Datz some good food in Tampa


Land O’ Lakes resident Matt Casey travels to South Tampa at least once a month in order to eat at Datz, the local restaurant, bar, and market place.D1

“We just like that feel of being a neighborhood hangout, part market, part restaurant” said Roger Perry, Datz D5co-owner

Datz began serving customers in 2009 and creates dishes such as sandwiches with their home made chips, fried chicken, shrimp and grits and their famous meat loaf which is featured on the Travel Channel.


“I like the quality of the food and the portion sizes, they’re pretty big” said customer Matt Casey. “Their sandwiches are the best. It’s just good food”

“We call it upscale comfort food” said Perry. “We’re famous for our meatloaf where we take mac and cheese bits and stuff it inside a meatloaf.”

TP_304663_DEAN_DATZ_1Datz has dine-in seating, including tables that can accommodate families of 10 and a back room for private parties. In addition, Datz has two bars which serve beer, wine, and spirits.

“We specialize in beer and bourbon” said bartender Patrick Devries. “We have 30 something different craft beers on tap at all times.”D4

Datz offers many spirits and seasonal drinks that General Manager and Bar Programmer Morgan Zuch creates. In addition to the actual bar, Datz has a large collection of beer tap handles that are on display in the lower bar.

Perry and his wife, other co-owner Suzanne Perry, said the name was created all around the letter ‘z’.

“I always liked the letter ‘z’” said Roger Perry. “The business I retired from was called Petzazz, a popular deli in Columbus is Zingerman’s. So I knew I wanted to start with the ‘z’”.

In 2014, Datz expanded and took over the building next doorD7 where they opened their sister store and bakery, ‘Dough’. Both establishments are open seven days a week and can be found on MacDill Avenue in South Tampa.

Lily Simone balances two careers: elementry teacher and Orlando Magic dancer

Lily Simone was once an ordinary girl with dreams of becoming a marine biologist. Now, she manages two careers: 3rd-grade teacher and dancer for the Orlando Magic Basketball Team.

“It has been difficult managing two careers,” said Simone. “However, I think I have gotten better as time goes on managing my schedule and doing both things at the same time.”

Simone works approximately 40 hours per week, but after school, instead of grading papers, she heads to Amway Arena to practice with her team, the Orlando Magic Dancers, or to perform on the sidelines and at quarter breaks during home basketball games.

The 20 members of the Orlando Magic Dancers, according to Jeanine Klem-Thomas, the Entertainment Teams Manager and dance coach, are all full-time students or have full-time careers.

“These are the strong, independent, intelligent women who are more than just big hair and red lips dancing on a court,” said Simone. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to dance on that court and manage an outside career and I don’t think the public understands that.”

The University of South Florida SunDolls dance team played a large role in Simone’s ability to manage a full time teaching schedule and a full time Magic schedule.

“Even though Lily is rookie, she has been fantastic on the team,” said Klem-Thomas.  “She is always smiling and goofy but she knows when to work hard and she always gives 200 percent.”

You can watch Simone and her teammates perform on Nov. 7th at Amway Arena as the Orlando Magic take on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“I love teaching and interacting with my kids and I love performing for the Magic” said Simone.

USF graduate manages Florida representative campaign


Brian Goff, University of South Florida graduate, is the campaign manager for Rep. Amanda Murphy State House District 36 in Pasco County.

Goff works approximately 85 hours a week on the campaign. His duties include coordinating volunteers, writing speeches for the representative, designing mailers, managing the representative’s schedule, planning events and fundraisers and managing the campaign’s budget.

“My duties as campaign manager are pretty much anything and everything” Goff said. “I do everything that needs to happen on a day-to-day basis to make sure that the machine, the campaign apparatus, runs smoothly and efficiently.”

Goff began working campaigns as an intern and has managed three races. Two of them being Amanda Murphy’s.

“The campaign manager runs the campaign,” said Murphy. “Without them you will fall apart. They are the driving force of any campaign, so it’s the first and most important piece.

“He was actually part of the team that brought me into being a candidate and they brought him down to staff my campaign during my special election” said Murphy. “This guy is running 24/7 trying to keep track of all the bits and pieces and make sure that everyone else has the items they need to go out and do their job.”

Voters of District 36 can vote for Amanda Murphy or her opponent, Chris Gregg, November 4th.  This is Goff’s third campaign, and he says he feels confident.

“Out of all the campaigns I’ve worked on I’ve never lost one yet” Goff said.