Port City Java on Lithia Pinecrest Rd. in Valrico has succumbed to the economy and closed its doors after less than 18 months in business.

The property, located on the corner of Lithia Pinecrest Rd. and Bloomingdale Ave. is just over one acre.

Port City Java, the franchise was managed by Michelle Thompson and operator Thomas Matteson, who were both well-liked and well connected in the community. From community knitters to the Brandon South Rotary weekly meetings and fundraisers, Port City Java did not hesitate to get involved.

“Port City Java was a great supporter of the community,” said Brandon South Rotary President Irma Davila. “Whether it was a fundraiser or a donation, they were always there for us.”

Sitting on the corner of Bloomingdale Ave. and Lithia Pinecrest Rd., the property has been owned by the LaMonte family for many years. After major pharmacy negotiations stalled about five years ago, the family went ahead and tore down a closed gas station and started the two-year rezoning and building process for the coffee shop.

For Thompson, the hardest part was leaving the staff, “It was a hard decision made by the owners and we tried to keep open. I miss my customers and my staff, many of which stayed from the beginning to the end.”

Port City Java opened in September 2006 after a six-month delay in construction. The corner property is now being sold with an asking price of $1.8 million by owner Carol LaMonte.

“We wanted to be the type of place where people can come in and get a cup of coffee and not have to go somewhere else for a sandwich,” described Business Manager, Thomas Matteson before the opening.

In addition to the coffee shop, the 1,600 sq. ft. restaurant offered wireless and hardwired Internet and a drive-thru lane which could be attractive to buyers. In addition, there is a 860 sq. ft. attached office.

Port City Java opened its first cafe in March 1995 in Wilmington, NC. The Valrico site is located at 3330 Lithia Pinecrest Rd.

For more information, call 689-0004 or visit www.portcityjava.com.

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Marie is the Managing Editor at the Osprey Observer. She covers news, transportation, education and likes to make a positive impact on the community and be 'in the know'!