April 2019

Tampa Bay sale items of the week

by Joey deVilla on April 2, 2019

MMA gym closing sale (negotiable prices)

There’s an MMA gym in Clearwater that’s closing, and they’re selling all sorts of stuff! The best items are two “BOB” punching dummies (one of them’s pictured above). Here’s how you use BOB:

Here are the full details of the sale, straight from their posting on Facebook Marketplace:

Dollamur mats, zebra mats, Muay Thai bags, head gear new and used, 20 different size heavy bags of various sizes. Rubber mats for gym floor. MMA shorts of various sizes all new. Multiple bag gloves as well as boxing gloves(used and new). Extra large and regular wave master, Bob the Dummies X2 in good shape, 1 set of medicine balls from 4 to 25 lbs. Dumbell and medicine ball racks also available. 20x 20 4 rope professional boxing ring is also for sale. We have many other items! Contact us either here on marketplace or ay gradysmma@yahoo for more pictures or information.

Once again, find out more here. There aren’t any prices mentioned, so be ready to negotiate!

Hammond Super CX-2000 organ ($3,000)

This is a late ’80s/early ’90s Hammond organ, and there’s isn’t much information online about this particular model. Luckily, there are a number of videos featuring this organ in action. Here’s a performance that’ll take you to the baseball or hockey game:

This one should remind you of the shopping mall in the late ’70s/early ’80s:

And here’s the Super CX-2000 in jazz mode:

If you’ve got “three large” burning a hole in your pocket and can pick it up from Oldsmar, contact the seller on Facebook.

Peach Crown Royal bag. Just the bag. I have no idea why. ($10)

I had no idea they made peach-flavored Crown Royal. I have no idea why someone would think that they could sell the bag it comes in for $10. I also have no idea who would part with $10 for one, and I know a lot of Dungeons and Dragons players.

Contact the seller on Faceboook; they’re in Lutz.


Noel Cruz majored in microbiology and minored in chemistry at University of Florida, but when it was time to break into the job market, he went into hospitality, and hospitality hasn’t been the same since. Noel Cruz sharpened his skills at the Culinary Institute of America in New York’s Hyde Park (with honors), is certified by the American Sommelier Association, and has a degree in pastry arts — and also taught at — the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) in Manhattan.

He’s managed at places you’ve probably heard of:

And since then, he’s been upping Tampa’s food game with these places:

Apparently, Noel’s not content to rest on his laurels, because he’s helping out with the food at two more places here in Tampa — one that’s just opening, and another scheduled to open this summer…

Open now at Armature Works: The rooftop bar, M. Bird!

Armature Works, the historic factory near downtown Tampa turned into a food hall, market, co-working space, and generally fun place to hang out, now has a rooftop bar: M. Bird., which takes its name from the Florida state bird, the mockingbird.

You can see a photo of the new bar from the outside above, and a view from the bar below:

Armature Works co-owner Taryn Bruck told the Tampa Bay Times that the restaurant company behind Steelbach and local eateries like Boca and Ciro’s Speakeasy & Supper Club joined forces with Noel to design it, and he described the pairing as “worlds colliding in the best way.”

There’s more:

Tropical craft cocktails drive the menu of M.Bird. Playfully named options include I Left My Wallet at La Segunda (Smith & Cross rum, Gosling’s black rum, guava-coconut cream, pineapple, lemon, orgeat) and Afterthot (Reyka vodka, Montenegro, Aperol, lemon, kiwi compound, prosecco), plus punch-style “social intoxicants” that accommodate three to six patrons.

“We wanted to take the inspiration of a classic tiki bar, remove all the kitschiness of it and show the fresh ingredients,” said beverage director Jay Wells. “These are great cocktails that are spirit-forward, but still refreshing and fun.”

For the benefit of the financially-but-not-socially-secure, they also have bottle service.

The menu is mostly small plates of all sorts, and includes vaca frita tostones (fried plantains with beef short ribs), shrimp mofongo bites, panzanella, warm marinated olives, steak tartare, jerk chicken egg rolls, and jerk bbq duck confit leg.

Find out more at MBirdTampa.com.

Opening this summer in Seminole Heights: Pink Pineapple, a tiki bar serving Filipino food!

Anitra and I just bought a place in Seminole Heights, Tampa’s hippest neighborhood. For the benefit of my Toronto friends: think of Parkdale circa the early 2000s, a couple of years before The Drake opened its doors. I’ve been frequenting a number of places in the area for years now, but it’ll be nice to be able to walk or bike to them.

One place we’re looking forward to making a regular spot is the Pink Pineapple, scheduled to open this summer:

Kimmy Bruehl and Eric McKinney are a married couple with bartending experience at a couple of Tampa mainstays — the Coppertail Brewing Company near Ybor City and Seminole Heights’ own Independent Bar and Café. They’re taking over The Refinery’s old location on Florida just a couple of blocks south of Hillsborough (across the street from Faedo’s Bakery, home of amazing Cuban bread) to open a tiki bar. They’ll take care of the drinks, and for the food, they’re tapping Noel Cruz.

Here’s what Creative Loafing Tampa has to say about the bar’s food offerings:

As far as tropical bar bites go, they turned to a professional to curate the menu — Noel Cruz, of Ichicoro and former Armature Works resident Chismis & Co.

Cruz plans on serving up traditional Filipino cuisine. “There’s a lot of tiki origins in the Philippines so the food and drinks really complement each other,” McKinney says. “Offerings will be reminiscent of that of Chismis & Co.”

The duo has been plotting the concept over the last year, with heavy consideration toward catering to those in the hospitality industry who get off work late.

“We have so many friends in the industry, so we wanted them to be able to get a drink or grab some food without having to go to Ybor or downtown late at night,” Bruehl says.

We’re looking forward to being regulars!

Recommended reading


Thanks to Jeannie Cool for the find!


The promo for the completely fictitious “Volcasette” 4-track recorder.

It’s April Fools’ Day! It’s become an internet tradition to post an announcement for a fake product on this day. Usually, these fake products are too silly to ever become real, but sometimes they have that “why doesn’t this thing already exist?” quality, and there’s enough demand to make them real. This year’s fake product that people want turned real is the Korg Volcassette.

The Volcassette is supposed to be the latest in Korg’s “Volca” line, which is a series of very portable, very inexpensive (they retail for US$150) synthesizers that are about the size of a paperback book. The Volca line is “retro” — these synthesizers replicate the technology and sounds from 1980s. The Volca FM synth pictured above does a pretty good job of duplicating the sounds of the Yamaha DX7, the bright, ringing sound that defined the ’80s pop and synthpop sound. For example, the opening to Howard Jones’ What is Love? is littered with DX7 sounds, especially the bass and bell sound.

Just as Korg’s Volca synths are inexpensive “throwback” devices that bring back the sounds of the 80’s, the Volcassette is supposed to be a throwback to four-track tape recorders, which let you record four separate recordings and layers them — typically vocals on one track, drums on another, and two or more other instruments on the other two tracks. Through the ’80s and ’90s, the 4-track cassette tape recorder was a mainstay of home recording studios; I even had one.

There are far less clunky ways to do multitrack recording these days. Even smartphones do it well these days. If you have an iPhone and want to do 4-track recording, you’ll find the excellent Spire app perfect for your needs. Its features run circles around the feature set of the Volcassette, which are straight from the stone age:

  • Transport: Play, Record, Rewind, Rewind 2x, Fast Forward, Fast Forward 3x, Tape Speed (for playback and record), Auto-Reverse
  • Recording Capabilities: Four-track recorder
  • Display: 7-segment LED play counter with reset
  • Inputs: Combined 1/8″ guitar/XLR input (includes breakout cables); onboard microphone
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/8″ stereo headphone jacks for shared listening
  • Output Processing: Dolby A noise reduction; dedicated Bass and Treble controls
  • Power: 6 x AA batteries (included) for up to 20 hours continuous playback, or optional 9V adapter
  • * Optional volcahead head-cleaning tape also available

But in the hipster era, when people are buying increasing numbers of vinyl albums and turntables, when photographers are getting into old toy film cameras like Lomos and Holgas, when Moleskine notebooks still sell even though our phones have more powerful note-taking apps, and when things like vintage typewriter stores exist (Tampa’s own Paper Seahorse has a lovely collection), it shouldn’t a that big a surprise that musicians would want an old school 4-track tape recorder.

Here’s a sample of reactions to the April Fools’ Volcassette announcement on Facebook:

If Korg end up having to make the Volcassette real, it wouldn’t be the first time this sort of thing has happened:

The iCade — an miniature cabinet that turned your iPad into an arcade machine — was originally a ThinkGeek April Fools’ joke product announced in 2010. However, the idea was so good, the demand was so great, and the idea was actually within the realm of possibility, so they had to make it real.

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