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What happened to the Buca di Beppo in Tampa?

I'm not a huge fan of the chain, but was a fun place to go with a large group and the found was pretty reliable. They seem to shut down the location on North Dale Mabry with little notice. Haven't seen anything in the papers.

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  1. The company has been in dificult financial straits. Depending on how much you care, read their 10Q or see this recent financial report <http://biz.yahoo.com/bizj/070808/1503...>

    Not sure which three restaurants thecy closed but suspect Tampa was one.

    Bob

    1. I had heard that the local franchise owner had a falling out with the company, closed the one on North Dale Mabry and that the other location by 275 will be changing soon also

      1 Reply
      1. re: donh

        Only other one I knew of in the area is (was?) is Brandon. I haven't been out that way in a few weeks, but it's still listed on the company's web site.

      2. They just shut down the Buca's in Brandon too!!!! What's going on!?????? I loved that place!!!

        21 Replies
        1. re: Nurseverasyd

          Well that bites! We hit Brandon once or twice a month and always meant to try it for lunch. Nerts!

          1. re: DuffyH

            and sorry, I don't have much in the way of substitutes -- there's a Carrabba's around the corner, and a Mimi's cafe, but Brandon is pretty much Franchise Central these days. (a long way from when I first moved to the area, and there was a Burger King and a McDonald's, and the land on which the Buca sits was a dairy farm)

            1. re: sunshine842

              I know what you mean about that......I first moved to Brandon in 1976 and lived there until 1980........it's barely recognizable compared to back then. Heck, I lived there again from 1987-1992, and it has changed drastically even since then.

              1. re: sunshine842

                I think that Carrabba's is a much better restaurant than Bucca di
                Beppo ever was. In fact, among chains, I would nominate Carrabba's as the number one Italian chain.

                1. re: sunshine842

                  Was just by there today, and there are signs touting the arrival of something called Ford's Cafe -- an officially licensed partner of Ford Motor Corp. (WTH??)

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    LOL!!

                    In Santa Paula, Ca, the Chevy dealer has an Italian restaurant that takes over the sales floor a few nights a week. I never made it, but I've heard the spaghetti with tomato sauce didn't suck. I'm pretty sure Guy Fieri made the pilgrimage. He'd have to, wouldn't he?

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      I did a little Google sleuthing and found that it's this place:

                      http://www.fordsgaragefl.com

                      1. re: DuffyH

                        Hmm. Might have potential (did you catch that the menu is different at each location?)

                        Looks like we have time to think about it!

                        1. re: sunshine842

                          I didn't check out the menu last night. But now i have, and you'll be disappointed to know that the only change from place to place is that the burgers have "sub-names" for local celebs.

                          <Each of our locations have a menu unique to the community it serves... >

                          That is just not true. Not even remotely true. Unless we understand "unique" to mean the same item with a different name. Fie on them!

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            baaahaaahaa -- shame on me -- I didn't open each one.

                            That's not a good start.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              It still looks to be worth a try. Maybe they're rocking those burgers.

                              My current favorite burger is the Jerk Burger (I get sliders) from Steak n' Shake. Likely a passing fancy for me, it's still the only one I've had stateside that tastes exactly like the ones I ate in Jamaica. Yum.

                      2. re: sunshine842

                        Looks like Ford's Garage from Fort Myers is planning to expand to the Sarasota area. Here is an article from the local paper: http://www.news-press.com/story/life/...

                        1. re: Bumstead

                          That would be the Brandon location, at least for now. From the article:

                          "Ford's Garage plans to expand along the Gulf Coast of Florida. The next target: the Brandon-Sarasota region, where the group is scouting locations near the Westfield Brandon mall. Then it's on to the Midwest."

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            although anyone who could classify Brandon as "Sarasota" is either smoking some serious shit or has never looked at a f**ing map.

                            It's somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 miles from one to another-- not a "catchment" area by even the most liberal marketing definition.

                      3. re: sunshine842

                        The Mimi's Cafe in West Des Moines, IA shut down a few weeks ago. That place was pretty good for lunch on a work day.

                        1. re: pgmrdan

                          I keep forgetting there's a Mimi's in Brandon. I really like their lunch offerings. They have consistently good salads, soups and sandwiches.

                          In winter, I'm coconuts for the creamy chicken soup on Sunday. It's divine, with a thick rich broth, big slices of mushrooms and just the right amount of chicken and veggies. Almost like pot pie in a bowl.

                          1. re: DuffyH

                            and it's right around the corner from the old Buca location, so no faffing around in hideous Brandon traffic.

                            1. re: sunshine842

                              Yup, so easy. Can't think why I always overlook it. When we lived near Ventura, Mimi's was a frequent haunt.

                              I keep waiting for someone to open something in that mall spot, where there's a shuttered restaurant just inside the north entrance. It's been closed the entire time I've lived here.

                              1. re: DuffyH

                                That used to be a Tia's Tex Mex Cantina -- I think the whole chain went under, although there's still a website for a single location on Fowler.

                                I agree, though, that it's odd that such a high-traffic location would have sat empty for so long -- it's been 8 years or more that I can recall.

                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  It looks like access isn't the easiest, with possibly just the one entrance on the west side of the mall road.

                                  1. re: DuffyH

                                    My first thought, too, but the Smoky Bones, Barnes & Noble, Macaroni Grill, all seem to be holding their own -- they've all been there since the mall was first opened.

                                    (and while it's not commonly known, you can get there from the Bed Bath and Beyond parking lot, too)

                                    Other Tia's properties around Tampa sit empty after years, too (I'm thinking particularly of the location in front of the Walmart at Dale Mabry and 275) -- I'm wondering if it's not caught in a legal black hole that's keeping it from being sold.

                  2. The one in West Des Moines, IA shut down several years ago. Mediocre, over-priced food and mediocre service could have been the causes.

                    Nice atmosphere was all they had going for them.