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The new, 2,000-square-foot Green Ginger Hair Design overlooks St. Armands Circle Park.
Longboat Key Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 5 years ago

Circle gets down to business

by: Robin Hartill Managing Editor

The Circle’s parking woes are totally 2012.

The new year will bring plenty of new shopping and dining opportunities, along with the old favorites, only this time when you make the rounds, you’re less likely to get a parking ticket.

Here are a few of the new business that will round out St. Armands Circle in 2013.

+ Marcello Sport brings familiar feel
The 49-year-old Taffy’s Menswear has closed but Marcello Sport, which moved in at 18 S. Blvd. of the Presidents, might have a familiar feel.

That’s because Taffy’s owner, Jack Peffley, is its manager, and Peffley’s wife, Nancy, along with Don Povec, both of whom are veteran Taffy’s staffers, work at the store as well.

“There’s still a lot of the old Taffy’s but we’ve incorporated a lot of the styles in with a lot of the contemporary sportswear from Marcello Sport,” Peffley said.

The store has many Taffy’s customer favorites, along with more cutting-edge men’s fashions such as long-sleeved sports shirts, trimmed contrasting cuffs, leather jackets, brushed-cotton trousers in new fashion colors and more European-influenced sweaters.

Marcello Sport owners Mike Apel and his son, Darren, own Fashion Concepts, a manufacturing company that was a longtime Taffy’s supplier. They own a second Marcello Sport store in Fort Lauderdale.

+ New boutique has male Influence
Samantha Beebe and Liz Murray, sisters and co-owners of Influence Style, open a second clothing boutique, Influence Men, in early December. The new store sells a variety of contemporary men’s clothing.

“We thought there was a niche in Sarasota for the guy who wants everyday clothes,” Beebe said.

The sisters moved to the area from Michigan to open the business and found that St. Armands Circle, which attracts a strong seasonal crowd, has been a great location decision.

So great, that when independent bookseller Circle Books closed in September after 13 years, the sisters pounced on the vacancy. They spoke with the landlord and had a lease agreement in place within a few weeks. Murray, the designer/buyer side of the duo, spent the fall traveling to fashion shows, in places like Las Vegas, Miami and New York, to get the store’s inventory ready. Beebe handles the business side of the stores.

“We had played around with the idea for months,” Beebe told the Gulf Coast Business Review. “There is a very big risk with it, but if you see an opportunity you have to do it, otherwise you will always wonder.”

+ Wine D’Vine to fill up former Reasons Shoes
Wine D’Vine will open at the former Reasons Shoes location in December, according to a sign in the window at 57 S. Blvd. of the Presidents at press time.

The sign advertises “wine and beers to flatter every taste” and more than 100 wines available for sampling

+ New Pass Grill to bait Circle customers
The New Pass Grill will open its second location at 19A N. Blvd. of the Presidents in the location of the old China Pavilion.

Contractors were working on the new location at press time, but according to server Joey Hicklin, the goal is to open by the end of 2012.

The restaurant will start out with the same menu as its City Island restaurant. Hours will be 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

+ Green Ginger Hair Design grows its presence
Green Ginger Hair Design has a bigger presence on St. Armands Circle since it moved to its new location at 369 St. Armands Circle, located upstairs between Tommy Bahama and Garden Argosy, in late November.

“An opportunity presented itself for new location that was perfectly situated right on St. Armands Circle,” said Gordon Hall, who co-owns the salon with his wife, Lynda.

The new salon has a balcony overlooking St. Armands Circle Park, separate facial room, barber area for men and approximately 2,000 square feet, making it significantly larger than its former location at 10. S. Adams Drive. 

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