By Brian Bokor

Welcome to your December update of new developments and openings in the Greater Brandon/Riverview area. Please check respective Facebook pages for the most recent information.

Stores recently opened include Cigars International, a 6,000-plus sq. ft. indoor/outdoor destination featuring over 1,300 cigar brands, a full-service bar and multiple flat screen TVs, all housed under a state-of-the-art ventilation system and located on Palm River Rd. near Topgolf, where plans for its 11,443 sq. ft. putt-putt course have temporarily been put on hold. The Flip Flop Shops in Bloomingdale Square welcomes anyone searching for casual footwear to its location near Bealls.

A smorgasbord of new dining choices recently opened, starting with Eggs Up Grill and Wendy’s, both located in Riverview on U.S. 301 near Falkenburg Rd. Donovan’s Meatery in Winthrop Town Centre has been receiving rave reviews along with Gasparilla Pizzeria & Growlers in Bella Plaza on Bloomingdale Ave.

Cali Cafe, specializing in homemade Colombian coffee and goodies, celebrated its reopening in Riverview on U.S. 301, south of Boyette Rd. Mandola’s Italian Kitchen introduced its first Florida location on U.S. 301 in Riverview not far from the long-awaited Chick-fil-A near Summerfield Crossing Blvd.

Projects coming, but not ready, begin in Seffner on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. with a new Marco’s Pizza near the Mango Rd. intersection and Seffner Self Storage at Kingsway Rd. The two buildings on S.R. 60 near Lakewood Dr. in Brandon will be Bolay and Panda Express with no replacement announced for Lucky’s in that plaza.

The land cleared at Lumsden Rd. and Kings Ave. will be a RaceTrac with Walmart on Causeway Blvd. adding a health clinic, a new concept only available at this location. Further west on Causeway Blvd., both Texas Roadhouse and Bubba’s 33 will soon be opening at Falkenburg Rd.

Bloomingdale Ave. is seeing two banks with PNC Bank under construction at Providence Rd. and TD Bank breaking ground in front of the Walmart Supercenter along with Heartland Dental and a yet unnamed third tenant. Bloomingdale Square is getting a The UPS Store with LA Fitness’ opening date still unannounced, although exterior renovations have been completed.

On Boyette Rd. in Riverview, the two unfinished block structures west of CVS will be a Culver’s and an as yet unnamed daycare with ALDI recently breaking ground on its newest location on U.S. 301 across from Balm Riverview Rd. The Triple Creek area will see a Goddard Daycare off Boggy Creek Dr. with FishHawk getting a new 36,000 sq. ft. medical office built at the Mosaic Dr. and Circa Crossing Dr. intersection.

Apollo Beach will see abundant changes on the west side of U.S. 41 with a car wash planned just north of Apollo Beach Blvd. and a Starbucks, CubeSmart self-storage (in the old Winn-Dixie location) and ABC liquor store planned south of that intersection along with 203 single-family homes.