Saturday, December 16, 2006

Merino's Deli Update


If you where wondering what ever happen to the opening of Merinos Seminole Heights Deli, this update should satisfy your curiosity.

After three submittals to the City of Tampa building department and threesubsequent denials, I was forced to seek the assistance of our president of theOld Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, Mr. Randy Baron.He was extremely instrumental in going above and beyond to convince the “higher ups” in thecity to hear my plight. By the way, Randy is running for City Council, “City Wide”.He certainly has my vote and if your smart, he should have yours also!
Well, it was a success and Merinos Deli will be ready to open during the earlypart of January.

If you have had a chance to drive by the deli location at 6430 Florida Ave. youwill have seen allot of progress in the last month.

I am now finishing up all the minor details in order to open successfully andwith as few start up problems as we can possibly avert.

Being that this is my fifth restaurant in thirty years, I certainly know themany problems that can occur once you open the doors for business.
It is our absolute "number one" mission to be ready to serve you, the great folksof Seminole Heights, the best soup, salad and sandwiches at the best price andwith super service!Incidentally, I have brought on Chef Mike Maikowski, a 47 year veteran ofthe food industry to handle the food side of Merinos. Chef Mike is quite an interesting fellow and one heck of a chef.

Speaking of service and overall business, the hours will be 10 AM till 7 PMMonday through Saturday.

Merinos will have seating available in three different areas.1. An outdoor deck with cute little yellow umbrellas to keep you out of the sunand is also animal friendly and I`ll supply the water bowls for your favorite pet.2. A covered patio where you can smoke, if you wish, or just meet with yourfriends or perhaps do a little business while enjoying a great meal.3. Inside, you can sit at our 6 seat bar or have a cosy lunch or dinner in ourfour two seat tables.

AS FOR PARKING, you may have wondered about this when driving by!Well, this is your answer, at the corner of lambright and Florida which is the northern part of thelot that houses Larry’s automotive and Merinos, there will be approximately15 marked parking spaces available for you to use during the lunch hours. After 4PM, Larry’s Automotive is closed and the entire lot is wide open for you to park whereyou wish.

So, good citizens of Seminole Heights , get ready for a place that I want you tocall your second home. We will always welcome your comments as well as your patronage.I personally look forward to serving each and every one of you for manyyears to come.

If you wish to contact me with questions, I am available all day everyday atthe deli or just call my cell @ 813-431-5730 or the deli number which is813-236-DELI (3354)You can also e-mail me with any questions or requests:

My Best Wishes for a Wonderful Christmas!Michael L MerinoPresidentMerinos Italian Restaurant, Inc.DBA, Merinos Seminole Heights Deli


NewHeightsMag said...

I commend you on dealing with the city. That's an accomplishment in iteself. Your place is looking great and personally, I am looking forward to being a regular customer.

IFly said...

Just got back into town yesterday and drove by there. It's looking great! I can't wait until you open.

Nikki Couture said...

I am just dying for you to open. I am so sick of Subway. Please have artichoke hearts ready for my sandwiches and I can promise you I will be there 2 times a week!

jaded1 said...

Can't wait!

ranbar said...

Mike, helping you cut through the red tape was my pleasure. I think your business will be a much needed asset along Florida Avenue. I also want to thank you for your continued belief in, and support of, Seminole Heights. I know that you have put in many, many hours of hard work, often in the face of what seemed overwhelming opposition from the city, preparing Merino's Deli for business. But I am confident that your commitment and perseverance will be rewarded.

I also see that Nikki Couture is eagerly awaiting the opening of Merino's. It is interesting that although many people predicted that Starbucks would be a death knell for locally owned businesses, we continue to see people like Nikki, Mike, Natalie and Scooter (Cappy's), Victor and Ken (Candle's as Art), Patrick, Sherry King, Elizabeth (Forever Beautiful) and others investing in Seminole Heights. There is indeed room enough for compatible corporate investment AND locally owned businesses to be successful.

Nikki's restored bungalow office building on Central and Hillsborough is especially exciting because it offers an opportunity to market Seminole Heights as a location for professional offices. The offices on Giddens and Florida, a former candy factory, are another example. In my opinion, the east side of Central Ave between Osborne and Hillsborough would be ideal for residential/office zoning. There are already professional buildings there (dentist, doctor), along with the church and terminating to the south at the library.

Perhaps such zoning could continue along the south side of Hillsborough to Florida. The streets are open (unlike the north side), so there would be a minimum traffic impact on the residential properties. And the structures themselves would be subject to ARC oversight, insuring visual compatibility. As the folks at Tampa Financial Group on Sligh have shown, it is possible to have visually appealing, compatible professional offices along the perimeter of our residential areas.

Professional offices would help stimulate commercial development by creating jobs and attracting clients into Seminole Heights. The employees have to eat somewhere, so there is an increased market for restaurants and other services. Clients will be exposed to our neighborhood and realize that it is far more than a sea of used car lots. This, in turn, helps change the perception of Seminole Heights as a whole, a process that started with visionary entrepreneurs like Rigo and Patrick and Angelica, continued with the opening of the Starbucks and can only continue to gain momentum.

cartman said...

Randy quit sucking up. Patrick bought an existing restaurant, Angelica and mike of Merino's are visionaries.

Beerwulf said...

cartman, he may be politicking but he's not wrong. I would *love* to see non-automotive businesses in SH. I would also love to see more traffic lights along Florida Ave to slow traffic down in the afternoons and put the traffic back onto I-275 where it belongs.

Greg said...

for those of you that do not know Randy, this post is not stating anything that he did not already believe about the neighborhood. He has been effective as a president for OSHNA and is now on his second term of getting things done. He works very hard for the neighborhood and has the respect of many departments downtown - that goes a long way in getting them to flex and work with or pay attention to issues in the neighborhood.

I for one wish him success in his endeavor to win a seat on city council but I also want hime to stay and work directly for/with the neighborhood to keep things moving forward in a positive manner.

Anonymous said...

He has the respect of who?
Name names.
he kisses a little too much A$$ for my tastes.
Tell me like it is Randy not how you think I want to hear it.

Anonymous said...

It would have been nice to see Randy say thanks to our hard working police officers like sherry and others did..=-(
The guy kept your grandma from getting jacked up and the least we could do is tell the guys thanks every so often.
The gesture that sherry, mike, and others contributed was nice to read.
Maybe thats why everyone wants her to run for office.
I see those guys out here all the time especially at those nasty apartments on osborne.
Theother day I drove by and it loked like the entire police department was there.

ranbar said...

One of the drawbacks to posting on this site is that I know that whatever I say will be disputed or attacked by some people, usually posting anonymously. So someone can say that I "kiss a$$" (like anonymous 6:54) but not provide any details. Or someone can suggest that I ignore the efforts of our police officers (like anonymous 7:03) without any knowledge of my communications with TPD or the District 2 Police Appreciation Day that OSHNA had last year, when we provided food and beverages to each shift, along with me personally thanking (on behalf of OSHNA) each shift for their efforts in Seminole Heights and the city in general.

As for Patrick, we may not see eye to eye on some issues, but that does not diminish my respect for his continued efforts in our neighborhood. That is not kissing a$$, that is recognizing that he was under intense pressure to go elsewhere, but committed to Seminole Heights.

I know that I cannot please all the people all the time. However, I do work hard to improve this neighborhood. Many of my efforts go unpublicized, but are known to people like Sherry and Gary and other leaders in the neighborhood. I will continue to work on behalf our neighborhood and, if elected to City Council, on behalf of the entire city.

I will also continue to post on this blog. The benefits of the exchange of information and open debate more than outweigh the potential for misinformation and personal attacks.

Anonymous said...

What's happened to this blog? It used to be the pulse of our neighborhood - now too many of the comments are meanspirited and add little of value to the conversation.

Why pick on a guy because he shares his vision for the neighborhood? What does your commentary add to this dialogue?

It's too bad, and I wish this forum would go back to what it was like a year or more ago..

My name is Scott and I live on Central Ave in Old Seminole Heights.

Beerwulf said...

Scott, one thing we could do is just ignore the trolls. If we quit responding to them or even noticing that they're here, they'll get bored and go away.

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott..
Welcome to Troll Anon.
(Hi everyone)
Here we learn how to manage our anger against the unwanted and dreaded trolls.
Next time you see a troll have to resist the urge to just want to reach out and strangle one through the high speed connection.
What you need to do is channel your anger into meditation, or yoga, or to a Starbucks Frape Mocha Latte Grande Maxima Filled With Moo Crapima.

Mal Carne said...

Looking forward to a new place to eat in the neighborhood.

No comment on the other topic.

Best of luck, Mike.

NewHeightsMag said...

I heard that the 2 waying of the Florida Ave. was 100% going to happen. Is this rumor or fact?

Anonymous said...

Randy, you're running for office now - get used to attacks.

Grow some tough skin, develop a message and stick to it.

Be clear in communicating your message and the votes will come. You can't please everybody.

BTW, where to we send campaign donations?

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am mistaken about you randy.
Not sure yet.
You do seem to answer every poop turd I have thrown your way.
Thats interesting to me.

Anonymous said...

What is wrong with you people? Why would anybody attack anyone that makes possitive changes in this nieghborhood? What have you done to make SH a better place. And as for political aspirations.... What is wrong with having goals? Are you just a group of loosers that have nothing better to do than bash people? Get a life. You are doing a great job Randy.Welcome Merino's!

Anonymous said...

I guess you dont live here either since you addressed us as you people.

Seminolesugar said...


Yes! What is wrong with some of you?

The man is just updating the area on his new place.

Must you attack everyone?
Good Lord. get A LIFE!

please serve some spinach and artichoke dip?

Also some rueben sammiches


Anonymous said...

I can't wait for you to open. I am so ready for something else in the neighborhood. When I selected the heights for my office, I really did not take into consideration the lack of restaurants. I am now second guessing my decision. I am growing tired of the taco bus and blue sea. I am looking for something HEALTHY. A nice deli sandwich with lean turkey, fresh veggies, etc. Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

You don't have to wait, visit the Bakery and Deli on Nebraska. Wonderful people, good food, open now!

Amber said...

I am so excited for this new deli! We've really enjoyed Cappy's, it will be nice to have another eatery locally.

Anonymous said...

I already go to the deli on Nebraska. Great food and excellent service and prices. But, Spanish restaurants in Tampa are a dime a dozen. How many cubans can you eat in a week. I am cuban'd out!

Beerwulf said...

True dat, 6:11. Best cuban sandwiches are at the little grocery right across Fla from McNatt's. But I can't eat them every day, or I'll gain 20 pounds.