Mayor Frank Chillura describes Jimmy Ciaccio, the owner of Gaspar’s Patio Bar & Grille, as one of the hardest-working businessmen in the city.
“He lives here, he works here, he plays here and he’s always giving back to the community,” said Chillura.
For that reason, he wishes Ciaccio well with his latest endeavor — Gaspar’s Liquor Shoppe, 8448 N. 56th St., which recently opened just north of Riverhills Drive.
The 18,000-square-foot facility adjacent to Gaspar’s Patio Bar & Grille — also owned by Ciaccio — features an inventory of more than 200 craft beers, about the same sum of wine selections and an assortment of liquors that numbers in the thousands.
It is open 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sunday.
It replaces the 600-square-foot Gaspar’s Liquor Store at the south end of the complex that Ciaccio’s late father, Gaspar, in partnership with his Uncle Fano, opened in 1960.
“That little liquor store couldn’t accommodate the needs of the times,” Ciaccio said.
Anita and David Long, owners of nearby Business Ink Printing, were given a tour of the new place just prior to its opening. Anita Long likens it to a boutique.
“This will be a go-to place for all your party and gift needs and the new store will put Temple Terrace on the map,” she said.
David Long, who has a high regard for Ciaccio’s business sense in the founding and successful operation of the patio bar and grill, believes the man has “outdone himself” with his “one-of-a-kind” liquor store.
“Let’s start with a wall cooler full of craft beers where you can mix-n-match a six-pack,” said David Long, who’s also impressed with the store’s “awesome” selection of liquors.
“The prices will blow you away, but while the prices are low the selections are top shelf,” he added. “There is no bottom-of-the-barrel, cheap, low-quality liquor.”
Ciaccio said his objective is to treat customers to an “experience,” unlike what they’ve had in most other liquor stores.
“We want to make it enjoyable for people to come in here and we even do tastings throughout the day,” he said.
Ciaccio also is open to hosting private wine tasting parties.
Sales associate Mike Hildebrand describes the ambiance of the place as “unbelievable.”
“It’s absolutely first class. There is nothing else like it,” he said.
Ciaccio’s longtime friend Dave Klasyk, who helped set up the store’s inventory, is in awe of the breadth of selections available. But he’s not at all surprised.
“Jimmy does 110 percent when he does something,” Klasyk said.
Call (813) 988-6959 for information or to arrange a wine-tasting party.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org