A family-operated business opens Oct. 1 with everything priced at less than $20.
Owner Stacy Gilbert of Dallas, Ga., offers accessories at Simple Elegance Under $20, 137 W. Venice Ave., in the former Islander location.
Managing the store is her mom, Patty Blackledge, of Columbus, Ohio, who for 17 years owned a hair salon until retiring to Punta Gorda.
Accessories will include watches, necklaces, bracelets, rings, scarves and cover-ups, with sun dresses, handbags and wallets. Primarily, the store will cater to women but there will be sections for kids and men.
“We’re very excited to be a part of Venice and can see a lot of good happening downtown,” said Gilbert.
A music teacher from Columbus, for nine years she taught flute at elementary and high schools, subsequently moving to schools in other states where she tutored middle school bands.
The store opens at 10 a.m. six days a week. Call 412-4177.
Cassariano’s new look
The old bistro look is gone, said Luca Cassani, who with partner Antonio Pariano has made spectacular changes to their downtown restaurant coinciding with the new exterior upgrading.
Four years ago they introduced residents and visitors to their special Italian cuisine, opening Cassariano, 305-B W. Venice Ave. Now they have a new, authentic Italian interior with walls of earth tones and bricks, creating an inviting and warm atmosphere. The bar has moved to the rear and, combined with new tables and chairs, they have added four additional seats. Wine racks hang from the ceiling, and new lighting adds to the new theme.
“We have kept the same menu and same prices, adding the fabulous, very typical Northern Italian pork filet over polenta,” said Cassani. He and Pariano continue as chefs, and they have added three servers to their existing team.
Diners will enjoy improved seating, increased to 36 places outside on the terrace under the new, long awning.
Lunch and dinner are served daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., later on Saturday. Cassariano is closed Sundays. Call 485-0507.
A local landmark store believed to have served the Venice community for 20 years has closed.
The 4,000-square-foot location of Brides of Venice, 1846 South Tamiami Trail, is empty. It was acquired in April 2007 by Susan Greiger, who had operated a similar store in Lakeland.
A mobile auto-glass repair service has been started by Jean Paul Poirier.
A Clear Lite Autoglass, West Douglas Court, caters to vehicle users requiring repair and replacement of all vehicle windows.
Poirier specializes in rock chip repairs. Air in the break is extracted and resin injected, sealing it to remove trapped air, thereby avoiding the glass cracking. Most vehicle insurance covers Florida drivers, making the service free to most customers.
Originally from Canada, he moved to New Brunswick, Calif., then Leominster, Mass., where he undertook training to obtain NGA certification. He was an auto-glass repair and replacement technician for four years before coming to Venice in 2006. With his wife, Viktoria, he started a weekly pool cleaning service. In 2008 he returned to auto-glass repair with a local company, and recently he decided to open his own business serving Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties.
Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 416-0270.
Venice MainStreet Inc. is preparing for the November opening of its Centennial Park publicity kiosk on West Venice Avenue.
Its Downtowners team of volunteers will operate the venture, sorting through fliers and directing tourists to the unique shops and restaurants.
The kiosk will be open Tuesday through Saturday. Volunteers interested in working the kiosk can call Venice MainStreet at 484-6722.
Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, with six asphalt plants located in Nokomis, Punta Gorda, Palmetto, Fort Myers, Odessa and Tampa, has earned a National Asphalt Pavement Association 2010 Diamond Achievement Commendation for Excellence in Hot-Mix Asphalt Plant/Site Operations.
The award is a unique and respected self-assessment program, reported Ingrid Delaney, administrative manager.
According to NAPA Chair Larry H. Lemon, the Diamond Achievement Commendation demonstrates a corporate commitment to excellence with community focus.” It symbolizes continuous improvement in operations and community relations.
Editor’s Note: Service and product information in this column should not be taken as an endorsement of the business.