbles — Check Out La Cubanita, Joy Of Tokyo & Santo’s Buffet! By Gary Nager Anyone who’s been reading this publication for any period of time knows how much I love food...and checking out new restaurants, especially those that open in our area. Well, there’s two new additions to New Tampa’s dining scene that have opened since our last issue and I believe both are a must-try. I hope you’ll read these little tidbits and decide to check both out for yourself AND tell the owners that I sent you!
La Cubanita Café After failing to last long-term as Baci’s and then Polo’s, the all-new La Cubanita Café in the same location in the New Tampa Center (Bruce B. Downs Blvd. at New Tampa Blvd., next to Publix) as those Italian restaurants looks like a surefire winner. With a clean, inviting décor and the best roast pork in mojo sauce (photo) and café con lechés I’ve tasted in Tampa, plus outstanding value for breakfast and lunch, La Cubanita has the delicious food, fast service and low prices to not only survive a down economy, but thrive in our area, regardless of the economy. And, with the coupons on page 41 in this issue, you can get a delicious bacon, egg and cheese on Cuban bread breakfast sandwich AND small café con leché for just $4.99! You also can try a lunch meal (like the mojo roast pork, yellow rice and plantains in the photo above) and fountain
Is it the best mojo pork in the Bay area? Find out at La Cubanita Café! drink and get 20-percent off! I’ve also sampled La Cubanita’s wonderful chicken fricase that literally falls off the bone and yummy marinated masitas (pork chunks). There’s also picadillo (ground beef), ropa vieja (shredded beef), palomilla steak, garlic shrimp and merluza (a delicious, flaky white fish), as well as decadent desserts like authentic tres lechés (sort of a sweet, milky bread pudding) and a light and airy mango mousse. La Cubanita Café is located at 19040 BBD Blvd. Call 632-9100.
News From Santo’s & Skinny’s My friend Ken Santo at Santo’s Italian Grill and Skinny's Sports Bar is proud to announce some new additions at both of his establishments in the Pinebrook at The Grove shopping center on S.R. 54, just west of I-75. The biggest news is that Santo’s is now offering a FREE hot buffet every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, 5 p.m.-7 p.m. The buffet will be different every day and will feature everything from Santo’s awesome pasta to tacos and “occasionally”
Santo’s multiple-award-winning wings. “We’re trying to bring in new people this month, now that the holidays are over,” Ken says. “We know we have great food and we’re a little tired of being Wesley Chapel’s bestkept secret!” If you visit Santo’s on the weekends, be sure to check out the outstanding, thick-cut prime rib. Meanwhile, for karaoke lovers like yours truly, Skinny’s is now offering karaoke every Thursday evening and the fourth Saturday of each month (including January 29), all beginning at 9 p.m. and lasting until whenever the singers run out of songs to sing. Skinny’s also has started a FREE Monday night poker “league,” starting at 7 p.m., where the winners receive free bar tabs. For more info about Santo’s (27431 S.R. 54) or Skinny’s (27419-A S.R. 54), call 994-4646 0r 994-7778.
Joy Of Tokyo Although a lot of us miss the old Louis Pappas Market Café that closed earlier this year, sushi and Japanese cuisine lovers will definitely enjoy Joy of Tokyo Sushi & Grille, which
We recommend the spider (actually soft shell crab) roll at Joy of Tokyo. opened in the same location in the Oak Ramble Plaza on BBD (south of Tampa Palms) a couple of weeks ago. Joy of Tokyo features a small, but inviting sushi bar and an open seating area with fast service and excellent Japanese fare. Start with the sushi, including one of the tastiest spider (fried soft shell crab) rolls in town, plus great seared tuna and a a couple of mild Japanese white meat fish options I loved, even though had I never heard of them before. I also can recommend the huge appetizer portion of chicken tempura for only $3.99. I also recommend the teriyaki steak at Joy of Tokyo, although I haven’t yet had time to sample the other dinner entrées there yet. Joy of Tokyo Sushi & Grille is located at 14913 BBD Blvd., in the same plaza as Acropolis & Jersey Mike’s. It’s open for lunch and dinner every day, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. For more information, call 978-8222.
Asian Buffet & Sushi Grill Offers Great Variety & Value For Your $! By Gary Nager I’ve nevcr been a big fan of the Asian buffet restaurants popping up all across the Bay area, including Wesley Chapel, but I have to say that if you’re looking for great variety and great value for your money, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Asian Buffet & Sushi Grill, located in the Shoppes at New Tampa plaza, just south of S.R. 56 and the Shops at Wiregrass mall. Asian Buffet owners Jimmy and Leo Wong have more than 25 years each of experience in the restaurant business and they have owned the China King Buffet in Ft. Myers the last 15 years. And, from the looks of the much newer Asian Buffet & Sushi Grill, they know what their customers want — seafood, seafood and more seafood! Manager and spokesperson Cheree Zhang says that Asian Buffet is the biggest buffet restaurant in our area and with more than 250 items available at any time and the biggest selection of fresh seafood I’ve seen in Wesley Chapel, it’s hard to argue with her. The dinner buffet at Asian Buffet is already a bargain at just $13.99 per adult for dinner (served from 3:309:30 p.m.), which includes unlimited you-peel-em shrimp, mussels, different varieties of crabs, oysters, clams and yes, even all the hot snow crab legs you can eat! But, from now until February 13, you can get one adult dinner at half-price when you purchase one at the regular price, just by mentioning the Neighborhood News! “Some of the buffet restaurants
serve their crab legs cold, so people eat less of them,” says Zhang. “But, we know our customers prefer them hot and fresh with plenty of freshly melted butter.” Zhang also notes that many of the buffet restaurants charge additional for meals including crab legs, “but we never do.” And of course, Asian Buffet also serves at least 20 different varieties of fresh sushi, as well as a full selection of soups, salads, appetizers (the BBQ spare ribs are our favorite so far), entrées (we liked the house special beef, sautéed green beans and chicken with mixed veggies) and desserts. We also really enjoyed the fresh hibachi grill, where you choose your steak, chicken, seafood, veggies, noodles and spices and a hibachi chef cooks it in front of you. Zhang says there’s even great Italian food, like pizza, grilled sausage and more, because Asian Buffet’s head chef also has cooked at an Italian restaurant. Asian Buffet & Sushi Grill is located at 1742 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. and is open every day for lunch and dinner. Call 907-7688! For unlimited everything, including (clockwise from top left) snow crab legs, mussels, crawfish and many sushi choices, vist Asian Buffet in the Shoppes at New Tampa plaza.
Asian Buffet & Sushi Grill offers tasty BBQ spare ribs (top left) and skewered teriyaki chicken (above left), but the hibachi-grill entrées (right, top to bottom) are our favorites so far. You choose your meat, veggies and spices and a chef cooks it while you wait. For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 19, Issue 2 • Januar y 15, 2011 • www.WCNeighborhoodNews.com
NEW TAMPA & WESLEY CHAPEL H E L P
W A N T E D
Join OrthoTechnology’s Winning Team! Ortho Technology, an international orthodontic supply distributor located in New Tampa, is seeking talented energetic candidates for the following full-time positions: Distribution Associate: High energy individual needed to receive, restock, pull & pack customer orders. Fast paced environment. Basic math & computer skills, ability to stand/walk for entire shift & lift up to 50 pounds required. QC Inspector: Entry level position responsible for accuracy of outgoing orders. 1-2 yrs exp w/QC responsibilities. Ability to stand/walk for entire shift, close vision, basic color differentiation and basic math req’d. Small parts/med device experience a plus. We provide a great work environment, excellent benefits package and growth potential. Submit resumes to firstname.lastname@example.org. PTA position available. Part-time (Tampa Palms clinic). Fax Resume to: 813-994-3080 Part time Medical Assistant. Must have lab/blood draw experience. Wesley Chapel office, family medicine. evening and Saturday hours. Fax resume to 813-994-0085. New Financial Advisors office in Wesley Chapel located in Live Oak is looking for a FT Administrative Assistant. Flexible schedule. Pay range $10-15 per hour. Must have working knowledge of Word and Excel. Must also be able to type 50 wpm. No Smokers. Please e-mail your resume, photo, and contact information to: email@example.com.
COMPUTER SERVICES Professional Tech Support in your home or small business. A+ certified computer tech with 15 years of exp. Maintenance & repairs, upgrades & tutoring. More affordable than the large chains! Friendly, personalized svc. Technical jargon explained in plain English. References available upon request. Call 957-8342 for free estimate.
Need home maintenance? Almost any job, large or small, ext/int, fencing , screening, sm. concrete, sprinklers, painting, repairs, int. doors, locks, sheet rock, windows, paint, caulk, grout, trim, shelving, garages organized. Installations, removals, pressure washing, wood restoration & more. Call Dale’s Home Maintenance @ 973-0194 or 727-2582. RAYMOND PAINTING. Interior & Exterior, Pressure Washing, Paper Hanging, Plaster, Stucco, Tiles, Concrete, Clean & Seal Pavers. LICENSED & BONDED. References Available. FREE ESTIMATES. Your Neighborhood Arbor Greene Resident. WE WORK 7 DAYS. CALL 994-5124. Greg’s Paperhanging. For all of your wallpapering needs. Licensed & insured, clean, quick & reasonable. Call 973-2767 for free estimate.
CLEANING SERVICES D-ULTRA CLEANING SERVICE. We have our own supplies & more than 200 clients in New Tampa! For more information, call 758-9710. Isn’t life busy enough? Save time. We can help. Your satisfaction is our first priority. Guaranteed, affordable, reliable, quality domestic svcs. Free estimate: Chelsea Maid Company @ 994-6662. A+ Cleaning Service. FSU grad, honest & dependable. Moving very successful business to Tampa Palms area to be near first grandchild. My Tallahas-
see clients included FSU coaches & professors. For a FREE estimate & references call Randi at (cell) 850-509-6615. Yes, I do Gators, too. Images Cleaning Svc. Pressure Washing Commercial/Residential, driveways, walks, decks, enclosures & homes. Gutter cleanout, trash removal, move in/out cleaning. 30 years of experience. Starting @ $50. Call Robin @ 813.240.1981. Bright Cleaning of Tampa Inc. Residential and Commercial. Free Estimates. We are family owned and operated. Good References upon request. Lowest prices Please call us at (813)562-6772.
WINDOW CLEANING WINDOW WASHING most windows $6.00 incl. inside, outside & sills. “Make Your Whole House Shine” 10+ yrs. experience. Convenient appointments. A POINT OF VIEW WINDOW WASHING. Wesley Chapel. 813-973-1451.
L A N D S C A P I N G Everyday Gardener’s Club. Full-service property maintenance available for residential & commercial. One-stop shopping with licensed, insured professionals. Specializing in landscape design with conceptional drawings & renderings available. Let your imagination & our professionals come together to create dreams that will last a lifetime. Call 933-1120 or visit www.EverydayGardenersClub.com
LAWN MAINTENANCE Enjoy your time & let A.T.B. Landscaping & Lawn Service do the work for you. We provide landscaping, lawn maintenance, clean-ups, tree & hedge trimming, sodding, sprinkler repair & fertilization. Other services also available. 907-LAWN Lawncare. Residential/Commercial We are a Father and Son Business. Licensed and Insured. Affordable pricing for all. Per cut or with a contract up to you.Call Patrick or Dora anytime. (813)907-1234 (Hauling Service too!)
These are the Color Classifieds Your Neighbors R E A D! Call Dave @ 910-2575 to order your ad today! P E T
S I T T I N G
T A I C H I L E S S O N S
Professional Pet Care. Exp’d. Pet sitter. We walk, play, feed & administer medicine, all in the comfort of your pet’s home. We also bring in mail, water plants & help maintain home security while you’re away. Bonded, insured & trained in Pet First-Aid & CPR. Call For The Love Of Pets at 545-8406 or 4163126 or www.FortheLoveOfPetsOnline.com.
Tai Chi Classes open to the public at the Club Tampa Palms. Benefits: Strength, Flexibility, Balance, Focus and reduced stress. Class Times, Tues. Seniors 2:30-3:30 pm and Beg. 7-8 pm. Also New 6-week Beginners courses starting every few months. Space is limited. Contact me for more details. Also personal instruction in Tai Chi, Kempo Karate, Boot Camp Fitness training and more. With more then 30 years of training and teaching experience. Call Peter today #787-7560 or E-Mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tampa Cat Lady Professional Cat-Sitting Service. You say goodbye - we say hello. Cats are happiest when in their own home, surrounded by familiar sights, sounds & smells. When you are away, we feed, cuddle & play with your kitties & clean & dispose of litter. We help deter crime by bringing newspaper/mail & rotating lights/blinds, giving your home that lived-in look. Licensed, bonded & Red-Cross certified in pet first aid/CPR. Call 994-9449 or visit www.TampaCatLady.com. New Tampa Pet Sitting Service. Lots of love & care for your pets. Great experience & references. Recommended by Angie’s List. Licensed, Insured & Red Cross Certified. Call Maria @ 416-5301.
B U Y I N G
Tired of working out of your house? Is a long commute getting to you? Need space in New Tampa? Cory Lake Professional Center. Office suite available. 950 sf. Call David – 813-494-8654 A/C WAREHOUSE W/OFFICES, 920 S.F. In New Tampa off Bruce B Downs located in New Tampa Professional Park behind Pilot Bank. Call Gail- 813-973-4155.
NEED EXTRA MONEY…We can turn your unwanted, old or broken gold jewelry into CASH! Take advantage of high gold prices which may not last long. Don’t sell to the fly by night companies. Take it to Tampa Palms Hometown Jeweler. Jeweler on staff w/ 35 yrs. exp. Charles Jewelers, 972-4653 (next to Stein Mart on Bruce B. Downs).
Part time Baby Sitter wanted for a 13 month baby girl. Two days a during the week, mornings 9am -12 pm and Saturday evenings. Montessori experience preferred not required. Background check and References required. Call Sonia 216316-4343. Lives in New Tampa.
NTLC Property Maintenance. Residential & Commercial lawn maintenance for New Tampa & Wesley Chapel. Sprinkler repair, tree trimming, mulching, landscaping & clean-ups also available. Licensed & Insured. Call Bill @ 973-3825.
P O O L
S E R V I C E S
D R I V I N G S E RV I C E
Tranquility Pool Service. New Tampa Owned & Operated! Great pricing w/outstanding customer service. Relax & enjoy while we keep your pool in pristine swimming condition! Licensed, Bonded & Insured. Call Chris today for a free quote @ 857-5400 or visit us at www.tranquilitypoolservice.com to see why we are New Tampa’s #1 choice! New customers mention this ad & receive one month FREE!
Don’t Have a Ride? Don’t Want to Leave Your Car? Shouldn’t Drive? We Drive You and Your Car Home! Night Clubs, Corporate Events, Sporting Events, Concerts, Appointments, Airport or Stranded... Call Jay at 813966-1530.
ENJOY YOUR POOL, WHILE WE MAINTAIN IT. KJ POOL SERVICE. Ser vicing pools for over 6 years. FIRST MONTH FREE, PLUS FREE EVALUATION AND QUOTE Owner and Operator. LICENSE, BONDED & INSURED. Office Number: 813.909.9466 Cell Number: 813.748.9817. email@example.com.
S P A C E
G O L D
Licensed Mobile Massage Therapist. 9am 9pm, Mon, Tues & Wed. $50 for 1 hour! Types of massage available: Swedish, Deep Tissue, Aroma Therapy, Hot Stone, Corporate Seated, Pregnancy, Sports & Injury Rehab. References available. www.barkdollmassagetherapy.com CALL. 727-372-6389 Lic # MA47546.
Aquatec Pool Service **Special Offer: New customers get 1 Month FREE!** We follow strict National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) standards - We do pools right. All technicians are in uniform, drug-free, and background checked. Quality, professional service. Licensed & Insured. Call Today 780-8616 or visit our website www.aquatecpool.com to see why you should choose us!
O F F I C E
R E A L
E S T A T E
Foreclosure Homes & Bank REO listings by email at www.TampaForeclosuresToday.com. Team Bohannon, Coldwell Banker 813-982-7512 Avoid Foreclosure, We can help! www.TampaShortSalesToday.com Team Bohannon, Coldwell Banker 813-982-7512
L E G A L
S E R V I C E S
Get Your Estate In Order ...Last Will...Power of Attorney...Living Will. Experienced Tax Attorney 813-972-5078.
T U T O R
Math Tutor now available for in-home. Math Tutor now available for in-home lessons in Tampa Palms/New Tampa area. I teach math at HCC and can tutor you at any level, beginning through advanced. Raise your grades, improve your grasp of math or take it to the next level. $25 per hour, 4 classes minimum. I will tailor your lessons to suit your needs. Let 2011 be your year for success in math! Local references available. CALL (813) 382-3027.
CLASSIFIED RATES 1 issue...........................$35 2 issues..........................$50
I N V E S T M E N T SEEKING INVESTOR/PARTNER Experienced restaurateurs interested in acquiring an existing successful restaurant in Sarasota/ Bradenton area. Total purchase price: $120K. Monthly lease: $4K. We have the 20% down payment. Seeking $100K-$150K. Serious inquiries only, please. Call (941) 377 3125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 issues.......................$120 26 issues.....................$300
Published on Jan 15, 2011