I was back in downtown St. Pete today with Ester Venouziou. We dined at Emilio's Bistro, Bakery and Bar at 437 Central Avenue. When I walked in the door, I had to stop and look at all of the delicious things to eat in the glass case. The restaurant looked so warm and inviting, I immediately fell in love!
As we walked past the counter towards the seating area, I was trying to think of who else I could bring here. What kind of Working Women of Tampa Bay events could they host. My mind was running 90 miles an hour. Plus the fact that I completely emptied my change purse this morning – not even thinking I would have to pay for parking. I needed to find quarters!!! Thanks Ester and Andi!! (Andi is currently redeveloping the Local Shops1 website.)
I decided to have a stuffed burger. It was stuffed with brie. I almost couldn’t decide between brie or goatcheese! Ester had a red pepper panini. The choice of sides made for an almost impossible decision as well. I chose the fresh fruit, but I was dying to try the vanilla infused sweet potato fries! Next time. The selection of iced beverages was great too! I simply went with sweet tea, but Ester had some sort of strawberry fruit lemonade concoction. It looked delicious!
Ester is the genius and brains behind Local Shops 1. When her parents would come and visit her, she would ask them what they did all day and their response was always, “went to the mall and outback.” She tried to get them to go other places and the mall. A facebook page was created entitled “Breaking the Chains.” Ester would post questions about where to eat and where to shop. Eventually this evolved into Local Shops1. August 8, Local Shops 1 will be two years old! Any local business can join for free and be listed. Or, you have a preferred listing for $199 a year and get all of the perks! Any questions, just ask Ester at Ester@localshops1.com. This was very exciting to hear – she partnered with Travel Host who distributes 35,000 copies to area hotels, motels and restaurants. Along with the 8,000 LS1 distributes, that is a lot of magazines!!
Recently, Ester started another project with a partner. Together they formed Gulfport! which is a magazine exclusive to all things Gulfport. The launch party was in June at the Casino in Gulfport with over 400 people in attendance! The next issue will be out in October, so there is still time to advertise! Gulfport will be celebrating their 100th anniversary, so it will be a very special magazine including a lot of area history. You can email Ester at Ester@gulfportmagazine.com for more information.
Emilios is a great place to grab a bite to eat! There is a section in the back of the restaurant with couches and chairs, just like your living room. The walls are covered in art and I was informed that all of the paintings are local artists. While there, I ran into Andrea Crouch and Jessica Dwyer. This is definitely the place to be and be seen!!!