To call Harr's Surf & Turf Market a family business is a bit of an understatement. Stephen Innocenzi, the manager and head chef, has been joined by his mother, two aunts, a grandmother, a sister, a brother, and his two grandkids—38 employees in all. The meat industry comes naturally to the clan; Stephen’s stepfather, Ervin Harr, first picked up a filleting knife in 1961, and the pristine white aprons and cases full of crystalline ice eventually called to Stephen as well.
"Back in ’87,” he says, “I was working at a restaurant and studying to be an architect. I found passion for food, so I came to the family business."
In the shop, deep glass display cases teem with more than 20 varieties of fish each day, including Florida black grouper and wild-caught salmon. Staff members carefully wrap shellfish, shrimp, and crab legs, and can fly in live Maine lobster with one day's notice. Stephen walks among the aisles, going out of his way to dispense pairing advice and cooking suggestions.
"We have a customer that comes in, she'll have us write the cookbook's name and page number on the wrapper so she can remember what goes where. I think someone somewhere else would look at the woman, and say 'Huh?' But those of us that have been here, we're fine doing it. We don't mind."
While planning dinners, patrons draw from a stock that includes dry-aged prime beef, pork, lamb, hormone-free poultry, and Boar's Head deli products, all custom-cut in house. Bottles and jars stand on the shelves in sleek ranks, the colorful labels of 350 beers and wines displaying countries of origin that include Spain, Germany, and France. Stephen also takes particular interest in crafting complete meals for patrons to take home.
"We have 22 different types of kebabs made every day. We also have giant, stuffed twice-baked potatoes, we sell about 4,000 of those a week," he says, adding that much of what he prepares is dependent on trends. "My wife and I like to go to eat once or twice a week, and after, we'll brainstorm with the family, see what's popular."
Every Sunday, patrons of the Palm Harbor House of Beer can go head to frothy head with Randall the Enamel Animal, a singular beer-infusing machine developed by Dogfish Head Craft Brewery. The specially created tap can cram pints of beer with extra flavor from added hops, coffee beans, fruit, or even singles' phone numbers. This quirky contraption caught the attentions of a reviewer from the Tampa Bay Times, who hailed the bar as a "haven for beer nerds" during American Craft Beer Week in 2011. Patrons can also pick their poison from a lineup of 50 craft-beer taps from breweries such as Brooklyn and Flying Dog, along with local hopmasters Cigar City and Swamp Head. The bar's website takes care to keep the tap list updated frequently?allegedly to the minute?because, as co-owner A. J. Bubolz told the Palm Harbor Beacon, "three days from now, 25 percent of those will be different."
The golfing gurus at Edwin Watts Golf Academy diagnose and correct their students' poor swing and putting habits in an effort to help them improve their shots and lower their scores. In one-on-one swing-analysis sessions, students learn a repeatable swing that eliminates tendencies they may have to slice, hook, push, or pull the ball. A special laser attaches to the end of the player's club and tracks the swing path while JC Video swing-analysis software records the session from two separate angles, lest analysis be thrown off by only looking at the golfer's good side. Putting analysis employs Tomi technology to measure eight separate parameters of the putting stroke, from clubhead orientation at address to swing path and tempo. After swing and putting lessons, students may access the recordings on a password-protected website, so they can forward videos to friends or sports-documentary filmmakers.
Since 1989, Play It Again Sports has been buying and selling new and used sports and exercise equipment. They are keeping sports green, recycling gently used athletic equipment into new-to-you gear. Products from brands such as Nike, Adidas, Easton, Wilson, Nautilus and Schwinn, make up each store's enormous selection of new and recycled gear, which is replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball, golf, soccer to lacrosse and football. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. Knowledgeable staffers man each location, ready to answer questions, arrange gear deliveries or pick-ups. To ensure their stock remains robust, they also encourage athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including bicycles—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.