Harvest Thyme opens new location

Published: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.

Harvest Thyme Cafe opened a second location in the Magnolia Parke shopping center recently next to Starbucks in the former Silver Dragon Restaurant location at 4780 NW 39th Ave.

The menu includes the same sandwiches — including the popular tuna apple melt — homemade soups, fresh fruits and pasta salad as the downtown location. It does not include smoothies because of a noncompete agreement involving Starbucks.

The new location will also be open later — until 6 p.m. The downtown location closes at 4:30 p.m.

“We saw the potential for the market out there,” co-owner Coleen Tobin said of Magnolia Parke. “We just want to spread the goodness around.”

Both locations offer free delivery with no minimum order.

Jennifer and Mike Davidson opened the first Harvest Thyme in Alachua in 1999 and opened the downtown location in 2001. They sold the restaurant to their management team in 2012, according to the Harvest Thyme website.

Billy Bobz

Billy Bobz Bar-B-Q opened about a month ago at 1228 W. University Ave., next to the Holiday Inn. The location housed Saigon Legend before it moved in 2011.

Owners William and Robert Pulley of Hampton could not be reached for comment. According to a sign at the entrance, the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and offers catering.

The Rowdy Reptile

Munchies 4:20 Cafe closed in May so the owner could replace it with The Rowdy Reptile bar, which opened two weeks ago.

Munchies, originally of Sarasota, opened in 2011 at 1702 W. University Ave. Owner J.D. Chester opened Fat Daddy’s bar downstairs last year. A manager said they are looking for a new location to reopen Munchies.

Southern Charm

Southern Charm Kitchen is now open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The restaurant at 1714 Hawthorne Road opened in September 2012 with Tuesday through Saturday hours.

Owner Omar Oselimo said in a February interview that he wanted to get his new staff up to speed before opening every day and expects Sunday to be their busiest day.

Omar and Arpita Oselimo also own Reggae Shack Cafe.


Tim’s Thai Restaurant is for sale after owner Vaitip “Tim” Phangvivat retired recently and closed up shop after 30 years in business.

Tim, 66, and his wife, Fe, 65, opened Tim’s Thai in 1984 at 501 NW 23rd Ave.

Fe said her husband has been struggling with a change in medication for Type 2 diabetes that hospitalized him for a week in February, after which they cut back to three days a week.

“He decided he just cannot do it anymore; otherwise, he would have continued because he likes doing this. It’s kind of his life,” she said.

Tim, who is from Bangkok, Thailand, and Fe, who is from the Philippines, met in New York City. Tim studied hotel and restaurant management at Paul Smith’s College in New York. They moved to Gainesville in 1978 when she took a job as a registered nurse at Shands and he worked in the billing department before opening the restaurant.

Fe said she has been calling and emailing regular customers, many of whom came by weekly. “They were kind of sad,” she said.


Lasso’s Steakhouse closed after six months in business at 104 S. Main St.

The owners could not be reached recently for comment. An employee at Porterhouse Grill in Lake City — which has the same owners — confirmed that Lasso’s closed a couple weeks ago.

The business opened in January in the location that previously housed SmokeHouse Gourmet Barbecue, which lasted about nine months.


A local company has received a $1.2 million grant to develop pills with tiny sensors that when taken send a signal to a monitor worn by the patient.

eTect, headquartered in Jonesville and with an office in Melbourne, received the Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

eTect president Eric Buffkin said the NIDA is interested in the technology to track patient adherence to treatments for drug addiction. However, the self-reporting pills can be used with any dose medication.

The company uses tiny sensors developed by Convergent Engineering and the University of Florida College of Engineering. The sensors include microchips the size of a grain of sand that are incorporated into capsules.

A tiny circuit uses stomach fluids to harmlessly generate a very small amount of energy to power up the sensor, sending a simple digital message to a monitor, according to a news release.

The capsule dissolves and the sensor components pass through the patient’s digestive system.

Since its founding in 2009, eTect has received about $3.6 million in private funding and $300,000 in grants. The company has 11 employees and contract workers.

Buffkin said eTect has conducted clinical studies with “very good” results and plans to have the first commercial product available to pharmaceutical companies in 2014.

Canopy Apartments

The Preiss Company of Raleigh, N.C., has acquired the Canopy Apartments in Gainesville for $36.25 million, the company announced.

Canopy is a 240-unit, 770-bed student housing complex with five three-story buildings at 4400 SW 20th Ave. It was built on the site of the former Alamar Gardens mobile home park in 2009 through a partnership with Arlington Properties of Birmingham, Ala., and Venture Realty of Gainesville.

Chief Investment Officer John Preiss noted in a news release that the company bought the complex below replacement cost, or what it would cost to build from the ground up.

Canopy offers fully furnished two- to four-bedroom units and is 95 percent occupied, Preiss said.

Preiss Company owns 32 student housing properties. The company acquired six of those properties in the past 12 months and is negotiating to buy more to take advantage of low interest rates and attractive pricing, he said. Canopy is the company’s first Florida property.

— Special to the Guardian

Anthony Clark is the Gainesville Sun business editor.

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