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Beer, Everyone?

Volume 27 Issue 26


See pages 36-41!

Please Visit or ‘Neighborhood News’ On Facebook! The Direct-Mail News Magazines Serving New Tampa & Wesley Chapel Since 1993! For the complete list of neighborhoods that receive this publication by direct mail in Wesley Chapel (zip codes 33543, 33544 & 33545), see page 46!

December 13, 2019



Kids squealed with delight upon arriving at the brand-new inclusive playground designed for those with virtually any type of disability at the Wesley Chapel District Park. There were swings and tubes and things to sit and spin on, a soft, cushioned floor to walk on and roll over and lots of bright colors. It was all theirs. The glee in their faces was contagious, and it was exactly the moment Pasco County Board of County Commissioners chair Mike Moore had envisioned when he first pitched the idea to the county’s Parks and Recreation department. The kids weren’t the only ones overwhelmed. “I’ll be honest with you, when the kids first came out here, I was watching and I had to walk away because it was a little overwhelming,” Comm. Moore said. “I had a couple of tears in my eyes, I really did. This is a miracle.” *** On December 4, a large gathering of overjoyed kids, dedicated caregivers and teachers, Pasco County government dignitaries and generous donors from the Wesley Chapel Rotary Club, the Lennar Foundation and AdventHealth Wesley Chapel took a few snips at the ribbon cutting, officially opening Pasco’s first-ever inclusive playground. It was a perfectly sunny day, with a slight chill in the air. But, most everyone there had their hearts warmed by the excitement of the kids, most of whom arrived on a bus from the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) programs from John Long Middle School and Wiregrass Ranch Elementary. “I’m having a ball,” shouted Eric Piburn, a terminally ill 13-year-old in glasses, gloves, a knit cap and a face mask. Piburn, who needs a heart and double lung transplant, excitedly described his experience as he swung back and forth from a disc

Eric Piburn tries out the swing at the new inclusive playground at the Wesley Chapel District Park. (Photo: Charmaine George)

See “Playground” on page 8.

The Grove is Excited to Announce These New Tenants: Upcoming Events at The Grove Casa Cubana

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Real NY-Style Bagels, Coffee & More!

The Kilted Axe

Axe-Throwing Fun, Leagues & Beer!

• Spuntino Artisan Bistro

• Community Market (every Saturday!) 60+ vendors, music & fun! • Santa’s Winter Festival!

Featuring pictures with Santa, a Holiday Train, Bounce Houses, Stilt-Walking Elves, Frozen Princesses, Florida Snowball fights, Ornament Painting & more!

Santa’s Winter Festival Details: Hours: Fri, 5pm-9pm; Sat, 3pm-9pm & Sun, 3pm-7pm Admission: All-Inclusive Entry is $10 per child & $5 per adult, ages 2 & under admitted free. Proceeds benefit The Stano Foundation, sending care packages to overseas military personnel year-round. For info, call Matheus at (407) 534-0810 or email

It’s Easy To Look Forward With Our 2020 Vision! An editorial by Gary Nager The year 2019 has been extremely eventful for Wesley Chapel (and for yours truly) and the forecast for 2020 is (drumroll, please)...for much more of the same for the fastest-growing designated area in Florida. So yes, a lot of new businesses and restaurants opened between S.R. 54 and S.R. 56 in Wesley Chapel in 2019, but there’s so much more to come. For example, while our area got its first green grocer — Earth Fare — this year, we will have a new (and perhaps even more anticipated) Aldi opening next year. Although news about new openings along S.R. 56 dominated 2019, with the long-dormant The Grove shopping center just north of S.R. 54 (see ad on page 1!)being sold to aggressive new owner Mark Gold in the last quarter of 2019, you can be sure that the 2020 news coming out of our area won’t only be about 56. There are new businesses — and plenty of mom-and-pop-owned restaurants — coming to The Grove, many of which we can’t announce yet, but we plan to continue to be the primary source of news and information about everything coming to this suddenly revitalized commercial area. On the other hand, S.R. 56, which was extended all the way to U.S. Hwy. 301 this year, isn’t going to get any less busy anytime soon, on both sides of I-75. Although newbies like Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar and Bubba’s 33 (opening just after you receive this issue) have joined an already-crowded-with-restaurants area around the Tampa Premium Outlets in 2019, next year will bring The Main Event bowling & entertainment center, Rock n’ Brews and hopefully, Saltgrass Steakhouse. Further east on (and just north of) 56, the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County is expected to open sometime next summer, and the county’s private partner, RADDSports, will bring not only thousands of hotel room nights with the indoor sports complex’s basketball, volleyball and cheerleading events on the weekends, but also will offer lots of great local leagues and events during the week, too. And, although the adjacent Marriott-branded Residence Inn may not open until 2021, it will be home to Wesley Chapel’s first rooftop bar. Speaking of drinking, those who fancy craft beers will soon have two places to call home — as Florida Ave. Brewing will open what they believe will be Florida’s largest microbrewery at the former Sports + Field location on S.R. 56 and Double Branch Artisanal Ales will open at The Grove. Both local breweries made a big splash with local residents at the second annual New Tampa BrewFest (see pages 35-37) held Nov. 16. And, while the first Crystal Lagoon by Metro Lagoons actually opened in Epperson in late 2018, it will soon be joined by an even larger (15-acres vs. 7.5 acres) Metro Lagoon at Mirada just a few miles to the north either by the end of this month or the beginning of January. And, based on a recent published report in the Tampa Bay Times, the first neighborhood commercial development may begin in Epperson as early as next year, too. And, quite honestly, that is just a taste of what you can expect to see in Wesley Chapel next year. And of course, you know where you’ll get most of the news first about what’s Neighborhood News

happening in our area — and in adjacent New Tampa — the Neighborhood News print editions and!


On A Personal Note...

The year 2019 also has been very special for yours truly. It started in January, when we were one of only 23 U.S. media companies to receive a grant from the Google News Initiative. I then celebrated 25 years of Neighborhood News in February (although our well-attended party was in April), Jannah and I got married in March, Jannah became the director of marketing for RADDSports over the summer and now, we have two new grandbabies who surely will make 2020 even more special for us. Jannah’s daughter Lauren gave birth to Rosalie (Rosie) Carolyn Cione on Nov. 7 and

she and her fiancé Albert Cione have been doing an amazing job with their 6-lb., 3-oz. (at birth) little bundle (above left). Then, on Dec. 2, my younger son Jake and his wife Meghan brought the equally precious 7-lb., 13-oz. Jackson (Jax) John Nager into the world. So heck yes, Rosie & Jax’s “Grampa G” and “Grammy J” are kind of excited about 2020!

Wiregrass Ranch High marching band earns Best in State honors.

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Is axe throwing going to be Wesley Chapel’s next big thing?

Wesley Chapel

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(813) 991-6161 Long-time locals bring Island Fin Poké Co. to County Line Rd.

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Pages 38-39

Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News Address: 29157 Chapel Park Dr., Suite B Wesley Chapel, FL 33543 Phone: (813) 910-2575 Advertising E-mail: Editorial E-mail: Publisher & Editor /Ad Sales Gary Nager Managing Editor / Photographer John C. Cotey Correspondents Celeste McLaughlin • Andy Warrener Lead Video Producer/Multimedia Specialist Charmaine George Photography & Videography Richard Nasrallah • Benjamin Hobe Graphic Designers Georgia Carmichael • Valerie Wegener Billing Assistant Jannah Nager

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 advertisement reservations for Volume 28, Issue 2, of Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News is Monday, January 6, 2020. Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News will consider previously nonpublished 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.

© 2019 JM2 Communications, Inc. @NTWCNews

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Wiregrass Ranch High Band Named Best In State! well and performed well.”

By CELESTE MCLAUGHLIN At an event where there is no scoreboard and your fate lies in the hands of judges, you really never know. But Josh Hobbs, the Wiregrass Ranch High (WRH) band director, was pretty convinced that of the five finalists for Florida’s Class 4A State Championship, his Bulls were among the best. “We thought we had a good chance to be in the top three and we would have been excited about that,” Hobbs said. The Bulls had turned in one of their best runs of the season at the State semi-finals to make the finals, and the band was even better at the finals. He still wasn’t expecting what happened next. First place. State Champs. Boom! “It was surreal,” Hobbs says. “It was shocking. We were flabbergasted.” The Bulls’ performances were history-making. While acclaimed as one of the area’s best bands for years, on Nov. 23 the Wiregrass Ranch Marching Bulls became the first Pasco County group ever to capture a Florida Marching Band Championship. “It is a first for the school, and a first for Pasco County,” says Hobbs. The Bulls capped a great season with a magnificent and grueling final day. They had to compete against 15 other high school bands in Orlando for the semifinals, and then after being one of five teams selected to move on, had to load all of their instruments and uniforms to drive to Daytona Beach for the final that night. They were up against perennial powerhouses in the high school marching band world, including Seminole, the defending champions, as well as

Months Of Rehearsals

Wiregrass Ranch High band director Josh Hobbs (seated) & drum majors (left to right) Ryan McHale, Hannah Kim, Daniil Fortuna and Alex Kopp hold up their state championship banner, a first for the school, as well as for all of Pasco County.

Bradenton’s Lakewood Ranch and Orlando’s University High. No problem.

depicts a plague. That may not be your typical marching band fare, but Hobbs says the band members, section leaders and drum majors all bought into it and made it great. The Red X “They were super excited about Gone are the days when a marchit and worked really hard,” he says. ing band was primarily entertainment “We had a great leadership team to get under the Friday Night Lights. The band performs at every football game, everyone on the same page and stayed but beyond bringing excitement to the really focused throughout the year to set small goals, to achieve our big goal, bleachers, the crowd provides an opportunity for the band to do a live run- which is to get where we did.” Music in The Red X included through of its show in front of an audiLinkin Park’s “In The End,” Alanis ence, honing the music and marching skills needed to be competitive against Morissette’s “Uninvited,” plus clasthe best high school marching bands in sical pieces, an orchestral piece and a band piece. the state. “They had a great theme and they Hobbs, who is in his second year really sold it,” says Tom Viking, the at WRH after coming over from Wesfine arts program coordinator who ley Chapel, credits both the students’ oversees all fine arts programming in hard work and the design of the show kindergarten through grade 12 for all for their State Championship win. Pasco County Schools. “They played The show, called The Red X,

Rehearsals for the show started last May. Color guard and percussion met over the summer to rehearse, and the entire band had two weeks of band camp before the 2019-20 school year started. Every day at camp, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the band practiced. Students started with the fundamentals of marching, learning how to stand, how to step, how to play warmups or toss a flag. Then, they started learning the placements and continued practicing two or three hours a day, at least three days a week, throughout August, September, October and November. With 140 band members, plus support staff and volunteers, this adds up to tens of thousands of hours of work. Hannah Kim is the band’s senior drum major and flute soloist. She’s been in the band her entire high school career and hopes to continue playing in college this fall. Kim says what it takes to reach that pinnacle is “a lot of endurance and consistency.”

First In Class & Even Beating The Bigger Bands

“I happened to be there that night and saw all of the bands, which was really cool,” says Viking. “It was a tight margin.” He explains that bands are divided into five categories, based on how many students are on the field, not the size of the school, which is how schools are typically classified for sports classifications. WRH is a 4A school, the secondlargest category behind 5A in Florida. “Not only did they win their category statewide, they placed third overall,” explains Viking. “That means of the 5A bands, only two scored higher than Wiregrass Ranch.”

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our hard work was recognized.” Her unique perspective included watching the band perform from the drum major platform, seeing the show take shape from its very beginning, but she also got to perform in the show as the flute soloist. “It was a cool experience. When I got drum major, I was a little sad because I was going to miss marching on the field and playing the flute,” Hannah explains, “but it was awesome to get the best of both worlds.”

Kudos To The Director & His Support Staff

“Josh Hobbs is home grown in Pasco County,” says Viking, taking

pride that Hobbs not only has chosen to spend his career in Pasco, but also graduated from Wesley Chapel High (WCH), where he participated in the marching band. In fact, Hobbs’ former school also competed this year. WCH was in Class 2A when Hobbs led it, but moved up to Class 3A this year. The Wildcats also made the finals, finishing fifth in the state for its class. At WRH, Hobbs has the benefit of significant support, including a strong band at John Long Middle School that feeds into the high school. “He’s got a great staff that works with him, a great middle school program, and a great group of parents,”






There are several adjudicators and each judge studies one component very carefully, he says, such as footwork or music, design or color guard. Adjudication is meticulous, and bands are judged precisely in many categories. “Wiregrass Ranch has been in the finals before,” says Viking. “They’ve been in the hunt, and this time, the stars aligned for them.” After making it to the finals her freshman and junior year, Hannah says it was exciting to not only reach the finals her senior year, but to finally pull off the big win. “It feels amazing,” she says. “Honestly, I just feel so proud. We work hard every year, and I felt like all

says Viking. “It’s a special thing.” Viking says the typical Wiregrass Ranch High band kid probably started in the band at Long as a sixth grader, and many of the students have performed together ever since. “It’s a lot of hard work through a lot of years,” says Viking. “They’re passionate about what they do and the team members they do it with.” This year, Hobbs says all that hard work paid off. “The skills these kids build through the fall — time management, discipline, and working harder than they ever knew they could work — and then to be rewarded the way they were, makes it all worth it.”

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FDOT To Study S.R. 54 Intersection at BBD By JOHN C. COTEY For anyone who has ever tried to cross through the median on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. from either of the side exits that lead out between the Sonny’s BBQ and SunTrust Bank adjacent to the Publix-anchored Hollybrook Plaza or just north of the Twistee Treat near the Wesley Chapel Village Market onto BBD, it is often a harrowing experience and not an uncommon site to see an accident in that area. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is currently working on what will be a safer solution. Currently in the design phase (cost: $500,000), plans include eliminating the median opening, installing a traffic signal at Eagleston Blvd. (just south of the Village Market) as well as a southbound U-turn lane at Eagleston, improving pedestrian options and adding an additional left turn lane to the northbound side of the BBD and S.R. 54 intersection. The improvements are expected to ease the traffic dangers in that area and improve the flow during busy hours. The intersection has long been a hot topic for local residents. In a Neighborhood News


This break in the median on BBD between Sonny’s BBQ near the Hollybrook Plaza (not shown) & Twistee Treat in front of the Village Market will be eliminated under FDOT’s safety plan. (Photo: John C. Cotey)

Reader Survey in 2017, the intersection was chosen as the second-worst in Wesley Chapel, behind the I-75 and S.R. 56 intersection, which currently is under construction for a new Diverging Diamond Interchange . The recent efforts by FDOT means that both intersections named as the worst in our survey will be improved within two years, although construction work at BBD and S.R. 54 isn’t expected to begin until the fall of 2021.

“This project was initiated after a safety study was performed recommending the closure of the first median opening south of S.R. 54/C.R. 54, and adding more capacity for the northbound left turn movement,” FDOT’s David Botello wrote in an email. “The new signal at Eagleston Blvd. was included to accommodate traffic being redirected by the median closure, and for future development along Eagleston Blvd.” Because the split median will now be

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •

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one long median from Eagleston all the way to S.R. 54, the northbound far left turn lane — which, when filled, would block those trying to cross over BBD — can be extended to accommodate more vehicles, helping reduce congestion. For those needing to head south on BBD from the Hollybrook Plaza, there will no longer be a shortcut through the current median between Sonny’s and SunTrust. As for those driving north on BBD who typically enter the Village Market through the break in the current median, they will now be better served turning left at the new light on Eagleston Blvd. and entering the Village Market from its southernmost portion. “They will be provided a safer route by turning left at the signalized Eagleston intersection, and then turning right into the plaza,” Botello says. If leaving the Village Market but needing to head north on BBD, drivers will be accommodated by the U-turn lane at Eagleston Blvd. (if they choose not to use either of the two exits that lead out to S.R. 54). Construction of the planned BBD/54 improvements is expected to be completed in 2022.


Playground: Something For Everyone With Special Needs To Enjoy swing (that looked like an over-sized basket), the tube from his oxygen tank swaying along with him. “I’ve loved swings since I was little,” he exclaimed. “I never ever ever ever ever ever want to leave. Ever.” Another Long student walked around giving everyone a hug. Others wide-eyed but trepidatiously wandered from ride to ride, looking to find something they enjoyed. “This is really cool,” said Deborah Collin, assistant principal in charge of ESE services at Long. “I keep saying to myself, where can we get some of this stuff?” **** For every 1,000 children in Pasco County, there are 85 who have some type of special needs. Countywide, the Pasco County School District says there are about 16,000 children with special needs. Collin says there are 55 children in the ESE program at her school, spread over three different classifications of disability, with five teachers and eight instructional aides. While they have adaptive physical education for the students, it is confined to a room. “It’s still not enough movement or variety,” she said. Which is why the playground is such a gamechanger for children with disabilities. “This is huge,” said Barbara Hayes, a physical therapist with Pasco County Schools for 22 years. “There aren’t a lot of areas for those children to access. You can see the smiles on their faces. This gives them an opportunity to play with children more at their developmental level. This is a wonderful thing and very well done.” Collin said one of her students, seventh grader Zakyla McKenzie, spends a lot of time playing with a plastic bottle. It fulfills some of her sensory needs, with its texture and the sound it makes when squeezed. But, it’s been the only exercise she usually gets each day. At the inclusive playground, however, Zakyla was able to find something she liked more. “She was having such a good time on the swing, she did not want to get off,” said Nellie Reilly, a behavioral specialist at Long who seemed as overjoyed as many of the students. **** While many area parks may be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, few truly meet the standards of what proponents consider to be inclusivity. 8

To do so requires wider pathways and easier-to-navigate surfaces, activity panels that are at ground height, larger swings with more back support and sensory elements that include touch and music. There are multiple swing sets on the playground, an inclusive spinner that allows kids in wheelchairs to have a merry-go-round experience with their friends, a tube to crawl through — “I like to pretend I’m a cat!” said Eric — and four springy chairs. The surface throughout the playground is made of rubber and, combined with the spread-out rides, allows easy access for wheelchair-bound kids to move around and interact with others. In the spring, a butterfly garden, which will be tended to by the Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel, should be in full bloom. “I didn’t see anybody that didn’t find something that worked for them,” Collin said. **** The inclusive park is the first of its kind in Pasco County and one that Moore said he hopes to replicate in other places. It was not, however, your typical project for the county — it was introduced, funded, approved, designed and built in less than five months, which is light speed by traditional governmental standards. As a volunteer coach at the District Park for a variety of sports, Moore had for many years seen kids who could run fast, jump high and were able to revel in what the park had to offer. However, he also had seen the kids who couldn’t, those relegated to the sidelines because of a disability. The park wasn’t for everyone, he realized, and he said the thought bothered him and prompted him to try and change that situation. After a few months of research, Moore introduced the idea to Keith Wiley, Pasco’s director of Parks and Recreation, earlier this year. Wiley had been thinking similarly — he already had been planning some special needs camps for the county.

**** To fund the project, since it wasn’t in the county’s budget, Moore turned to the 53-member Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel — of which he is an honorary member — which just happened to be looking for a big project, and the club agreed to donate $50,000 for the playground. Chris Casella, the Rotary Club’s current president, told the ribbon-

Children from the ESE programs at John Long Middle and Wesley Chapel Elementary schools (above) enjoy the inclusive playground’s specials needs accessible rides following the official ribbon cutting (below) on Dec. 4 at the Wesley Chapel District Park. (Photos: John C. Cotey & Charmaine George)

cutting ceremony crowd of roughly 100 that he was motivated by his own experiences as a kid, and the times spent at the park with friends and family. “Today,” he said, “this can be a reality for so many families from this area that are going to be able to bring children to this park and have memories that will last a lifetime.” The Lennar Foundation, the homebuilder’s charitable arm, donated another $50,000, and Advent Health Wesley Chapel chipped in another $25,000.

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In August, the county commission voted 5-0 to approve roughly $215,000 in public funding to cover the rest of the project. Ground was broken in September. The ribbon was cut in December. It was money well spent. As the kids slowly filed back to their school bus, and the adults headed back to work, Eric Piburn continued to rock back and forth on the disc swing, still planning to never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever leave. Ever. @NTWCNews

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Ready, Set, Throw! The Kilted Axe Set To Open By JOHN C. COTEY When it came to opening a new business in Wesley Chapel, Michael and Alicia Esenwein (photo) could have taken a nice, safe route. Maybe a nice little coffee shop, a cozy family restaurant, or even a charming retail hot spot. But no. They chose…axe throwing? “It’s kind of a weird story,” Mike says. “It wasn’t ever really a long-range plan…I’m not sure anyone ever plans (something like this).” Once you talk to Seven Oaks residents Mike and Alecia, though, the story of The Kilted Axe — which will be a combination of a hip bar and hangout for axe-throwing enthusiasts when it opens on Wednesday, Janueary 8, 5 p.m., in The Grove — actually makes perfect sense. After all, this is a couple that three years ago sold everything they owned — except for a Christmas tree Alicia says shr couldn’t get rid of — and, with three young kids in tow, traveled the world for 18 months, with stops in Indonesia, Thailand, Italy and Costa Rica. So naturally, the Esenweins’ adventurous spirit would lead to owning an axe-throwing business. “We were living in North Carolina temporarily, and were looking for something to do and there were like 10 locations on the east coast there that had axe throwing,” Mike says. “Most of it was in barns, or a rugged setting, but there was one place in Wilmington that was upscale and had a bar and a restaurant. We just loved it. It was a cool place to hang out.” It wasn’t until a few years after returning from North Carolina, after running some successful Under Armour flag football leagues as well as doing a little teaching — Mike was an online computer science professor for the University of Virginia and American Public University — that Alicia became restless.

“I want to do something,” she told Mike, and soon the idea for The Kilted Axe had flowered. It had been, after all, the one thing she had been asked about most by friends when they returned from North Carolina, thanks to some of her Facebook pictures. They passively started looking at barns and warehouses for a site, but were also looking to buy a house, so they decided to put the business idea on hold until 2020. A trip to The Grove, however, changed everything. Remembering it as a moribund center lacking zip, they drove by when they heard developer Mark Gold had bought it. Gold, the high-charged developer with a big vision for his property, happened to be standing outside. They chatted. And Gold, who has axe-throwing places at some of his other properties, insisted they start their business as soon as possible. “Most people wouldn’t rent a space like this for axe throwing,” Mike says. “They want restaurants. Mark knows, though. He loved the idea.” After meeting some of the other business owners who had already signed leases with Gold, they were sold. Axe throwing is a trendy, growing sport. The International Axe Throwing

Federation (IATF) says there are more than 6,000 league members in more than 100 cities and six countries. It is a staple in lumberjack competitions and has been televised on ESPN. Mike and Alicia compare it to throwing darts; it’s just a matter of getting the technique down. The Kilted Axe will have three throwing lanes, all safely fenced in and manned by “Axeperts” there to help. There also will be a lounge and balcony to hang out and have a few drinks

or host an event. “Kind of like an old school pool hall feel,” Mike says. And, because you have to be wondering — yes, mixing beer, wine and axe throwing can be safe. “If you show up intoxicated and ready to throw axes, well, guess what? It’s not going to happen,” Mike says. There will be men’s and women’s leagues, co-ed leagues, and even events for kids. Mike and Alicia have three kids — Jason, 14; Hailey, 12, and Hannah, who is 4. They all think axe throwing is pretty cool. Alicia says she can’t wait for The Kilted Axe to open. Any fear that they were rushing into a crazy idea dissolved when they posted the news on Facebook, which lit up with enthusiasm. More than 3,100 people said they were interested in attending opening night. Almost 250 said they were going for sure. A dozen or so people have signed up for leagues, a few nights are already booked for corporate events, and it’s one of the more buzzworthy new places set to open in Wesley Chapel. “It was a crazy response,” Alicia says. “We’re anxious. Believe me, we’re anxious!” For more information, visit, or search for “Kilted Axe” on Facebook.


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King Of The Coop Coming

(Above) BayCare Health’s planned hospital in Wesley Chapel is located off Bruce B. Downs Blvd. at Eaglestone Blvd., which wraps around the northeastern portion of Seven Oaks.

One of the latest restaurants to sign a lease at The Grove is the hip and trendy King of the Coop, which will be opening its second location in Wesley Chapel. King of the Coop specializes in Nashville-style hot chicken, which is generally fried and covered with cayenne pepper-based paste or sauce. It is served on white bread with pickle slices. TIt should be noted, however, that the King offers many different variations of preparation and presentation. The restaurant will be located at 27835 Wesley Chapel Blvd., right off the southbound I-75 exit at S.R. 54, at the front of The Grove complex. Owner Joe Dodd already has one location in Seminole Heights, which he recently expanded.

BayCare Plans BBD Hospital By JOHN C. COTEY Barring any other changes, Wesley Chapel will soon have two hospitals, as BayCare Health System has filed plans with Pasco County to build a new facility right up the road from AdventHealth Wesley Chapel. The new 60-bed facility will be built on land BayCare has owned for more than a decade on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. at Eagelston Blvd., on the northern end of the Seven Oaks community, less than a mile south of S.R. 54, just south of the under-construction Blue Heron Senior Living Community (see map). According to plans filed with the county, a pre-application meeting was scheduled for Dec. 9. If a new BayCare hospital facility in Wesley Chapel sounds familiar, it should. The company originally met with county planners in 2018, looking to build a 60bed acute care hospital on an 111-acre site it had planned to acquire in the northeast quadrant of the now-planned I-75 exit at Overpass Rd.

HAVE A CRATE CHRISTMAS: The highly-anticipated container or crate park coming to The Grove will begin taking shape in the new year, but the first Despite receiving preliminary approval from the state’s Agency for Health crates have already arrived. Two crates, which have yet to be Care Administration (AHCA), BayCare’s efforts were opposed by AdventHealth, on outfitted but will serve as developer Mark Gold’s office, have been delivered. the grounds that there was ample service provided to the area by its Wesley Chapel Gold says the plans for the park have location, as well as its other hospitals in already been expanded, due to overDade City and Zephyrhills, both very whelming demand. Though originally close to northern Wesley Chapel. announced as having 60 crates, the park The Florida Legislature, however, will now have nearly 90, and Gold says eliminated the requirement for a Certificate of Need last spring, expanding BayCare’s options. BayCare purchased 34.6 acres of the planned new site for $15 million in 2006, and then paid $6.67 million for an adjoining 19.9-acre parcel in 2007, for a total of 54.5 acres, for a combined $21.67 million, according to county property records. Also in 2007, BayCare purchased an 18.25-acres parcel of land across Eagleston and west of BBD for $9.4 million, so expansion could already be in the works. BayCare’s current plans filed with the county show the acute-care hospital, an emergency department, observation rooms, medical office building and an ambulatory surgery center.

Owner Joe Dodd is bring his popular King of the Coop to Wesley Chapel. (Facebook photo)

all but a handful are already sold out. “Everyone wants one,” he says, adding that he already has signed occupants who will be selling a variety of foods and drinks — including a Mojito Lab — as well as furniture, jewelry and gadgets. Gold says he expects his first big shipment of crates to show up sometime before the new year. For all of the latest news about what’s coming to The Grove, see the ad on page 1 and keep checking our “Neighborhood News” Facebook page and — JCC

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade Even Better The Second Time Around By CELESTE MCLAUGHLIN Back when Brenda Pennock was in high school, being a member of the marching band meant belonging, sharing camaraderie and participating in a fun activity that she loved. For decades after high school, she thought she would never experience that again. But, reliving her high school glory days is now a dream come true for the Meadow Pointe resident, since she joined a St. Pete-based band called The Greater St. Petersburg Area Awesome Original Second Time Arounders Marching Band, also known as the “Second Time Arounders.” According to its website, the band is known to be the largest permanent adult marching band in the world, with more than 400 members. It’s thought to be the first of its kind — started 37 years ago — open to those who played an instrument, twirled a baton or danced in a college, high school, drum corps or military marching band and want to do it again. The band has a marching season in the spring where it participates in local parades throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Brenda Pennock of Wesley Chapel (right) was able to relive some of her glory days when she marched in the recent Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Brenda Pennock)

This year, that season was extended when the Second Time Arounders were chosen to participate in the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. That’s how Brenda found out about the band. Last fall, she saw on the news that the Second Time Arounders had been selected to go to the Macy’s

parade. She knew right away she wanted to be a part of a marching band again. Brenda is a majorette, a baton twirler, which she started in high school at Ft. Frye in Beverly, OH, graduating in 1969. “The highlight of my high school years was twirling in marching band,” says Brenda. “Over the years I had

thought from time to time that it was so much fun, and something I would never be able to experience again. I had no idea there were organizations out there like the Second Time Arounders. It never occurred to me. When I saw that on TV, and it got me excited about the possibility of getting to experience one of the highlights of being in high school again.” Brenda applied and was able to join in time to participate in the parades last spring and in the Macy’s parade last month. “It was obviously the experience of a lifetime,” says Brenda. “There are a select few bands who ever get to do that. It was really special.” Brenda says it was a longer parade than those where the Second Time Arounders have usually performed. While most local parades are less than two miles, the Macy’s parade was 2.5 miles. It also was more crowded, of course, and it moves more quickly. “The parade in New York is fast,” Brenda says. “For the most part, the band members are in good (enough) shape to be able to do that. We do have more limitations than we did in high school, but the adrenaline takes over and we do it.”

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The trip also featured excursions planned for the group, including an event where most of the band members enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner together at the Liberty House, an event center in Jersey City, NJ, with a view of the Manhattan skyline.

In the Second Time Arounders, she’s also a dancer, carrying red, white, and blue pom poms and doing dance moves. Claire and Brenda both travel to St. Pete for practices, typically once or twice a week during the marching band season, as well as when Claire Keneally they were both preparing for Twice In A Lifetime the Macy’s parade. While participating in “The commute is absolutely worth the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade it,” says Claire. “Traffic can be challengis thought to be a once-in-a-lifetime ing at times, but it’s worth it, so I do it experience, 2019 was actually the secevery time.” ond time for many of the Second Time Like Brenda, Claire says the Macy’s Arounders. parade was great, but she says that oneThe band also was chosen to time thrill pales in comparison to the participate in the parade back in 2008. overall experience of participating in the While that was well before Brenda had Second Time Arounders. ever heard of the group, New Tampa “I just wanted to be a part of the resident Claire Keneally was already a band,” says Claire. “I love it every year, member of the Second Time Aroundeven if we don’t go to Macy’s. It’s the ers, having joined in 2007. friendship and camaraderie and exercise, “It’s totally a highlight,” says Claire. but also being part of something bigger “I got to do it twice in a lifetime.” than myself. You get to relive high Claire was a twirler and dancer in school, but you never age out of it. the marching band at Gloversville High Macy’s is just the icing on the cake.” in upstate NY, graduating in 1973. The Second Time Arounders’ She was a Tampa Bay Rowdies next parade is the Pinellas Park cheerleader in the 1980s and danced a Christmas Parade on Saturday, bit through the years, and was thrilled December 14. For more information when she got to participate in a marchabout the marching band, visit Secing band again.

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It’s Time To Get Down To The Business Of Christmas! By JOHN C. COTEY Now that you are just about done polishing off the Thanksgiving leftovers, it’s time to get down to business and get serious about the holidays. We’re here to help. Here’s some of the hottest gifts for the season, with a little practicality thrown in for good measure: NINTENDO SWITCH: Have you ever seen the young kid in the restaurant playing on his iPad in peace? Well, the Switch is the teenage equivalent. While not condoning giving your teenager something they will be glued to in silence (unless you drive a carpool to Middleton or King, then I am totally condoning it), the remarkably versatile and sleek handheld gaming system has been wildly popular since its 2017 release. This year, Nintendo released a Switch Lite, a smaller version with more battery life that doesn’t connect to the television or have removable Joy-Cons (or, for our older readers, the Controller Thing-A-Majiggies). The original, however, is still the better choice.

The Ninetndo Switch (above) is the best and most versatile handheld gaming system around, and once again will be a hot ticket item this holiday season. (Photo: James Bareham/The Verge)

research. Anker (above) is one of the top brands in this category, and you should really consider splurging on something along the size of 20,100mAh, which charges multiple devices and can do a typical cell phone 6-8 times over.

HARRY POTTER ILLUSTRATED: I know a few people who read the Harry Potter series, or most of it, to their young children, including my wife. These books are now brought to life with wonderful drawings that further heighten the experience of enjoying’s J.K. Rowling’s masterful series. The art is sure to engage a new generation of Harry Potter fans, and makes the series much more of a bedtime read for the little ones. And, if your kids aren’t into them, there’s always your inner child who deserves a little spoiling now and then. PORTABLE CHARGER: You do know that plugging your cell phones into the walls at restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores is a recipe for losing your charging cord, not to mention a ridiculous look or two, right? People! Buy a portable charger! They come in all sizes, shapes and colors, and can be kept in your purse, backpack, briefcase or even pocket. Do your 16

DNA KITS: So I know a woman who used a DNA kit to find her parents and discovered she had four brothers and sisters, who had no idea she even existed. Sadly, the parents had already taken their secret to their graves, but her reunion with her siblings was a beautiful moment. There’s hundreds of stories like those. Maybe you are one them? At the very least, it’s fun to find out exactly what percentage of Irish or Italian or French you really are. You might be surprised.

hard-boiled eggs in it. They practically peel themselves in the Instant Pot (above). And, for our large Indian population in New Tampa or anyone who enjoys butter chicken, search Google for Urvashi Pitre+ Instant Pot for a great story in The New Yorker magazine and a freakishly good butter chicken recipe. You’re welcome.

KINDLE PAPERWHITE: You know how every Jan. 1, you make a resolution to read more, but end up getting about three pages in before checking your email, responding to a Facebook message and liking something on Instagram? Then, stop reading on an iPad! Since e-books have become popular, and since the last time I read a book was before someone sat on and broke my Kindle, I feel your pain. I read seven whole pages last year! But, not in 2020. A Kindle is made for one purpose — reading books. So, I’m putting away the iPad and getting back to books this holiday season. There’s no button to check your email, INSTANT POT: Wives can be tough and no option to go split screen to keep tabs on your Twitter account. The Kindle to shop for. I recommend diamonds and should help fortify your self discipline to gift cards to the spa, just to be safe, but sometimes a nice practical gift (you can say actually read. It’s light, easy to use and easy to read it’s from the kids! Always blame the kids!) in the sunlight, and it’s a million times bethits the spot, too. ter to take your Kindle (top photo in next The Instant Pot is a game changer. It makes rice, yogurt, cake and pretty column) to the pool or the beach. Plus, it’s waterproof! much anything. Pro-tip: Try cooking

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •

DASH MINI MAKER: This miniature waffle maker (below) is ideal for making the latest Keto Diet craze — Chaffles. Oh, you’re not on the Keto Diet? Just wait until after your fourth straight day of Christmas leftovers, as you sit down to make your list of New Year’s resolutions. You’ll get there. Trust us.

APPLE PRODUCTS: Anything will be fine— from AirPods to Macbook Pro, and from an iPad to the new iPhones. I mean, really, you can’t go wrong, unless you have a mortgage to pay. Then, buying too much Apple stuff is not always the hottest idea. The new AirPods Pro (below) are out now at a price of around $249, and you’re not likely to find too many deals, because,’s Apple. But, for the music-loving, bluetoothtalking, video-watching person in your life, the AirPods Pro may be the way to go this season. Just set aside a little extra cash for when you lose one of them, or even worse, lose the charging case. Definitely, definitely trust us. Happy Holidays to all and to all, a profitable enough season to afford it all!

Neighborhood News


Need A Great Gift For Dad? Visit Gas N Grills!

As a long-time dad and now a grandpa (see pg. 3), I know that most guys think they’re better at outdoor grilling than anyone else. I definitely think that about myself, anyway. If my hypothesis is true, then the number one location for getting your dad (or husband, son or grandpa) the perfect holiday gift has to be Gas N Grills, located for at least as long as I’ve owned the Neighborhood News at 14615 Livingston Ave. in Lutz, just off E. Bearss Ave. and a half-mile west of Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. Joe Baker hasn’t owned the store, which previously had a different name, for all of those years, but he did recently expand it and he promises that the charcoal and gas grills and accessories he carries are not only better than those you’ll find at those big home improvement stores, he offers customer service those “warehouses” can’t. “I stand behind everything I sell,” he says. “The warehouse stores can’t say that.” Joe currently is having a huge Holiday Sale, with savings of $200-$500 or more off many of his favorite grills in the store, including the three sizes of Saffire charcoal-burning ceramic Kamado smokers/ grills in the picture above that he promises are better than their “large, green” counterparts that are super-popular these days. “These have stainless steel bases that the others don’t,” he says. “And you can grill, smoke and cook almost anything on them —

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you can even bake a cake with them!” But, Gas n’ Grills also has a huge selection of other top-name charcoal and gas grills by Weber, Broilmaster, Blaze, Alfresco, TEC, Artisan and many more, as well as gas fireplaces, deep fryers big enough to accommodate the biggest turkeys, fire pits and even custom-built outdoor kitchens. “I work with a contractor who can design and build pretty much anything you want,” he says. “If you can dream it, we can make it a reality for you!” I’ve also never seen the selection of grill parts and accessories Joe offers, or the variety of hardwoods for smoking food that he carries. “It’s not just about mesquite and hickory anymore,” he says. “Cherry, orange, pecan and many more...we have ‘em all!” For more info about Gas N’ Grills, call (813) 972-4984 or visit GasNGrills. com. Or, mention that you read about Gas N’ Grills in the Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News to receive $4 off any propane fill! — GN

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For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •


DECEMBER 2019 Friday, December 13

Prism Concert at New Tampa’s Wharton High - See story, right.

Saturday, December 14

Free Community Boot Camp - New Year, Same Hustle - Camp Gladiator is a fitness movement with dynamic, fun & challenging workouts - This is 60-minutes of amazing at your favorite place to shop. This Free event takes place every Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. at Tampa Premium Outlets (2300 Grand Cypress Dr., Lutz) - Participants should bring: exercise mat, 1-2 bottles of water, sweat towel, a smile & great attitude. For more info, email Christine Iloni at Bay Chapel Food Pantry - Free food to help needy families. The Bay Chapel Food Pantry is open every Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., behind Christian Brothers Automotive on BBD Blvd. in New Tampa (20300 Trout Creek Dr). For more info, call (813) 731-4040. Fresh Market at Wiregrass - Held the 1st & 3rd Saturday of each month, you can enjoy the Fresh Market at Wiregrass (28211 Paseo Dr.), 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Shop for fresh produce, hand-crafted goods, candles, sauces, fresh bread and so much more. For more info, visit

Monday, December 16

Yoga On The Lawn - at the Shops at Wiregrass Center Court (28211 Paseo Dr, Wesley Chapel). This Free event is held every Monday, 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m., weather permitting. This is relaxing beginner to intermediate yoga, sponsored by Energia Wellness Studio. For more info call (813) 973-7300.

Wednesday, December 18

Rotary Club Of Wesley Chapel Noon - The Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary Club meets Wednesdays at noon at Omari’s Grill, inside Lexington Oaks Golf Club off Lexington Oaks Blvd. First-time guests are always admitted for free. For more info, call (813) 391-3895, and see the story on pgs. 1 & 8! GFWC New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club - The General Federation of Women’s Clubs’ New Tampa Junior Woman’s Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that meets the third Wednesday of each month at Arbor Greene Clubhouse (18000 Arbor Greene Dr, New Tampa), 1 p.m.-2 p.m. The club participates in civic, educational & charitable activities, & is dedicated to local community improvement through volunteer service. To join the Juniors, email

Thursday, December 19

North Tampa Veterans Association meeting - All armed forces veterans & associates are invited to a weekly lighthearted Dutch-treat breakfast meeting to get acquainted & tell your tales, new & old. Location: Steak ‘n Shake, just off BBD Blvd. (17509 North Palms Village Pl.) - every Thursday, 7:30 a.m. Bring your spouse & your brag sheet.

Monday, December 23

New Tampa Democratic Club - The New Tampa Democrats meet on the fourth Monday of each month, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m., at Mulligan’s Irish Pub inside the Pebble Creek Golf Club (10550 Regents Park Dr, New Tampa). Guest speakers are featured at every meeting. Come early, eat, mingle or come on time and eat during the meeting. For more info, email

Friday, December 20

Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel Sunrise - The Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel Sunrise meets the 1st & 3rd Fridays of each month, 7:15 a.m., at Happy Hangar Cafe (4241 Birdsong Blvd., Lutz). For more information, call Kathy Schenck at 813-956-4436.

Wednesday, December 25 Merry Christmas! This will be the last print Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News issue that will include a Community Calendar. To keep up with (and post) local events, please check out our online Community Calendar at

Check Out The Prism Concert At Wharton Tonight! As holiday breaks approach for all of our local schools, the performing arts groups at New Tampa’s Wharton High — including the band, orchestra and choir programs — are getting together tonight (Friday, December 13) at 7 p.m. — to make music in a somewhat unexpected style that has become an annual tradition. Called “Prism,” it will feature every large performing ensemble in the school’s music department, which includes the band, orchestra and chorus. “The concert runs in a non-traditional, continuous or circular format,” explains Justin Swaim, Wharton’s music department chair, “with varying performing locations throughout the concert hall.” So, when one ensemble finishes performing, the spotlight will instantly move to another area of the auditorium and the next piece will begin. Prism might go from a vocal solo of a popular holiday song to a string quartet playing a classical piece. Then, the entire orchestra may appear on stage, while the jazz band sets up in the back corner. Swaim says Prism is a fast-paced, fun and somewhat unexpected evening. Groups scheduled to perform include Wharton’s Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Wildcat Orchestra, Jazz Band, Lady Catz Choir, Mixed Choir, Percussion Ensemble and smaller ensembles. The school’s marching band, called

Wharton Regiment, will fill the auditorium in a unique way. Typically, its sounds are reserved for outdoor football fields. But, during Prism, the Wharton Regiment brings a modified version of this season’s halftime show, which scored straight superiors (the highest possible score) at its MPA (Music Performance Assessment) competition last month and features music from Marvel Studios’ “The Avengers.” From quiet to loud, classical to contemporary, Swaim says that at Prism, “there is always something for all ages and all musical tastes.” Prism will be held tonight in the Wharton High School auditorium, located on the south side of the school (closer to Walmart) at 20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., less than a mile south of the Pasco-Hillsborough county line. Admission is $5 for adults and free for students with student ID and children ages 12 and under. All proceeds from admission will go directly to supporting the students participating in the Wharton High music department. For questions regarding the Prism concert, please email Justin Swaim at — CM

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Neighborhood News


15102 Amberly  Drive,  Tampa  Florida  33647    Tel:  813-­‐971-­‐84848   JOIN US IN THE AMAZING GRACE NEW SANCTUARY BUILDING FOR CHRISTMAS SEASON SERVICES & EVENTS Christmas Dinner Gala, Saturday, December 14, 2019 @ 7:00-11:00 pm $50 donation. (Call D. Clarke 813-409-9085 to reserve tickets at the door) 1. Advent IV Sunday, December 22, 2019 @ 7:00 pm Children, Youth & Family Program “GOOD NEWS AHEAD” CHRISTMAS MUSICAL with Reception Following in Canterbury Hall. 2. Christmas Eve, Tuesday December 24, 2019 10:30 PM. Christmas Eve pre-service Concert. 11:00 PM. Traditional Candle Light Service with Choir and Holy Communion. 3. Christmas Day, Wednesday December 25, 2019 9:00 AM. Traditional Service with Carols and Holy Communion. 4.  New  Years  Eve,  Tuesday  December    31,  2019     “2020  Vision”  Night  Watch  Service  @  10:00  pm  –  1:00  am  

Grace Church  has  been  serving  the  New  Tampa  community  since  1998  in  the   Episcopal  (Anglican)  Tradition,  which  blends  together  Roman  Catholic  and   Reformed  Christianity  streams.  From  this  ethos,  the  Anglican  Tradition  is   called  the  “middle  way”  (Via  Media)  straddling  and  blending  both  Reformed   and  Catholic  Christianity.  This  makes  Grace  Church  a  comfortable  church   home  for  cradle  Episcopalians/Anglicans,  and  families  of  blended  faiths:  -­‐  for   example,  Roman  Catholic  spouse  and  Protestant  Spouse,  Christian  spouse  and   Hindu  spouse,  Christian  spouse  and  none-­‐faith  spouse.   Grace  Church’s  new  sanctuary  building  is  an  inviting  presence  that  both   anchors  and  draws  the  community  together.  Our  new  Canterbury  Hall,  with   a  resident  cordon  bleu  Private  Chef  of  Tampa  is  ideal  for  catering  celebration   events  like  wedding  receptions,  Bar-­‐Mitzvahs,  birthdays,  and  community   gatherings.   FOR  MORE  INFORMATION  OR  TO  R.S.V.P.  VISIT:    

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10/10/19 3:17 PM

Pure Nail Bar Spa Is New Tampa’s Place For All-Natural Nail Services! By CELESTE McLAUGHLIN

While Pure Nail Bar Spa opened about five years ago next to Burger 21 in the Trout Creek Commons plaza on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., it’s only been since July of last year that it has been owned by Kevin and Nicole Nguyen. Kevin and Nicole are New Tampa residents who have been in the nail spa industry for 15 years. Since the couple took over, their focus has been on providing outstanding service and all-natural products for their customers. “We removed all harmful chemical substances and use NuSkin products instead for all of our pedicures,” says Kevin. “It’s healthier for you and for our employees, too.” Kevin explains that Pure Nail Bar offers services that are priced similar to other nail salons, but even the classic pedicure, which is just $25, uses natural products. A wide range of pedicures includes the classic natural pedicure, natural pedicure foot treatment, signature natural pedicure or luxury natural pedicure, offering treatments such as an herbal mineral bath with essential oils, exfoliating with Liquid Body Lufra, hot stone massage, Sole Solution foot treatment and Baobab Body But-

No matter what type of manicure or pedicure you prefer, the Pure Nail Bar Spa located behind Burger 21 on Bruce B. Downs Blvd. in New Tampa uses the best, all-natural, organic products and provides outstanding customer service.

ter for all-day moisturizing and enhancing the resiliency of the skin over time. All types of manicures are available, too. While acrylic nails are still an option, Kevin and Nicole suggest customers try dipping powder instead, which feels and looks lighter than acrylic, but is actually stronger.

Any Design, Any Color

From the trendiest shapes to the most intricate designs, the specialists at Pure Nail Bar Spa can copy any design you can dream up or find on Pinterest. “Bring in your design and we’ll match it,” Nicole says. Cristina Chanquin is a Pebble Creek

resident who says she doesn’t trust many people with her nails. While she prefers Nicole as her nail tech, she says she’s seen others who work at Pure Nail Bar, and likes what she’s seen with them, too. “Nicole can do any shape, any design,” says Cristina. “I always get a coffin shape and she doesn’t do them too thick. She is always on trend and knows what’s going on.” Cristina says strangers often tell her that her nails are “amazing” and ask where she has them done. She happily refers them to Pure Nail Bar Spa. It’s not just Nicole’s skill that keeps Cristina coming back. It’s also the great customer service. “They’re so accommodating,” she says, explaining that Pure Nail’s technicians always offer water, soda, or a glass of wine to their clients. If Cristina is running late, they will still see her and won’t make her feel rushed, and there are other personal touches, too. “If someone is unhappy with something, they’ll redo it, and they won’t charge you,” she says. Nicole explains that this is Pure Nail Bar Spa’s guarantee. On pedicures and gel and dip manicures, “if anything chips, come in and we’ll fix it for free,” she says. To see many examples of the specialty nails designed by Nicole and other nail

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Spotlight On: VIP Signature & VIP Elite Barbershop

Pure Nail Bar & Spa customer Cristina Chanquin shows off her trendy, coffin-shaped nails (right). To transform your nails the way Cristina does, you have to visit Pure Nail Bar Spa!

specialists at Pure Nail Bar Spa, visit the spa’s Facebook page by searching “Pure Nail Bar New Tampa” on Facebook.

Other Available Services & Holiday Raffle

In addition to nails, Pure Nail Bar Spa offers a full menu of waxing and facials. The spa’s nail techs recommend and use the AgeLOC brand LumiSpa device from NuSkin, a handheld personal skin care device with gentle, nonabrasive silicone surfaces that helps to help lift skin and reduce sagging. In 2018, it was an award winner in the global Pure Beauty awards. The LumiSpa machine and products used for facials, pedicures and manicures are available for sale at Pure Nail Bar Spa. “The clients use it here and love it so much that they want to bring it home,” says Nicole. And, the good news is that Pure Nail Bar Spa is currently offering a holiday raffle, now through Tuesday, December 24. You’ll receive a ticket into the raffle by purchasing any service (limit one raffle ticket per visit). The first prize in the raffle is the aforementioned NuSkin LumiSpa personal skin care device (a $200 value!). Second prize is a $50 gift card to Pure Nail Bar Spa and third prize is a tub of NuSkin Epoch Baobab Body Butter (a $35 value). The salon currently has 11 employees, and Kevin and Nicole say they are hiring. All Pure Nail employees must have a full specialist cosmetology license. “It’s easy to work here,” says Kevin, “There’s no pressure to sell, you just have to make customers happy. Customer service is the most important thing here.” Sandra is a full nail specialist who has worked at Pure Nail Bar Spa for about a year and a half. “It’s such a positive environment,” she says, “We’re really focused on better service and better products.” Neighborhood News

Pure Nail Bar also offers a menu of services for when parents come in with their children, such as for a mother/ daughter day. These include manicures, pedicures and polish changes. A private room is available and Pure Nail Bar Spa can accommodate all kinds of parties, such as birthday, bridal, bachelorette and even Christmas parties. Kevin and Nicole hope to treat every customer who walks through their doors to healthy and natural products with excellent customer service, so they will be as happy with their experience as Cristina has been. “I require something special,” says Cristina. “I like a special color, so they make sure it’s in stock. It’s very personal.” Pure Nail Bar & Spa is located at 20304 Trout Creek Dr., Ste. 104. It is open Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. and 11 a.m.–5 p.m. on Sunday. To make an appointment or for more information, call (813) 9910099, or search “Pure Nail Bar of New Tampa” on Facebook. Also, be sure to mention this article or bring in the ad on page 25 of this issue for a 10% discount for first-time clients.

VIP Elite Barbershop opened its doors at 20309 Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Bvd. (just south of County Line Rd.) in August of 2015 to provide a modern barbershop in the New Tampa/ Wesley Chapel area. VIP offers Elite haircuts (right photo) and hot shave services. The barber shop has been recognized as the best in town by its clients by providing exceptional service to men, women and children. And recently, VIP Elite has expanded its services to include VIP Signature, where clients can received Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP; left photo) — a technique which camouflages baldness (hair loss) or any scars with no downtime, and immediate, superior results Facials, Microchanneling and VIP Elite’s very own signature branded grooming products, which are made with natural ingredients, also are available. VIP’s barbers have traveled to various hair trade shows, participated in competitions, and have hosted educational classes of their own to bring awareness on the latest trends in the men's grooming industry. VIP Elite believes that service should never be compromised and will always treat you like a VIP. For more information, call (813) 994-4057 or visit VIPEliteBarbershop. com & or VIP Elite’s social media pages to book your appointment, and learn more about all of the available services.

Have a Ball! (or, get down to business)

Tampa-Wesley Chapel

26640 Silver Maple Pkwy Wesley Chapel, FL 33544


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Wesley Chapel’s Learning Experience Is Open Off S.R. 54! By CELESTE McLAUGHLIN The Learning Experience of Wesley Chapel, located near the front of the Lexington Oaks community off S.R. 54, just opened in August, but is already a busy, bustling learning center filled with happy children. “We are quickly growing,” says Kristen Nyilas, the operating manager who oversees both the Wesley Chapel franchise and a Brandon location. “As of right now, though, we are still accepting new students at every age group.” The center offers both full-time care for ages newborn to five years old and also VPK-only classes. VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten) is three hours a day for students who will enter kindergarten the following year and it is offered at no cost to parents. Instead, the cost is paid by the state of Florida. Some part-time care is offered, such as three days a week or mornings only, based on availability. Nyilas says The Learning Experience Wesley Chapel provides a foundation that gives students a jump start in elementary school. The school’s director, Karen Mullen, adds, “When they come to The Learning Experience, they graduate with skills that set them apart from their kindergarten peers.”


The Learning Experience of Wesley Chapel director Karen Mullen (left) and area manager Jennifer Tibbetts share a table in the center’s Make Believe Blvd. (Photos: Charmaine George)

School History & Programming

The Learning Experience was founded by Michael and Linda Weissman in 1980 with a single location in Boca Raton, and was built on teaching through cognitive, physical and social principles; summarized in the school’s motto, “Learn, Play and Grow.” When it comes to early childhood education, all of The Learning Ex-

perience centers use the proprietary Learning Experience Academic Program (L.E.A.P.) that Kristen says was written by educators who specialize in early childhood education. It guarantees that children will graduate with “exceptional core academic skills.” The curriculum was written around what the school’s founders believe are the six stages of development — Infant

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(6 weeks to 1 year old), Toddler (1-2 years old), Tawdler (2-2-½ years old), Prepper (2-½ to 3 years old), Preschooler (3-5 years old), and Kindergartner (5 years old, but it is not offered at the Wesley Chapel location and some others). “Even infants have a curriculum,” explains Kristen. “A lot of parents like that their children are learning as soon as they come to our center.” L.E.A.P. includes sign language for infants and toddlers, a phonics program and even a foreign language program, teaching children Spanish or Mandarin (although currently, only Spanish is taught at the Wesley Chapel location). L.E.A.P. workbooks include a journal, an interactive book and Fun With Phonics, which is specifically designed to teach reading to 3- and 4-year-olds. Children also take part in activities that promote a healthy and active lifestyle. The Learning Experience offers eight enrichment programs for children, including Suddenly Science, Dancing Feet, Talent Sprouts, Super Soccer and more. “Our enrichment programs are included, and there’s never an added fee,” says Kristen. She explains that the programs are offered once a week for three months. Each student gets a kit to use in class — such as a yoga mat and CD


for “Yippee 4 Yoga” — that the student takes home at the end of the unit. The Learning Experience mascots, including Flexi Flamingo (P.E.), Lionstein (Science) and Bubbles the Elephant — the leader of the mascots — help lead the children through their day.

The Latest & Greatest

What truly sets The Learning Experience apart, says Karen, is its commitment to the newest technology and newest ideas in early childhood education. “It’s colorful and bright and happy,” she says with a big smile. Karen is a lifelong educator who has earned a Master’s degree in Education (M.Ed.) from Capella University in Minneapolis, MN, and a Bachelor’s degree in

elementary education from California University of Pennsylvania in California, PA. She has experience as an elementary school classroom teacher and as a curriculum specialist, among other roles. “The Learning Experience is on the leading edge of what’s new in early childhood education,” she says. “So many places aren’t willing to take the chance to change, but not here.” She says that’s evident not only in the school’s curriculum, but also in its technology. All classrooms for kids ages three and older have L.E.A.P. Interactive smart boards in the classroom. Students being taught a new lesson interact with their smart board to circle the correct answer, for example. The Learning Experience also has a proprietary app — which can be used at home on a computer, tablet or phone — to continue learning. Called “BubblesU,” it allows students to reinforce lessons learned in school in a fun and interactive way. But, that’s not the only app offered by

the school. Kristen and Karen say parents love the Show and Tell app, which is how The Learning Experience’s staffers communicate with parents all day about what their child is doing in school. “We send notifications so the parents know when they were diapered, when they slept, exactly what they ate, or if they need to bring supplies, like if they’re running low on diapers,” explains Kristen, “and we send them at least five pictures every day.” The school also emphasizes dramatic play and allows all students who are potty trained to visit Make Believe Blvd. daily, where there is a slide and a ball pit, plus storefronts and more to encourage imagination. The outdoor play areas are covered in turf, not mulch, and feature a splash pad for cooling off in the summer. The Learning Experience of Wesley Chapel provides all snacks and meals daily and is an allergy-friendly and completely peanut-free facility. One other thing that sets The Learning Experience franchises apart is their commitment to cleanliness. Not only is the center spotless, but during construction, an air purification system was installed, similar to what hospitals use, with ultraviolet lights. “It means our air is very clean,” Kristen says, “and that helps to reduce

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the number of illnesses.” The cleanliness — including the air quality — is one of many things that Heather Barnhart loves about The Learning Experience of Wesley Chapel, where her daughter Hailey, who is twoand-a-half, attends. She says that’s just the beginning. “I love that in art class, they do the art themselves and not have the teacher do it for them,” Heather says. “They use their imagination and their hands, markers, paint and crayons.” Heather also has been especially pleased with the education being provided to her daughter, who comes home singing songs and counting, sharing things she’s learned at school. The biggest compliment for The Learning Experience of Wesley Chapel might be that even though Hailey spends all day there, she doesn’t always want to leave at the end of the day. “Sometimes, she’d rather stay there and play,” says Heather. The Learning Experience of Wesley Chapel is open Mon.-Fri., 6:30 a.m.--6:30 p.m. It is located at 5440 Post Oak Blvd., just outside the entrance to Lexington Oaks, off S.R. 54. To learn more, visit and search for the Wesley Chapel location, call (813) 9943865, or see the ad on page 29.

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Jonny’s Dream Of Playing Pro Soccer Will Take Him To Spain By JOHN C. COTEY Wesley Chapel resident Jonny Robinson talks almost as fast as he runs. As the 10-year-old finishes up putting another ball in the back of the net during a camp at the Wesley Chapel District Park, he races over to his mother Alena to breathlessly tell her he scored a free kick, and a penalty kick, and five other goals. A few minutes later, he is talking about how dribbling is his favorite part of soccer. When it’s pointed out that he couldn’t wait to tell Alena about his goals, he points out that, “Yes, but of four of those goals, three were from dribbling.” Jonny is a whirling dervish of activity — chatty, happy and eager to keep moving around, a soccer ball always at his feet. “He is always happy when he’s on the pitch,” says Alena. “I’ve never seen him not happy when he’s playing.” Which is, well, pretty much always. His dedication to the game has helped lead Jonny to what will probably make him happiest of all — a spot in the 2020 Real Madrid Foundation Clinics World Challenge in early April of 2020. Jonny was one of two boys selected

Jonny Robinson stood still just long enough for us to snap this pic of him. The 10-year-old Wesley Chapel resident will travel to Madrid, Spain, in April to participate in the 2020 Real Madrid Foundation Clinics World Challenge. (Photo: John C. Cotey) from around the world competing. to represent the United States from April “I feel very motivated and very ex2-10, 2020, on the grounds of the Real cited,” Jonny says. Madrid soccer team training facility in Ironically, Jonny’s favorite soccer Madrid, Spain. Alena says Jonny was named MVP of team is Real Madrid’s most bitter rival – the camp in Orlando, where he was picked Barcelona FC. When Jonny was 6, he happened from a group of roughly 50 other 10-yearacross the 2015 UEF Champions League old kids to go to Madrid. Final between Barcelona and Juventus The Madrid tournament will cover (Italy), and he was hooked. four days, with 64 teams and 700 players Neymar became his favorite player after scoring the last goal in a 3-1 win, and Barcelona became Jonny’s favorite soccer team. He wanted to learn how to play himself. “I was playing tee ball, and didn’t really like it,” Jonny says. “My grandma said, 813-968-5050 “you guys got Jonny wrong, he’s supposed soccer.’” to beAtplaying first, it was a difficult transition. Alena says that Jonny’s first season was nearly a disaster. “He was just running after kids, having fun,” she says. “We told him to go take the ball away (from the other players), and one time he literally took the ball with his hands and said ‘Look, Mom, I got the ball!’”


• • • •

Jonny stuck with it, however. A summer league at the Wesley Chapel District Park unlocked his fervor for the game, and ever since, he has been working hard at perfecting his skills. Alena says Jonny will sometimes wake up and immediately run some shuttle cone drills (to improve his bursts of speed), go to his private coach, head off to camp, work on his shots at home in his front yard and then go to a team practice. “He lives and breathes soccer,” she says. “He never once says he’s tired, or that he doesn’t want to do it.” A fifth-grader at Watergrass Elementary, Jonny’s bedroom walls are decorated with pictures and posters of his favorite team and player. “There is no room anywhere for anything else,” he says proudly. Alena and Jonny’s father Sean have fed their son’s love of the game. They never miss an international friendly when one is played nearby, and two years ago, they took Jonny to Russia to watch Neymar play for Brazil, his native country, against Costa Rica. “That was a joy,” Jonny says. “He scored a last-minute goal to win the game. I like that Brazilian style, where he dribbles the whole field and then there’s this crazy goal. Inside, I’m like, ‘Wow.’” Jonny would like to follow in Neymar’s footsteps, which is why his trip in April is so exciting for him. He plays club soccer for Florida Premier, but thinks it would be awesome to play at one of the youth academies in Europe. He will get more than a little taste of that next year in Madrid. “We think this is a huge honor,” Alena says. “It’s a huge responsibility to represent your country, and such a unique opportunity. We are all super excited.” Jonny nods his head in agreement. Then he drops his soccer ball to his feet, and they are off, dribbling towards the next challenge.

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Korean Church On County Line Rd. Continues To Grow By WEN HENAGAN

In an age when many churches are seeing declining numbers, the Tampa Korean United Methodist Church (UMC) on County Line Rd. in Wesley Chapel continues to flourish. Since outgrowing its previous location in Tampa and electing to take over the space previously occupied by the Crossroads Community Church in 2014, the Tampa Korean UMC has grown from 150 members to more than 400 today. That growth led to a $1.5-million expansion last year — a debt paid in full by a fund-raising campaign — and more expansion could be on the way. “We are still growing,” says Pastor Rev. Dr. Sueng Lin Baik, the church’s Pastor since 2010. The secret to the church’s success, he says, is providing a spiritual home to New Tampa and Wesley Chapel’s Korean community, as well as opening the doors to others with Englishlanguage services as well. “I am blessed to be able to serve a church that continues to grow,” says Pastor Baik. While there are traditional Korean services every day at 5:30 a.m., a typical Sunday sees the parking lot slowly fill with eager churchgoers. They will tell you to come, sit

Pastor Rev. Dr. Sueng Lin Baik says his stewardship over the thriving Tampa Korean United Methodist Church on County Line Rd. has been a blessing. (Photo: John C. Cotey) down, and enjoy some bibimbap after churches like to say they are in the church services are over at noon. business of doing — serving the needs Pastor Baik and his staff have of people in times of crisis or offering successfully gone back to an old time due congratulations for achievement. concept — ecclesia — which simply Having an early-warning system built means a gathering of people. Whether in, with groups such as this, makes the or not groups of people gather at church seem like far more than just a the newly expanded activity wing for place of worship. interesting and meaningful fun things With this powerful degree of unity to do, or if they meet in private homes built in, along come the two major for singing, eating, praying and study, components Korean people have tradichurch activities are accomplished on tionally loved most — food and music. a week-long basis. For centuries, Koreans back in This has the effect of doing what their homeland have fallen back on

wonderfully prepared food and the sanctity of song, no matter the hard times. The local Korean community has core values here in Florida. “Music is my life,” says Susan, a Zion Choir member. “I don’t have a musical background,” says Hyun-su Kim. “I sing because God gave me a second chance and I can sing in service to God.” Sonia, a powerhouse of a first soprano, also says she loves to sing: “It’s a Korean thing.” The Zion Choir can beautifully render tunes as moving as “Give Thanks” to modern compositions of Christian music rife with zesty harmonies and fancy piano keyboarding. At church, they sing in Korean. If they were performing elsewhere, it would be in English. It matters little which language they employ when it comes to their precious music. This notion of singing heavenly tunes for Korean-Americans is likely a product of that “Korean thing” of adoration of music and lifting one’s voice to heaven in song. Indeed, Koreans adapted with enthusiasm to the general style of American worship and this has changed the fabric of that formerly heavily Confucian nation. Now, churches of every denomination are everywhere in South Korea, See “Korean Church” on pg. 32.

Welcomes Dr. Jennifer Harb! Neighborhood News


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‘Korean Church’ Continued from Page 31

including Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Pentecostal, and the more traditional Catholic, Baptist and Methodist. Of course, in Florida they are here as well, with a Korean slant but dogmatically identical, no matter the country. So, a kind of reverse missionary work has happened. It’s common for visiting pastors from many places and countries to come to church and have a chance to preach. Visitors from Korea who come to Tampa will likely reserve a Sunday date for a church service here if they prefer the liberal principles of this Protestant faith. Thus, there are three prime reasons for the church’s expansion: Unity, fellowship, and service. The Tampa Korean UMC Church faithful are perfectly willing to commit time a day ahead and go into the church kitchen to cook and prepare for the next day’s post-service fellowship. Jun-sung Kim is the man in charge of what is often a prodigious weekly project of buying and getting the proper ingredients, making sure the team is in place, and firing up the kitchen stoves to cook food in mass quantities. “We love the fellowship,” Kim says. “This past Sunday, we served 270 people, but in winter it will probably


Hundreds of bowls of delicious Korean fare are prepared every Sunday morning for Tampa Korean United Methodist Church churchgoers to enjoy afterwards. (Photo: John C. Cotey) go up to 300 or more.” This food is carefully prepared and approximates Korean food served in restaurants. For those in the know, specialties that the congregants regularly feast on after church include japchae (glass noodle stir fry), ssambap (rice lettuce wraps), bulgogi (grilled beef), bibimbap (a bowl that combined rice, seasoned vegetables, meat, egg and a variety of other toppings) and galbitang (beef short rib soup). The traditional Korean side dishes will be there too, like kimchi, rice and pickled radish. And, listeners may hear a congregant slide from one language

to another at any time. “People here come from all over,” says Pastor Baik. Common places of origin for congregants are from anywhere in South Korea, as well as California, Illinois and New York state. Many personal backgrounds were in Buddhism. Some of the older congregants were born in North Korea before there was a North Korea. This past summer, the church hosted a large contingent of Christians who made it out of the repressive North Korean state. These people have had a much harder time learning English, due to the educational restrictions

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and liabilities of the North. But, they love the notion of religious freedom and were amazed at the size of the fellowship hall at TKUMC and the graciousness of the congregants. “It’s my job to get a kind of synergy here,” Pastor Baik says. By that, he is referring to the tricky and seemingly neverending task of melding older and newer approaches to the Bible’s meaning, along with the use of music and singing, which is so generationally oriented. Pastor Erik Sue is a player in getting this synergy going with an English-only service. He tends to serve the younger crowd and caters to their urge to do upbeat Christian music in English that employs a “band-style” approach. So, what can you expect if you show up for a service at Tampa Korean United Methodist Church? You will have contact with folks who go back and forth between two complex languages without missing a beat. You may have your name mentioned and a song sung your way by the congregation, led by Pastor Baik. And, best of all, you are immediately ushered post-service into the gigantic fellowship hall with a plateful of superb Korean vittles, where you can chat and chew to your heart’s delight. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday.


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New Tampa Brew Fest Makes Strides In Second Year

By JOHN C. COTEY The official numbers hadn’t been tallied at our press time, but according to event co-chair Chris Stennett, there is no mistaking that, once again, the Rotary Club of New Tampa Noon’s second annual New Tampa Brew Fest was a hit. Hundreds of revelers strolled from table to table in the Venetian Center at St. Mark The Evangelist Catholic Church on Cross Creek Blvd., sampling nearly 100 offerings from more than 30 breweries, both big and small, sometimes to wash down the food being served by three outstanding food trucks outside. The breweries represented included everything from large companies like Cigar City, Florida Avenue, Coppertail and Goose Island to smaller craftsmen who brew out of their garages, like Krazy Eddie’s Garage (KEG) Brewing, Ignorant Ales and Wiregrass Brewing Co. “We were really, really happy with the event,” said Stennett afterwards. “I feel good about what we did, and we are thankful for the community for coming out to support us.” The event is the primary fund raiser for the New Tampa Noon Rotary (which meets Wednesdays at noon at Bayscape Bistro inside Heritage Isles

“I figured, ‘What the heck,’” said Dennis. “We always have a great time when we go to these things.” Dennis said he was impressed by the New Tampa Brew Fest, considering it was only the second year the event has been held. “I was really impressed with the quality of the beers,” he said. “They had a lot of breweries, a lot of variety. I drank a lot of really good beer.” Dennis, who tends to enjoy darker beers, said his favorite was the organic Peppermint Porter served by Randy Gailit, who brews his Wiregrass Brewing Co. out of his garage in the Meadow Pointe community. “That was a really beautiful beer,” Dennis said. Wiregrass Brewing Co. wasn’t the only local to draw rave reviews. Double Branch Artisanal Ales (DBAA), which is opening a place in The Grove in Wesley Attendees at the second annual New Tampa Brew Fest, hosted by the Rotary Club of New Chapel in January, drew a lot of attenTampa Noon at the Venetian Center at St. Mark The Evangelist Catholic Church on Cross tion for its offerings, particularly the OrCreek Blvd., had a chance to sample nearly 100 different brews. ange Suede, a passion fruit, orange peel, Golf Club) and helped the club contrib- Brew Fest and enjoy some better weather pineapple and marshmallow sour. (see bottom right picture on next page). ute thousands of dollars to causes like For DBAA co-owner Ryan Clarke, his Dennis, who lives in Soldier’s the Fisher House at the James Haley VA first New Tampa Brew Fest was a success. Grove, WI, just east of Madison, found Hospital last year. He said the Orange Suede was so popua plane ticket for $67 out of MinneapoFew came further for this year’s lar he had to crack open a second keg of event than Wisconsin’s Dennis Zweber, lis — about four hours away — and said it.“I thought it was a great event, and a Midsys Tue - 01/23/2018 - 3:19:31 who took his brother Greg, who lives in that going to beer festivalsAM was one of326106.2488 his great chance to introduce ourselves to the Midsys - 3:19:31 326106.2488 Lutz, up on an offer to fly down Tue for the- 01/23/2018 family’s favorite pastimes. AM beer-loving community,” Clarke said. Midsys Tue - 01/23/2018 - 3:19:31 AM 326106.2488

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The Owners Of Island Fin Poké Co. Say Healthy Eating Is Here To Stay! By GARY NAGER I first met Jeff and Brenda Sproat — the owners of the brand new Island Fin Poké Co. located on the New Tampa side of County Line Rd. (next to LA Fitness) — when Jeff and I both coached our sons in what used to be called the New Tampa Little League (NTLL) at what is now called the North East Sports Complex/Eber Baseball fields off Cross Creek Blvd. Jeff was generally one of the calmer, more disciplined coaching dads in the NTLL at the time. I...wasn’t. Even so, Jeff and I pretty much always got along and Brenda was always smiling and friendly, even after a tough game for either team. I hadn’t spoken at all with the Sproats, except for the few times we’d run into each other at a local restaurant or store, since those


Little League days, before Brenda called to tell me about their new business venture. She was excited that Island Fin was getting ready to open — they were maybe three months off at the time — and said she was hoping I could help them promote their new eatery to residents on both sides of the county line. “Have you ever had a poké bowl?,” she asked me. And I answered that not only did I enjoy the still-emerging (at least in this part of Florida) “quick casual” poké bowl concept, sushi-grade tuna has, for more than two decades — and likely always will be — an important part of my life. And, the fact, as Brenda was quick to point out, that Island Fin Poké Co. is so much more than just tuna poké couldn’t possibly be a bad thing.

First, A Little History...

According to, the Island Fin Poké Co. can trace its roots back to when founders Mark Setterington was the GM and Paul Reas was the bar manager at the Bahama Breeze in Orlando in 2004. Mark moved to Las Vegas in 2007 to “do his own thing” while Paul stayed at Bahama Breeze. The two remained close friends, but it wasn’t until August of 2016, after Paul quit his job at Bahama Breeze, that the two started working on a concept together. Their objectives were to come up with a concept with incredible food and remarkable service that would be super easy to replicate.

(L.-r.) Jason, Brenda and Jeff Sproat say that if you mention that you saw Island Fin Poke Co.’s mobile ad in front of their restaurant (next to LA Fitness off County Line Rd. at BBD Blvd.), you’ll receive a free Dole Whip with the purchase of any bowl. You also will receive $3 off any bowl if you post a pic with the truck on their social media. Mark was running ten restaurants in Las Island Fin’s website also touts the fact that the concept features the freshest, locally Vegas and Los Angeles, but the website says his Las Vegas kitchen became “ground zero” sourced ingredients, farm-to-fork freshness and some unique proteins, including octopus. for poké. They experimented with sauces, which they felt were important in order for Jeff and Brenda brought in a familIsland Fin to distinguish itself from its comiar face — their son Jason (a darn good petitors in what was already a growing field. ballplayer, as was his brother Adam) — to “I really think the sauces are the biggest manage the location, since they no longer thing that sets us apart,” Brenda says. “All of live in this area themselves. But, no matter the sauces are homemade — and gluten-free, who serves you when you visit, the employby the way — and each one is a little differees are all friendly, knowledgeable and most ent, but they’re honestly all delicious. We’ve people who dine in are in-and-out in just a only been open for a few weeks but we have few minutes. people coming back again and again to try a “The bowls and everything we sell are new sauce or keep using the same sauce.” at a great price point,” says Jeff, ever the

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o business side of the biz. “And the food, honestly, is outstanding.

So, How Does It Work?

As with most quick casual poké bowl places, you start at one end of a line and tell your “technician” what you want to add as you assemble your bowl. You start with a base — white or brown rice, mixed field greens or you can combine them. You then add your well-marinated poké protein — from salmon, octopus, chicken, Spam, tofu or my favorites — ahi and spicy ahi tuna. Combos are OK, too. Next, choose your veggie mix-ins — edamame, corn, sweet onions and jalapeños. Then, you add your sauce — shoyu (soy), ponzu (citrus soy), OG (with jalapeños), Island Fin Fire (with cilantro and habañero), or Wicked Wahine (sweet and hot). I haven’t yet tried them all, but Brenda says the Island Fin Fire is the hottest. I’m currently stuck on the OG sauce. It sets a great flavor base for everything else you add... ...Because wait, there’s still more! In addition to the mix-ins, there are the following toppings — chili flakes, chili oil, crispy garlic, crispy onions, green onions, furikake (a fishbased topping), fresh pineapple and mango, cucumber, pickled and spicy pickled veggies, pineapple & mango salsa, wasabi peas, pickled ginger, seaweed salad and of course, black and white sesame seeds. For $1 more, you can add premium toppings like avocado, surimi (some call it imitation or “k”-crab), macadamia nuts

or masago (salmon-family fish eggs, or roe). One thing I will say is that even though Island Fin also has a variety of “finishing” sauces — avocado, wasabi, togarashi (hot sauce) and Jamaican cream — I don’t really need anything else on my fresh and delicious bowl, although a lot of Island Fin’s customers love them. Feel free to try them all, if you like, and let me know if you like your bowl better with or without a finishing sauce. I’m currently stuck on mostly spicy tuna on brown rice and field greens with edamame, corn, OG veggies, spicy and regular pickled veggies, seaweed salad and sesame seeds with OG sauce (above, center), but I will try Island Fin Fire and Wicked Wahine soon — probably before this issue reaches your mailbox. Your cost for any of these bowls? Just $11! And, as a reward for all that healthy eating, you should finish your meal with whatever flavors of Dole Whip Island Fin is serving that day. To date, I’ve sampled the pineapple and the vanilla and although I disagreed with Jeff that the non-dairy vanilla tasted “just like frozen yogurt or soft-serve ice cream,” it doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s delicious and the cup is big enough for two to share (at least in my opinion, even though I’ve yet to share it). “Dole Whip is the biggest thing at Disney,” Brenda says. “People have driven a long way because they heard we had it. It’s really refreshing.” Agreed. And, although there are canned

soft drinks (even La Croix sparkling water and Perrier), the only thing that could make my meal better at Island Fin is an ice cold Red Stripe or other Caribbean beer. Ah, maybe someday.

Great Catering & Current Offers

Brenda says Island Fin has a great catering menu on the website and that the local location can accommodate anything from small gatherings to large PTA, sports team and even corporate parties, and she invites everyone to give the restaurant a call to discuss their options. And, Island Fin currently has a number of great offers to get local residents to come in and try them out. First, Brenda’s challenging anyone who snaps a picture in front of the Acme On The Go mobile truck (which the Sproats are parking out in front of the restaurant from time to time) to post it on Island Fin’s social media to receive $3 off your poké bowl. Speaking of the truck, all you have to do is mention the ad being displayed on the truck and you’ll receive a free Dole Whip (a $4 value!) with the purchase of any bowl. Of course, if the truck isn’t on site when you’re there, you could bring in or mention the coupon in the ad on page 43 of this issue. And, if you stop in to Island Fin Poké anytime after 4 p.m., you’ll receive a poké bowl and a Dole Whip for only $13 (a $2 savings). “We really want people to give us a try,” Brenda says. “Whether you’ve never tried

poké before or you’ve tried one or more others, I think there are a lot of good poké places out there, I just think ours is the best.” “We looked at a lot of different franchises but this is a young franchise with fewer than 20 locations in only a few (seven) states, and we liked the idea of being part of something new, that was still evolving,” Jeff says. “Plus, we’re enjoying getting out in the community to talk about Island Fin.” Brenda adds, “We also picked Island Fin because we were given a lot of freedom in the look inside our restaurant. We picked a lot of the decorative touches (like the signposts above) ourselves and we’re proud of the way the place looks. Plus, we believe that healthy eating, with fresh food, is here to stay.” Island Fin Poké Co. is located at 6417 E. County Line Rd., Suite 101, in New Tampa (zip code 33647), although the location’s Facebook page is “Island Fin Poke Company-Wesley Chapel.” Brenda says, “We weren’t trying to be controversial when we picked that Facebook page. We know we’re physically in New Tampa, but we believe we’re going to be drawing customers from both sides of the county line. And now, we can’t change that Facebook page.” Island Fin Poke Co. is open every day, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and is available on Grubhub, with other delivery services to be added in the future. For more info, call (813) 575-8002, visit or see the ad (and coupon) on page 43.

MATT COUNTY JUDGE Paid by Matt Jowanna, nonpartisan, for County Court Judge, Group 5

Neighborhood News


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •


Recapping The North Tampa Bay Chamber’s Annual Awards Gala! Although Jannah and I had to miss this year’s “Excellence in Business” Awards Gala, hosted on Nov. 7 by the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce (NTBC) at Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club (for the first time), we had a pretty good reason — Jannah’s daughter Lauren gave birth to the first of our two new grandchildren — the precious Rosalie (“Rosie”) Carolyn Cione (see pg. 3) — at almost exactly the same time, on the same day, as the event. But, even though we missed the gala, I still wanted to congratulate this year’s award winners. As a former “Small Business of the Year” award winner (in 2014) for the former Wesley Chapel Chamber, I know how nice it is to accept one of these awards: Small Business of the Year - Advisor Magazine


New Business of the Year - Hilton Garden Inn Tampa-Wesley Chapel Large Business of the Year - AdventHealth Wesley Chapel Entrepreneur of the Year - Slater • Grant Board Member of the Year - Michael Berthelette, Platinum Hair Salon Volunteer of the Year - Cam Caudle, Shred 360 Congratulations to all of the winners and finalists! And, as always, the attendees were all well-dressed and ready to enjoy the party! Thanks to David Alvarez of DCI Media for taking these great pics in our absence! For more information about the North Tampa Bay Chamber, call (813) 9948534 or stop by the office at 1868 Highland Oaks Blvd., Suite A-1, Lutz. — GN



A 2

t A

y Among the winners at the North Tampa Bay Chamber’s 2019 Awards Gala were (clockwise from top, on this page) the Large Business of the Year AdventHealth Wesley Chapel; Entrepreneur of the Year Slater • Grant; Lisa Moore of the New Business of the Year the Hilton Garden Inn Tampa-Wesley Chapel; Board Member of the Year Michael Berthelette of Platinum Hair Salon & Volunteer of the Year Cam Caudle (with Chamber CEO/President Hope Allen) of Shred 360. (Gala photos by David Alvarez)


For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •

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The Chamber Celebrates 2019 At Breakfast

Casa Fina Realty Proudly Representing Wesley Chapel Since 2003! A little less than a month after the Awards Gala, the North Tampa Bay Chamber (NTBC) feted its spectacular 2019 at the Chamber’s Annual Meeting & Awards Breakfast, which was held on Dec. 3 at Pasco Hernando State College (PHSC)’s Porter Campus at Wiregrass Ranch. Chamber president and CEO Hope Allen recapped the Chamber’s spectacular 2019, which saw the NTBC named as the state’s Chamber of the Year by the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “We had 162 new members join the Chamber this year, so we’ve now passed 750 total members,” Allen said. “And we held or hosted more than 100 events, including 74 ribbon-cuttings.” Allen also named Mary Hrvatin-Nash of this year’s Small Business of the Year, the Advisor Magazine, as her Ambassador of the Year. Karen Tillman-Gosselin, the Chamber’s 2019 Board Chair, handed her gavel over to new Chair Dr. Kevin O’Farrell (photo, right), the Provost at PHSC’s Porter Campus. O’Farrell’s new Board was sworn in by Pasco Supervisor of Elections Brian Corley (top photo on this page) in front of a packed house. Congrats to all! Our thanks also go out to Steve Miller of Stephen John Photography (see ad on pg. 24) for providing the photos on this page. — GN



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For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •


Nibbles & Business The Latest & Greatest News In Dining, Shopping & Business In New Tampa & Wesley Chapel! Congrats, Parks Ford!

Speaking of the Chamber, November has been a busy month for NTBC ribbon-cutting events. Congratulations go out to Ron Parks (in yellow in photo above) and the entire team at Parks Ford of Wesley Chapel (28739 S.R. 54), which unveiled its newly revamped showroom at a ribbon-cutting event on Nov. 13. The amazing thing is that the dealership never closed during its massive (and impressive) renovation! For more info, call (888) 742-4177 or visit

Glory Days Opens On S.R. 54!

Wesley Chapel now has its own Glory Days Grill, which opened a week or so before we went to press with this issue at 28812 S.R. 54, in the same new plaza between Walmart and Saddlebrook Resort as Max’s Natural Pet Food Market (see ad on pg. 10). Although I originally wasn’t the biggest fan of Glory Days when it first opened in New Tampa on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd., the menu definitely seems to have been upgraded since then and on my two first visits, where I’ve sampled some crispy dry rub wings, boneless wings in semi-spicy honey BBQ sauce, a grilled-to-perfection bacon cheeseburger, a large, tasty Cobb salad and my favorite so far, the pork sliders shown below. Best of all, since Jannah and I almost always sit at the bar, the drink prices are excellent — with $5 Jameson and Tito’s all day — and the bartenders are friendly, attentive and seem


to be enjoying themselves doing their jobs. Considering Glory Days is about 0.2 miles from my office, I’m guessing we’ll be watching a lot of football and hockey games there. For more info, call (813) 535-7678 or visit and tell Kelsey, Cassady and Christy (just guessing on all the spellings, sorry) that Gary from the Neighborhood News sent you!

Bosco’s Collects For Christmas

Please help my friends Nancy and Charles Frankulin (photo below), the owners of Bosco’s Italian-to-Go at 30122 S.R. 54 (in the Freedom Plaza on S.R. 54 just west of Curley Rd.) make Christmas better for 15 (or more) local kids who wouldn’t have any gifts without their (and your) help. The Wesley Chapel High grads have been collecting donations for about a month and will continue to sell Nancy’s homemade Christmas

cards at the store — and all proceeds from those sales and any cash or gift donations will all be donated directly to these (and others, if they have extra) students in need. “We can’t help every kid in need at our local schools,” Nancy says. “But, last year, we helped four and this year, we’re able to help 15.” For more information, call (813) 9072440 or stop by anytime. Also, check out Bosco’s ad below.

Tom Dempsey Visits WC Rotary

One of the great things about the Rotary Club of Wesley Chapel (see story on pg. 1) that has nothing to do with all of the great service

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •

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the club provides to the community at large and even internationally is that it’s never difficult for the 53-member club to get great guest speakers to talk about themselves, their business or their charitable organizations. For example, one of my favorite local residents who spoke to the club on Nov. 20 is Saddlebrook Resort owner Tom Dempsey. I have known Mr. Dempsey since I rented a condo for two years (1993-95) inside the Saddlebrook community next to the resort and he has always been so complimentary about the Neighborhood News. That means a lot considering that Dempsey was the Chairman/CEO of Penton Publishing when Pittway Corp., Penton’s parent company, purchased the land and began developing Saddlebrook in 1979. Dempsey regaled the Rotary members


Spotlight On: Seabreeze Soft Spray — Better, Safer Roof Cleaning & More! When I first met Taylor Gardner about 25 years ago, he and my older son Jared were on the same Little League team for the old New Tampa Little League, which was still playing its games at Mort Elementary on E. Bearss Ave. at that time. Today, Taylor (who also did some ad sales for a certain local publication for a while) is a married man with a beautiful wife and baby son, as well as a U.S. Marine sergeant who got out of the service in 2014. He also just happens to own a business that you and most of your neighbors should probably get to know. Taylor owns Seabreeze Soft Spray & Exteriors, which specializes in exterior home cleaning, including roof cleaning, pool enclosure cleaning, pressure washing and paver sealing. And, even though he does offer pressure washing services, Taylor says it’s the soft spray that attracts the most customers. “Pressure washing is a high-pressure (3,000-4,000 pounds per square inch, or psi, of pressure), low-volume way to clean your roof,” he says, “but Soft Spray is a low-pressure (only 125 psi), high-volume system that is better and safer in many ways.” He says that most pressure-washing systems use a 50-50 ratio of water to chlorine, “but Softspray only uses 30-percent chlorine to 70-percent water.”

with stories of how Saddlebrook still stood petty much alone in this area when he bought the resort from Pittway in 1988. “Our big selling point back then was that we were only 30 minutes from Tampa International (Airport),” he said with a chuckle. “Not anymore, though.” And, even though he said he didn’t like that the resort’s Dempsey’s Steak House was named after him, you can tell how proud he is of the resort and to be one of the true founders of Wesley Chapel.

The Joint Welcomes New Doctor

The Joint Chiropractic of New Tampa (19014 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.) is proud to welcome Dr. Richard Tantillo (photo, right). Dr. Tantillo is at the New Tampa location

In addition, he says, “When we clean a roof (photos) or the entire exterior of your house, we first wet down your foliage with plain water, then cover everything with tarps while we’re doing the spraying. Then, we take the tarps off and rinse off your foliage with water again.” If you’re living in a development with a homeowners association, (and pretty much all of you are), you know that you have to keep up with keeping the exterior of your home clean, especially the roof, and Seabreeze Soft Spray is not only better, it’s also affordable — and I personally can vouch for the honesty and integrity of this military vet, family man and devout Christian. Taylor also recently took over his father Ed’s long-time business, Gardner Gutters, which specializes in cleaning out your gutters, soffit fascia, windows, screen enclosures and siding, so he can now actually provide virtually anything the exterior of your home needs to look its best. For a free estimate from Seabreeze Soft Spray, call Taylor at (813) 696-9568, search “SBSoftSpray” on Facebook or see the ad on pg. 45 of this issue. For Gardner Gutters, call (813) 486-1697 or visit — GN

Mondays-Fridays. He has earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of the State of New York, a Master of Business Administration degree from Strayer University, and a Doctorate of Chiropractic degree from New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, NY, which he earned in 2000. Originally from Long Island, NY, Dr. Tantillo also has worked in Palm Harbor and St. Petersburg. His own first-hand experience with chiropractic led him to this point in his life. “After long-lasting back pain, I visited a

chiropractor and received my first chiropractic adjustment,” he says. “I felt immediate relief. I started chiropractic college two years later and have never looked back.” He is grateful for the opportunity to work at The Joint Chiropractic in an environment that doesn’t lose sight of the goal: serving people who need help. “I had practiced for years following the insurance model,” he says. “Over time, I saw many of my patients no longer able to afford chiropractic care due to high deductibles and copays. The Joint offers an affordable solution that allows almost everyone to enjoy the benefits of regular chiropractic care.” Appointments are never required to visit The Joint (see ad on page 3 of this issue).

For more info, call (813) 644-8944 and please tell Dr. Tantillo you read about him and The Joint in the Neighborhood News!

Your CBD Store Opens!

Congrats to owner Debra Curler of the new Your CBD store in the Pebble Creek Collection. We previously told you about the opening of the Your CBD Store in Wesley Chapel ,and New Tampa has now added another link in the largest chain of hemp-based CBD stores, with nearly 500 locations nationwide and still growing. And of course, Curler notes that her CBD products will not get you “high.” For more info about the New Tampa Your CBD Store (19651 BBD), call (813) 994-0599 or see the ad on pg. 12!— GN


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For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •


New Tampa & Wesley Chapel HOME IMPROVEMENT

WESLEYCHAPELPRESSUREWASHING.COM Soft pressure exterior house cleaning, screen enclosures, pool decks, driveways, sidewalks, fences, roofs, paver sealing and deck staining. We clean everything. No job too big or small. Experience the difference when you hire a pressure cleaning professional. Licensed and insured. Owner operated. Call for a free estimate or visit our website. 813-433-6015. DAVID BRIDGES PRESSURE CLEANING Complete exterior cleaning of your home or business with a professional & personal touch. - Pool decks and screen enclosures - All fencing/ driveways and walkways/roofs - Gutter and downspouts. Find your happiness in a fresh, bright clean home. Your neighbors will love you for it! All work guaranteed. Licensed and insured. Call 813-215-1177. DRY WALL SPECIALIST. Not a handyman. Affordable Quality Work repairing water damage, ceilings and walls, retexturing, popcorn removal, room additions, cracks, holes, plaster and stucco repair. 26 Years Experience. Wesley Chapel resident. State Certified. Call Ron for free estimate: 813-784-5999. TJ’S PRESSURE WASHING LLC. Did your HOA send you a letter ordering you to clean your driveway, house, screened enclosure, fence or even your roof? However, you’re too busy or too tired to clean it. Call or Text TJ, a current 20-year Sheriff’s Department veteran and a professional exterior home cleaning expert. You can trust me with your investment. Call or Text: 727-808-7775. CHARLES POPPE ELECTRIC. Electric of all kinds pools, spas, service changes, new circuts, low voltage, repairs, upgrades, changes to existing, trouble shooting, GFCI performance testing, generators. Expert in the field - over 40 years experience. Discount for retired people 50%. Licensed and Insured Master Electrician EC 13002399 - free phone estimates. Call 813-477-9068. AMBLER ENTERPRISES Home Improvement. Call James at 813-385-6402. 30 Years Experience. Specialist in Kitchens & Bathrooms. Referrals upon request. All interior work: Drywall, Texture Paining, Doors, etc. Use us once & you won’t need to look elsewhere. Please Google us if you would like to see pictures: Wesley Chapel Ambler Enterprises. RAYMOND PAINTING. Exterior & Interior Services. Exterior: Painting, pressure washing, clean & seal pavers, stucco, roofing, leaks & wood rot repair. Interior: Painting, plastering, ceiling & wall repairs & tiles. Licensed & Bonded. References available. Free estimates. Your Neighborhood Arbor Greene Resident! We work 7 days. Call 813-994-5124.



MILLENNIUM HOME REPAIR.Professional Handyman. Cabinet Installation, dry wall repair, tile installation & repair, some plumbing, laminate flooring, light fixtures, interior painting, appliance installation, pressure washing, paneling, window repair, awning installation, carpentry, garbage disposal, fence repair, crown molding, window blinds, seal baths & showers, TV mounting & more. Call 813-400-1408 or email TYCOONUNION@YAHOO.COM.


PROFESSIONAL TECH SUPPORT in your home or small business. A+, Certified computer tech with 20 years exp. Maintenance and Repairs, Upgrades and Tutoring. More affordable than large chains! Friendly, personalized service. Technical jargon explained. Remote assistance available. References available. Call (813) 957-8342 for a free estimate. DO YOU HATE YOUR COMPUTER?!? WE CAN HELP YOU! Troubleshooting, Installation, Networking & Virus Removal. WE COME TO YOU! Residences & Businesses, more than 25-Years Experience. Contact Jeffrey Blank at 813-973-4507, visit WSICA.COM or email


A-to-Z CLEANING AND ORGANIZING. Office-House Cleaning Services! Free estimates. We use our own supplies. Affordable & Reliable. Family-Owned & Operated. Wesley Chapel Resident. Weekly / Bi-Weekly / One-Time Cleaning / Move-In / Move-Out & DeepCleaning Services. Serving Wesley Chapel and New Tampa. Call today for a FREE No-Obligation Quote: 813-462-1270. B CLEANING SERVICES: Over 18 years experience! Commercial and Residential; Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly; New house and post-construction clean-up; Window cleaning; Move-in or move-out cleanings; Pressure washing; FREE estimates; References available. Call today: 813-531-0154 or e-mail: D-ULTRA CLEANING SERVICE We have our own supplies and more than 400 clients in New Tampa! For more info, Call 813-758-9710.


HIRING PERSONAL TRAINER. Private Women’s Studio with Boot Camp & Personal Training in Wesley Chapel & Land O’ Lakes owned by Samantha Taylor. Please no phone calls or walk ins.To apply part time: BOSCO’S ITALIAN-TO-GO is hiring! Inside & Delivery positions available. Must be 18+, have a good attitude & have your own reliable transportation. Stop in at 30122 S.R. 54, Wesley Chapel to fill out an application.




A.T.B. Landscaping & Lawn Service. Licensed and insured serving the Tampa Bay area over 20 years. Family owned and operated. Quality work at affordable prices. We provide services in gutter clean-out, screen repair, pressure washing and sprinkler repair. Landscaping and property maintenance including: sodding, trimming trees and hedges, and clean ups. Other services are available. CALL 813-907-LAWN (5296)

Jasmine Landscaping, Inc. Complete lawn maintenance: Tree, palm & hedge trimming, planting, mulching, stones, sod replacement. Gutter cleaning, leaf removal & more. Cited by your HOA? Ask about our HOA Compliance Special, our Fall/Spring Special & FREE ESTIMATE! Licensed & insured. Accepting new residential & commercial accounts. We accept Visa, MC, PayPal, Zelle, AmExp. Call or text 813-420-4465. Now hiring full-time workers. HEAVY HITTER LAWN CARE: Veteran owned and operated lawn care maintenance service, focused on lawn mowing, trimming, edging and blowing (flexible with extra services). Well maintained and professional laborer ensuring customer satisfaction and on-time cuts. Rain or shine, the quality and schedule will be kept. Licensed and Insured. Call or text 678-673-7856 for your FREE ESTIMATE.

TREE SERVICE FITZPATRICK’s TREE SERVICE. 25-years of Professional Service. Licensed & Insured. Free Estimates. Tree Trimming & Tree Removal. Stump Grinding. Dead-Wood Removal. Affordable Rates. 24-Hour Emergency Storm Service. Free Mulch. Call 813-495-9541 or 813-788-TREE.

ALL-STARPOOLSOFTAMPA BAY.COM. Pool cleanups, & acid washing of old pool finishes. Marcite, quartz & pebble finishes from $3K. We offer cool decking, Eurocrete & paver decking options. Paver, river rock sealing, leak detection & in-ground vinyl liner replacements avail. We sell quality salt & ozone generators, pumps, motors & filters. Mention this ad for a $79 pool service (restrctions apply). Serving New Tampa & Wesley Chapel since 1990. Call or text 813-244-7077 or visit AllStarPoolsofTampaBay. com. Also, see our display ad below for more info. TRANQUILITY POOL SERVICE. New Tampa owned & operated. Great Pricing with outstanding customer service! LICENSED, BONDED & INSURED. See why we are New Tampa and Wesley Chapel’s #1 Choice!! Call or Text Chris today @ 813-8575400 or visit New customers get ONE MONTH FREE!

NEIGHBORHOOD POOLS Wesley Chapel owned & operated since 1999. Weekly service. No long term contracts. Mention this AD for one-month Free service. Call 813-907-7322 for details or text Joe at 813-758-7608.

AQUATEC POOL SERVICE has been keeping pools clear & swim-safe since 1994. WE DO POOLS RIGHT! Commercial & Residential. CPO #33-303052 Licensed & Insured. Service guarantee. Call 813-312-5694 TODAY and get ONE MONTH OF QUALITY SERVICE FREE.


Break It Down Productions. Customized Private Yoga Sessions with Susanna Jones. Develop strength and flexibility, while learning how to breathe and relax. I specialize in working with beginners and those requiring a more gentle approach than most group Yoga classes. I explain everything, and provide variations so that you actually feel good in the stretch instead of strained. Gift certificates available. or Call (813) 802-8393.

COMMERCIAL SPACE AVAILABLE 1,850 sq.ft. Commercial/Medical Space Available to Lease. Address: 24420 State Road 54 in Lutz (in the Medi-Weightloss Building). For more info, call 813-2934377 or email:


PHOTOGRAPHER AVAILABLE Retired Professional Photographer (45+ years experience) in the Tampa Bay Area. Corporate Events, Personal Occasions, Portraiture, Pets, Commercial Photography & Real Estate. Reasonable rates. Specials for the Holiday Season! Families, Children, Pets, Gatherings, Parties & more! Call/Text 813-748-3901 or Visit:

MISCELLANEOUS ELITE RIDES. Private Rides in a Lexus, and Concierge Services. Airport, School, Medical Appointments, Shopping. Courteous, Reliable, Professional. New Tampa to Tampa Airport: $35.00 One-Way. 24/7. Call/Text: 813-765-2037. Cory Lake Isles Resident.

Doing business in Pasco and Hillsborough County area since 1978 THE NEAT & TIDY PROFESSIONALS

24 Years of Experience „ Interior/Exterior HUNDREDS OF HAPPY CUSTOMERS

Call KT or Cole Topash (owners/painters)

813.780.2511 44

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •

Neighborhood News



Free Estimates

• Exterior Home Cleaning • Roof Cleaning • Pressure Washing • Paver Sealing


(813) 696-9568 Check us out on Facebook

Veteran Owned & Operated


Protect your children and pets with Tampa Bay’s only organic monthly fertilization and pest control • Courteous, friendly customer service • Monthly service from $40 per month • State licensed spray technicians • Organic/natural fertilizers • On-time service • Amazing results • No contracts • Special discounts on irrigation repairs and inspections Neighborhood News





For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •


We Don’t Cut Corners, We Dust Them

Still smoker friendly!

“Residential and Commercial’’

Family Owned Business with 20Years of Experience We are your all-purpose cleaner with: • High Quality Services • Competitive Rates • Great References • Always the Same Crew

• Full Liquor Bar! • Watch all the games here! • Karaoke & Entertainment

(813) 973-8336 27429 County Rd 54 Wesley Chapel, FL 33544

(813) 381-1430

“I love Fit 4 Life! This is the best place. I love the staff, they are well trained and they are experts.” –Shaila G.

Personal Training & Physical Therapy, Inc. 17419 Bridge Hill Court, Tampa, FL 33647 Office: (813) 907-7879 |


Aberdeen Ashley Pines Avalon Park West Belle Chase Bridgewater Brookside Chapel Pines Citrus Trace 46

Direct-Mailed to 25,000+ Homes in Zip Codes 33543, 33544 & 33545

Country Walk Estancia Epperson Fox Ridge Hamilton Park Lexington Oaks Meadow Pointe New River

Northwood Palm Cove Pinewalk Pine Ridge Quail Hollow Saddlebrook Saddleridge Estates Saddlewood Estates

For Advertising Information Call 813-910-2575 • Volume 27, Issue 26 • December 13, 2019 •

Neighborhood News

Seven Oaks The Ridge Watergrass Williamsburg The Lakes at Northwood Villages ofWesley Chapel Wesley Pointe Westbrook Estates @NTWCNews

Your Full Real Estate Solutions Providers Residential-Commercial-Property Management Title-Mortgage-Insurance-Home Warranty-Auction LAND O' LAKES / VALENCIA GARDENS


Angela Mora 813-482-1452

A Beautifully Maintained Pool Home in the Gated Community of Valencia Gardens with NO CDD! Boasting a Spacious 2,660 SF, 4 Bedrooms, 3 Baths, Formal Living and Dining Rooms, Great Room, Office and 3 Car Garage and a Wonderful Open Floor Plan with Great Features including Upgraded Stainless Appliances Induction Cook-top, Granite Counters with Tile Backsplash, a Covered Extended Screened Lanai with a Heated Pool with New Pool Pump and Chlorinator in 2018 PLUS Relaxing Views of a Pond. Don’t miss this one, call for a private viewing today! For more information please call Angela Mora 813-482-1452 /

26771 State Rd 56 Wesley Chapel, FL 33544 (813) 907-8200

Cynthia Filippi 813-784-1634

UNBELIEVABLE & STUNNING NEW TAMPA VIEW - Cul De Sac True Park Like Setting -Pond/Preserve Views-No Backyard Neighbors! EXECUTIVE HOME offers 4 Beds, 5 Baths, Office, Bonus Room 3,897 Sq Ft Heated Pool and Spa with Brick Paver Extended Lanai & Outdoor Kitchen 24 Hour Manned Gated Community-Resort Pool, Fitness Center, Tennis & More Close to EVERYTHING...Wiregrass Mall, Hospital, Restaurants & Major Roads! Call today for your PRIVATE Showing! Offered at $589,900

Hablo español también! |



Randall Crews, PA 813-751-9115

5810 Heronrise Crescent Drive Solar-heated, Saltwater POOL HOME on Conservation! This Gorgeous 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom home is a MUST-SEE to truly appreciate all that it has to offer. Call Randy @ 813-751-9115 for more information. |

As we begin this Holiday Season and approach 2020, I would like to say THANK YOU to all my past clients, friends and colleagues; I truly appreciate your business, your loyalty and your friendship! Wishing you all a Wonderful Holiday Season and a New Year filled with good health, prosperity and memorable moments!

Cynthia Filippi, Relocation Specialist Military Relocation Professional 813-784-1634

Mercy Barragan 813-494-6797 $3500 BUYER CLOSING COST CREDIT!! Seven Oaks -- Wesley Chapel’s MOST sought after location--Short distance to I-75/275, Wiregrass Mall, Outlets, Hospitals, Restaurants, Shops. MOVE IN READY 1 Story Beauty,4BR/3BA, 2620 SQFT is light, bright & features open feel, over 12FT HIGH VAULTED Ceilings, a Formal Dining Room, Formal LR/ FLEX Rm, Huge Kitchen w/ISLAND, 42" Maple Cabinets, Granite Counters, oversized Family, a luxurious 25x12 Master BR w/Bath that includes Jetted Soaking Tub for relaxing! Split Bedroom plan & BR4 is perfect In law or Teen Suite w/its own Bath. Partially fenced backyard for privacy! HOA only 131/YR! Just reduced! $319,900 | www.TampaBayHomes.Net

___________ Happy Holidays to All!

Happy holiday wishes from me and my 4-legged family! We gratefully thank those I have had the privilege to work with over the past 25 years for your business, referrals, and commendations. May 2020 be a very happy, healthy, and prosperous year for you and all of your loved ones!

Pumpkin, Princess, Precious, and Pepe Le Pew Jennifer Kibiger 813-469-1481


December 14 & 15

Profile for Neighborhood News

Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, Volume 27. Issue 26, December 13, 2019  

Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, Volume 27. Issue 26, December 13, 2019

Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, Volume 27. Issue 26, December 13, 2019  

Wesley Chapel Neighborhood News, Volume 27. Issue 26, December 13, 2019