Wednesday, October 31, 2007

One-way Street Conversion

I highly recommend checking out Tommy's blog, Tommy in Old Seminole Heights. He's in tune with the pulse of the community and has similar goals to most of us on this blog.

Anyway, here's a story great post he put up about our plight for two-way roads:

I encourage everyone, as I have already done, to send it and a personal note for your wishes to your local rep and the mayor.

Monday, October 29, 2007

For Sale: Family Service Association Building

5800 N. Nebraska Ave., Tampa, FL 33604

Property Use Type: Vacant/Owner-User
Primary Type: OfficeOffice Building
Building Size: 6,322 SF
Building Class: B
Lot Size: 22,770 SF
Price: $875,000
Price/SF: $138.41
Year Built: 1985
Date Last Verified: 10/25/2007

Property Description: EXCELLENT CORNER PROPERTY: Attractive masonry/stucco (1985) single story freestanding building with ultra-flexible CI zoning and 207 feet of frontage on major arterial (Nebraska). Ample number of offices, multiple meeting rooms, enormous central conference room with built-in bookshelves, generous kitchen, spacious administrative area and central filing room, large reception space and more. Newer dimensional roof, 24+2 lighted parking lot, security, intercom and fire alarm/notification systems.

Location Description: EXCELLENT BUSINESS/NON-PROFIT LOCATION: Just off I-275 and north of Hillsborough Avenue. 3.8 miles to downtown, 3.8 miles to St. Joseph's Hospital, 4.35 miles to Port of Tampa, 6.9 miles to USF, 7.2 miles to University Community Hospital, 9.9 miles to Tampa Intarnational Airport. Jump on I-275 north or south, and be anywhere in moments.

•Newer Roof
•Lighted Parking
•Security, Fire Alarm and Intercom Systems
•Seller Acquired Property by Merger - Approximate Floor Plan Available

Neighborhood Officers Face Tough Issues

SEMINOLE HEIGHTS - With new officers elected to the neighborhood association, residents should look for a campaign to make Florida Avenue two-way, renewed efforts to bridge the divide between business owners and neighbors, and surveys to poll residents.

So much for Panera, but ...

better than an auto repair shop.

From the looks of it, it appears we have a trend of new restaurants coming into S.H.

Newly opened Bungalow Bistro was bustling with its brunch Sunday and of course we all have heard about the sports bar slated to be built on Nebraska.

Now, the St. Pete Times reports, that LeRoy's 4x4 is likely to become a bar and grille. The City Council will hear a wet-zoning application in December.

OSHNA gets new leader

Residents from Tampa's biggest neighborhood association packed into a meeting Tuesday night for an important vote: For the first time in three years, they would elect a new president.

Susan Long ran unopposed, but that didn't take away from the significance of the leadership change. The president is the face and voice for the outspoken 500-member Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association.

Randy Baron was just a computer programmer with little neighborhood involvement before he moved into the neighborhood in 1999. He says Seminole Heights made him a leader.
He became well-versed in everything from code enforcement to development. During his three-year presidency, he ran for the City Council.

Although not elected, Baron will move on to work more closely with the council, as vice president of THAN, a citywide umbrella organization of neighborhood associations. His group will encourage more neighborhoods to form and have a citywide impact on issues such as zoning and transportation.

As the new president, Long plans to work with the neighborhood's commercial corridors, incorporating more businesses into the association. She also wants to increase membership and encourage historic preservation.

Neighbors look forward to her leadership.

"She's very impassioned about what she does, and she's really big into code enforcement," said neighborhood trustee Eric Krause. "She has no problem going up to someone and saying, 'You're wrong.' That's what the neighborhood needs."

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

20th Annual River clean-up....Nov. 17th

November 17th marks the 20th annual Mayor's River clean-up. The shear size of Seminole Heights means that we, in this community, benefit from this project more than any other neighborhood. The event removes nearly 10 tons of garbage from the lower Hillsborough River (the area south of the dam in Rowlett Park).
From Seminole Crest at 22nd st to MLK to the south, the river is the boundary for both Old Seminole Heights and South Seminole Heights. Several miles of river front. For a number of years South Seminole
Heights has had a group that participated. It would be great if there were several teams in Old Seminole Heights.
Volunteers need to register at Lowry Park at 8:00am on the 17th.
The pictures are from Epps Park (upper)in Old Seminole Heights and Rivercrest Park (lower) in South Seminole Heights.
The event usually draws 1,200 volunteers. Image if that could be doubled with additional Seminole Heights volunteers. We have 10,000 homes in all of Seminole Heights so it certainly is possible!

Monday, October 22, 2007

SC Tavern

Interestingly, I noticed S.H.'s old Spinnaker Lounge at 6416 N. Florida Ave. (I can't remember the name of the two places it's been since), has gotten a name change and an exterior face lift.

Dubbed "SC Tavern," it now looks very nice and almost inviting, despite the lack of windows. The place does still has a package store in front of it.

Has anyone heard and/or ventured into this place, which was once a Tampa landmark and that has (until recently) been rumored as a possible purchase for a Beef O'Brady's???

Saturday, October 20, 2007

"I didn't know"

In the brouhaha over the Hampton Terrace Local Historic Designation as noted in Tommy's blog, one comment struck me, essentially "I didn't know this was going on" and "this was being done in secret". When I lived in Seminole Heights (Southeast)I often heard comments like that involving neighborhood issues. (Usually from people who let their copy of the neighborhood newsletter rot in the rain.)

I did not live in Old Seminole Heights yet I knew about the Hampton Terrace plan.

So I decided to research what information that was made available.

First, I know from personal experience (from getting them myself) that info was sent out many times via the Bungalow Alerts emails. I also know mention of the plan and meetings about the plan were in the OSHA Newsletter many times. (All members receive this newsletter. Non members get it once a year or if you go to Publix you can pick it up there every time.)

At the OSHNA Website, extensive information is made available about the process, include minutes of meetings

HamptonTerrace.Org first had mention of it in the forums on 10/13/04.

Then it was in the papers and on the blogs.

September 28, 2006 - Tampa Tribune
Historical District Proposal Moves Ahead - STATUS WOULD BRING REHAB GUIDELINES
"Hampton Terrace is recognized on the National Register of Historic Places, and the neighborhood could be on track to become a local historical district.A recent meeting at the Seminole Garden Center drew about 60 people . . ."

September 8, 2006 - St. Petersburg Times
Historic status up for debate
"It's Hampton Terrace residents' turn to weigh in on their neighborhood's designation."

September 3, 2006 - LifeInSeminoleHeights Blog
Hampton Terrace: local district?
See meeting info. at the bottom
"A lot changes over the years. The goal when launching the effort for what became the Hampton Terrace Historic District was always a local district"

June 6, 2005 - Seminole Heights Blog
Historic Districts and Overlay
"Hampton Terrace is exploring at local historic district status. All of these 3 areas with maps and boundaries are better shown at the Historic Preservation section of Old Seminole Heights website."

October 16, 2004 - Tampa Tribune
Hampton Terrace Wants Preservation Zone -
OLD SEMINOLE HEIGHTS — "Few Tampa neighborhoods possess the architectural diversity and charm of Hampton Terrace, a section of Seminole Heights developed more than six decades ago.

So some homeowners intent on preserving the identity of the quaint community around Lake Roberta are taking steps to have it designated a local historical district."

Want to know more about what is going on? Just join your neighborhood association, or read the newsletters, newspapers, blogs and other media.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Brunch at the Bistro

Latest on the Bungalow Bistro:

The public has spoken; due to an overwhelming number of requests, the Bungalow Bistro will now be open for Sunday Brunch from 10-2. Offerings will include specialty breakfast items, as well as crowd favorites from the regular menu.
While no beverage license yet, they will have bloody mary mix and makings for mimosas if you care to bring your own alcohol.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Election Hijacking?

Tommy from "Tommy in Old Seminole Heights" has an interesting article in his blog.

"Old Seminole Heights is Being Hijacked

If you read one post from my blog, read this one. There is a movement in the neighborhood that is attempting to hijack the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association (OSHNA). They wish to elect a write in candidate on Tuesday October 23rd based on a single issue. There is a minority group in Hampton Terrace that has posted a series of untruths about the designation of Hampton Terrace as a local historic district. But the lies they have promoted via mail and door-to-door pitches isn't what concerns me the most."..... read more

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Garden Center Rehab Mtg - 10/17, 5:30-7:30pm

From an email ...

As many of you probably are aware, a decision has been made by the City Parks and Recreation Department to begin a badly-needed interior rehab of the Seminole Garden Center. This building is frequently rented by organizations throughout the City. However, since it is located within the boundaries of the Old Seminole Heights Neighborhood Association, which uses it regularly, the designers are working closely with OSHNA for input.

A meeting has been scheduled by the Parks and Recreation Department to be held at the Garden Center Wednesday, October 17th, from 5:30 - 7:30 PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to allow interested neighborhood residents to meet with Brad Suder, Project Manager, and James Jackson, City Architect. They will present their Site Plan Update for interior renovation and improvements. Just as importantly for them, is to hear our suggestions, as site users, for improvements that we feel to be important.

So, please come prepared to actively participate and to understand that these renovations will likely be in place for many years to come. This is a cooperative effort between OSHNA and the City Parks and Recreation Department, for which our Organization is very grateful.

S.H. Pumpkin Patch Event - 10/19-10/20/07

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Calling All Want-to-be Bakers. Open your Own!

Property Description: Free standing retail commercial building. Available for many uses. Formerly a wholesale bakery with all equipment still inside for a new owner.

Location Description: Nebraska Ave and Osborne. Close to MLK and I-275

Property Use Type: Vacant/Owner-User

Primary Type: RetailFree Standing Bldg

Building Size: 1,534 SF

Lot Size: 3,240 SF

Price: $125,000

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Corner Club offers free hot dogs on Sunday nights!

Just so you know, the Corner Club has free hot dogs on Sunday nights, Hot Boiled Peanuts every night, and Karaoke every weekend! Yes, it's all true! Watch out for a guy named "Animal"...

Two-Waying Roads Community Meeting TONIGHT 10/10

This is worth reposting, due to it's importance and that it's being held tonight.

Community Meeting!
Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern invites you to come share your thoughts on turning one-way Highland Avenue/Tampa Street and Florida Avenue into two-way roads. Additionally, Florida Department of Transportation representative, Daniel Lamb, will be available to talk with us about this critical topic.Residents of Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights are encouraged to join the discussion. We need your interest and energy on this important issue!!See details below, or for more information, please call 274-7071 .

Community Workshop .....
DATE: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Stetson Tampa Law Center1700 N. Tampa Street, Tampa
DIRECTIONS:From Seminole Heights, just drive straight down one-way Tampa Street. The Law Center will be on your right just before you reach I-275.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Copa Cabana, bye-bye. Sweet Spot, hello.

Maybe the music and passion were always in fashion at the Copa Cabana Cafe, but perhaps the food and service weren't. That's likely the reason that the last remaining location (of two) at Osborne and Florida Aves has finally closed.

In it's place, and now open, is The Sweet Spot cafe. I only quickly drove by it, but it appeared that the multitude of national flags inside were gone and the table decor had changed slightly.

I think I also read on their logo'd sign something like "home cooking" or the sort. Like I said, it was a quick glance.

Has anyone heard news or tried the fare at the newest version of Rigos, Ms. Vivian's Whistlestop, Coffee Bean and Copa Cabana Cafe?

Monday, October 08, 2007

Bungalow Bistro Update

Hello Everyone!

I wanted to do a quick follow-up to my original posting on Oct. 3, which was titled “Bungalow Bistro Open for Business.”

We will now be open for lunch! Please note that our temporary business hours will be Tue-Sat, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed Sunday and Monday. We are trying our best to establish business hours and menu items to best serve our community. We will be serving dinners soon. I will post another update with dates and times.

We look forward to enticing you with a daily special or one of our signature dishes. Our menu includes gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads, homemade hot soups as well as homemade desserts. The official Web site will be up soon, and you can now email us at for more information. Also, feel free to call us at (813) 237-2000 to place an order or schedule an event.

We hope to see you soon!


Bungalow Bistro of Seminole Heights
5137 N. Florida Ave.
Tampa, FL 33603

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Community Meeting!

Tampa City Councilwoman Mary Mulhern invites you to come share your thoughts on turning one-way Highland Avenue/Tampa Street and Florida Avenue into two-way roads. Additionally, Florida Department of Transportation representative, Daniel Lamb, will be available to talk with us about this critical topic.
Residents of Seminole Heights and Tampa Heights are encouraged to join the discussion. We need your interest and energy on this important issue!!

See details below, or for more information, please call 274-7071 .

Community Workshop .....
DATE: Wednesday, October 10, 2007
TIME: 6:30 PM
LOCATION: Stetson Tampa Law Center
1700 N. Tampa Street, Tampa

DIRECTIONS:From Seminole Heights, just drive straight down one-way Tampa Street. The Law Center will be on your right just before you reach I-275.


Maybe a large turn-out will convince the "wise sages" on the Tampa Tribune editorial board that this matters to more than "a few neighborhood activist" in Seminole Heights. Councilwoman Mary Mulhern has gone out on a political limb to support something that could help improve our neighborhood and the viability of our commercial areas on Florida Ave. Please lend your support and thoughts to the discussion.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Paws In the Park

From an email:


Sat. 10/6

10 AM – 2 PM

Ybor City’s Centennial Park

(8th Ave. & 19th St.)



Pet adoptions by local rescue groups

Pet photographs

Paw painting

Contests & prizes

Proceeds will benefit local non-profit pet organizations

For more info, call: 813-932-5795

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bungalow Bistro Open for Business

Hi Neighbors,

After years of work, we are thrilled to invite you to the opening of Bungalow Bistro. Bungalow Bistro, located at 5137 N. Florida Ave. two blocks south of Hillsborough Avenue, will serve breakfast and lunch between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. this week, Tuesday through Saturday. We will begin serving dinners soon. I will post an update on the dates and times.

Our menu includes warm pastries, daily quiches, gourmet sandwiches, fresh salads and soups as well as homemade desserts. There is seating for up to 75 people. The bistro also has upstairs dining, perfect for hosting a private party. While we have hired a head chef, this is very much a family affair. My mother is a pastry chef and came up with our signature desserts.

As many of you know, my husband Michael and I have been lovingly restoring the building ourselves for several years. The original structure was a garage apartment that was saved from demolition when Hillsborough Avenue was widened in 2000. We moved the garage building and the main house to Florida Ave and first opened Forever Beautiful Salon and Day Spa in the main home next to Bungalow Bistro. Forever Beautiful has served as a neighborhood salon since 2002. We have focused our attention on preserving every historical detail.

To place an order call 813-237-2000 or log on soon to our coming website Thank you for supporting our neighborhood business. We look forward to being a favorite gathering place for our friends and neighbors.

Elizabeth Graham

Skye Craft Mfg.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Merino's Deli - Moving? And more restaurant news.

If anyone knows about any of the below restaurants (or rumored new ones), please reply with your news.

There's a rumor that Merino's Deli will be moving in the near future, due to some issues created by the goals of the new owners of the building it's hosted in (i.e., auto repair shop).

Knowing Mike loves and is committed to S.H., you can rest assured my sources say he's not leaving the area. I'm told he will be moving a little further south on Florida Ave. -- possibly into a CI-zoned house.

If this is true, I'm sure that the place would benefit from even more ambiance, a better location, and hopefully more parking. We shall see.

The No Name Cafe (i.e., Copa):
On another note - the infamous Copa Cabana Cafe's last open location seems to have gone through a transformation for the worse. It's now a no name cafe as the "Copa" signs have been painted over so that they are just big, yellow billboards with no text or logo. Additional signs touting "$4.50 lunch" have been handwritten and are pinned up around the property.

Sports Bar:
Latest report on this, pending final wetzoning approval next week by City Council, is that ground breaking will begin within 4 months.

With groundbreaking rumored to supposed to happen last May, I've heard no new news on it.

Bungalow Bistro:
It looks ready to open. In fact, it even looks like it is open when you drive by; but it isn't yet. Although I've heard nothing about it -- I'm betting Elizabeth is going through the motions and still fighting with the city to cross her T's and dot her I's to make sure she encounters no future problems with the city.