NEWS: Spaddy’s Coffee Co. owner and restaurant sued by Brew Bus Brewing for trademark infringement

There has been talk in town for some time in Tampa about a new restaurant coming to Seminole Heights called Florida Avenue Eats. The restaurant is owned by Greg Spadaccini of Spaddy’s Coffee Co., a popular coffee truck in the area. The restaurant was recently sued by Brew Bus Brewing for trademark infringement of their brand Florida Ave. Brewing, just 4 days after their grand opening.

Spadaccini has made a GoFundMe to help with legal funds. The statement on the GoFundMe reads:

“My name is Greg Spadaccini and I need your help to raise funds for legal representation. I am the owner and operator of Spaddy’s Coffee Co. in Seminole Heights and in April of 2019 I decided to launch Florida Avenue Eats. It’s a fast casual restaurant serving bowls, wraps, and salads. 4 days after our grand opening, I was served at 6:30am with a summons to appear in civil federal court from Brew Bus Brewing for trademark infringement of their brand Florida Avenue Brewing.  Florida Avenue is a public road, one of Tampa’s longest stretching business roads, and the road we operate business on.

Adding the name “Florida Avenue” to the name of a business is not in any way unique and should not prohibit business owners like myself from operating under that naming convention.

Not only are they taking legal action against my business Florida Avenue Eats, but they have decided sue me personally.

With a newborn at home and incurring the recent expenses of a new restaurant buildout, I simply do not have the funds to personally protect myself and my family legally.

I am asking my community for support to help facilitate funds for legal representation. Anything counts, I will be forever grateful for your support.

Best wishes,
Greg “Spaddy” Spadaccini”

GoFundMe link: http://www.gofundme.com/f/legal-aid-for-spaddy

Some comments for local businesses:

The owner of Brew Bus Brewing and Florida Ave. Brewing has released a statement:

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NEWS: Big Ray’s Fish Camp in Tampa fundraises for Notre Dame repair on Good Friday

If you were on social media on Monday, you certainly saw the non-stop coverage of the Notre-Dame in Paris that caught on fire. Social media users watched helplessly as the historic building burned. The interior was intact after the fire and the country plans to rebuild.

A restaurant in Tampa wants to help raise funds for the rebuilding of the cathedral.

Big Ray’s Fish Camp in South Tampa plans to have a fundraiser on Good Friday, April 19th, to help donate some money back to the rebuilding of the Notre Dame.

Big Ray’s Fish Camp is located at 6116 Interbay Blvd
Tampa, Florida 33611. You can contact Big Ray’s Fish Camp at (813) 605-3615.

NEWS: Mini Doughnut Factory flagship South Tampa location now permanently CLOSED

The Tampa Bay Business Journal broke news last night that Mini Doughnut Factory’s flagship store in South Tampa is now permanently closed. It appears that the legal and financial woes were too much for the franchise to handle.

Just a few years ago Mini Doughnut Factory was one of the fastest rising businesses in Tampa with a fever pitch of business and support throughout the city. Mini Doughnut Factory won best donuts in town for multiple years in a row and was a local favorite of most locals. Major plans for expansion and to become a chain failed to materialize after an ill-fated opening in St. Petersburg.

The chain had a huge social media following and not a day would pass without seeing some mini donuts on Snapchat and Instagram in the last few years. John Mayer even stopped by a for a bite one day. Lines of little girls and mothers would be visible from early in the morning at the South Tampa store.

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Scumbag CNBC video advocates denying restaurant servers full tips to save money

Tipping your servers is vital people. It should not be a game where you’re trying to save money. A new video from CNBC advocates saving money by doubling the tax percentage or tipping on a pre-tax amount to skirt below 20% in any way possible. Either way, it is a bad look to look to your tip amount as a way to save money.

Servers depend on their tips for survival and although it is an unfortunate part of our food system, it is truly awful to plan to save money at restaurants by looking to avoid tipping.

There are so many ways to save money, order what you can afford, share with someone else at the table, etc. Please don’t penalize servers because of your financial situation. It’s wrong. Many servers have to share their tips with other staff in the restaurant they work in and when you tip them less you are actually lowering their overall pay as well. This is bad.

Thank you.

NEWS: Tampa Bay Lightning Kickoff Party this Wednesday at Curtis Hixon Park

Come out this Wednesday, April 10th, 2019 for the Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Playoffs Kickoff Party at Curtis Hixon Park with the National Hockey League (NHL).

GRAMMY, award-winning band, Cage the Elephants, will be playing at the party. The first of a series of concerts and musical performances the NHL is planning for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The concert will take place at 5:15PM EST and is a FREE, non-ticketed event. Fans can join the conversation by using the official hashtag #StanleyCup.

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/2354151724604226/

Here is a schedule for the playoffs:

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NEWS: ACLU issues travel alert against State of Florida

The ACLU has issued a travel alert against the State of Florida due to a new immigration bill currently going through the Florida Legislature called SB 168 and HB 527. People of color and immigrants are warned that Florida could begin racial profiling, false detainment of U.S. citizens, and even false deportation if the law passes.

“Last month, a report revealed that in just two years after agreeing to work with ICE, Miami-Dade County records showed that 420 people listed as U.S. citizens had false detainer requests issued against them.”

“As recent cases illustrate, U.S. citizens have been kept in jail away from their jobs and families, and they have faced the terror of being told they would soon be deported from their only home. Many have spent time in immigration jail, and some have even been deported. Local police and sheriffs, in turn, have faced immense litigation costs and damages liability to the U.S. citizens they have held for ICE.”

Lawsuits have filed against cities and counties, with Florida taxpayers ultimately footing the bill for false detainers.

Thomas Kennedy, Florida Immigrant Coalition Director, shares, “Taking precious local resources away from law enforcement to further target Floridian families for deportation comes at an extremely high financial and moral cost. The insidious attacks against immigrants on the national level are being amplified by Florida lawmakers pushing for anti-immigrant policies”.

He continues, “Florida lawmakers need to realize that there will be consequences for attacking our families. The world is watching Florida right now, and what we do next as a state will determine whether people will still want to visit us and if industry leaders still feel comfortable doing business with us.”

Tourism is one of the biggest industries in the sunshine state and any kind of travel impact could be detrimental to the state. 118.8 million visitors (not residents) visited Florida in 2017 according to Visit Florida with 14.4 million of those visitors being international visitors. Visitor spending directly and indirectly supports 1.4 million jobs in Florida.

Tourism growth is currently booming in the state and any slowdown would be a tragic turn of events.

Immigrant and civil rights groups releasing the alert are ACLU of Florida, Alianza Americas, Engage Miami, Faith in Florida, Family Action Network Movement, FL Student Power, Farmworkers Association of Florida, FLIC Votes, Friends of Miami-Dade Detainees, Mi Familia Vota, Miami Workers Center, New Florida Majority, Organize Florida, QLATINX, United We Dream, and WeCount!. National partners include: ACLU, Advancement Project, America’s Voice, Community Justice Project, National Latina Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, and UndocuBlack Network.

More information:

NEWS: Mi Viejo Latin Cafe & Catering now open in Apollo Beach

Restaurants are opening in droves right now across Tampa Bay. Down in Apollo Beach, Mi Viejo Latin Cafe & Catering opened their doors to the public today. The owners, Roger and Veronica Lima, originally were a part of Liborio’s Cafe, which is a popular Latin cafeteria in the Brandon area.

Photos via Facebook.

Mi Viejo offers a number of Cuban dishes including Palomilla Steak, Milanesa, Churrasco, Cuban Sandwiches, Media Noches, Ropa Vieja, and more with most menu items under $10. There are deviled crabs and empanadas for-sale as well as Tamal Cubanos. Breakfast is available. Coffee fans can find some Cafe con Leche and Cuban espresso for-sale, while sweet lovers can enjoy flan, arroz con leche, dulce de leche, and tres leches. You’ll even find churros at this new spot.

Mi Viejo is located at 6002 N. U.S. Highway 41, Apollo Beach, Florida. The Apollo Beach and Southshore area are rapidly expanding with new restaurants and breweries popping up regularly time as more homes are built in the Big Bend area and homes and subdivisions continue to expand south of Riverview.

Current hours at Mi Viejo are Monday to Friday from 6:30AM to 8PM and Saturdays from 7AM to 8PM. They are closed on Sundays.

Restaurant Name: Mi Viejo Latin Cafe & Catering

Neighborhood: Apollo Beach, Southshore

Address: 6002 North US Highway 41 Apollo Beach, Florida 33572

Phone Number: (813) 803-8223

Menu: http://www.miviejolatincafe.com/menu

Website: http://www.miviejolatincafe.com/

NEWS: Kiwami Sushi and Ramen opening Saturday, April 6th in Brandon

Brandon’s first official ramen shop is opening this week on Saturday, April 6th at 12PM. Kiwami Sushi and Ramen will offer a special introductory 20% off promotion from April 6th to April 20th.

The new shop will be located at 10262 Causeway Blvd. Tampa, Florida 33619, just minutes from the Westfield Brandon Towncenter and the Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway Faulkenburg exit.

The owner’s background is from Orenchi Ramen, which is a popular ramen chain in California. Kiwami will be serving shoyu and tonkotsu ramen for lunch as well as dan dan noodle soup for vegetarians. The menu will expand at dinner to include spicy miso ramen, kimchi ramen, and more.

Prices will start at around $11 and lunch specials will be available.

The restaurant will be open Tuesday through Sunday and closed on Mondays.

They are still hiring staff including sushi chefs, line cooks, servers, and hosts. Interesting parties can apply in person at the restaurant or call (813) 393-0683.

Find out more at kiwamiramensushi.com.

WeWork Food Labs debuting in 2019 for food innovators

WeWork Labs is launching WeWork Food Labs, an innovation lab that will be focused on powering future food, this year with programming starting this spring and a flagship space opening in late 2019 in New York City.

WeWork Labs currently operates in 49 locations including 32 cities and 15 countries and serves over 1,000 startups around the world. WeWork is known worldwide as a leader in the cowork space and opening a cowork location in Tampa soon.

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WeWork Food Labs will support growing startups by bringing together entrepreneurs, industry experts, and investors in the same space with a focus on food. WeWork is seeding $1 million in equity investments to its first Food Labs accelerator cohort as a display of its commitment to this sphere.

The flagship space will be in New York City at 511 West 25th Street and open later this year. It will feature a custom R&D space and food pantry with dedicated workspace, merchandising area, outdoor space for events, and more.

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Two programming tracks be available at WeWork Food Labs. The Food Labs Program will be an inclusive, flexible, workspace for startups across in the food industry and be available with a paid membership. The Food Labs Accelerator will follow a traditional accelerator model and be a direct arm for investments in early stage food startups.

Community will be a major focus of WeWork Food Labs as is the case with most cowork spaces with a goal of bringing together startups, policy makers, university partners, venture capitalists, and more to help startups bring their ideas to life.

Univos Partners and their VC fund New Crop Capital will join the space with their portfolio companies and review startups for potential investments in sustainable and plant-based solutions.

An advisory board will consist of leaders, innovators, and educators throughout the food realm including CHLOE founder Samantha Wasser and food scholar Marion Nestle of Food Politics and professor at New York University.

Marion Nestle shares, “From malnutrition to food safety to labeling, the food industry today is facing major challenges. With WeWork Food Labs, there’s an opportunity to propel the entrepreneurs that are building solutions. I’m excited to support WeWork Labs on their WeWork Food Labs initiative and look forward to seeing how we can create real impact.”

Applications are currently being accepted for startups to join the first WeWork Food Labs cohort in New York City. Those interested can find out more at http://www.wework.com/food-labs

News: Mini Doughnut Factory closes St. Petersburg location

Popular local Tampa Bay chain Mini Doughnut Factory announced today on social media channels that they are closing their St. Petersburg location permanently. The Tampa location will remain open. The chain was embroiled in a lawsuit and legal drama these past few months between the investors and founders. Damages were reported to be up to $1 million according to the Tampa Bay Times. Most of the drama seemed to surround the St. Petersburg location.