TEMPLE TERRACE — Granted, it's a place that sells beer and burgers and provides patrons with an assortment of athletic events via its various HDTVs.
But the management team of the new Graffiti Junktion, 11401 N. 56th St., believes it has much more to offer than the typical sports bar.
Managing partner Lisa Iannasoni said the décor and ambiance of the new restaurant — the first in the Tampa Bay area and the seventh among the company's chain of six other casual Graffiti Junktion eateries scattered throughout the greater Orlando community — is patterned after its name.
“You'll find artistically placed graffiti throughout, including on all the tables and the walls,” Iannasoni said. “It creates a colorful, fun and playful tone for our customers to enjoy.”
Most of the restaurant's diverse menu items, including the stuffed burgers, are also unique to Graffiti Junktion. In addition, the food is prepared from fresh, never frozen, ingredients, Iannasoni said.
Store manager Sandy Smith, who has spent 27 years in the restaurant business, said the quality of beef used in each of Graffiti Junktion's 11 signature burgers also is top notch.
“It's a great product,” she said. “I eat it.”
Among the most popular burger choices, Iannasoni said, is the Green Mountain, consisting of Canadian bacon, a fried egg and cheddar cheese. The Sin City burger — made up of jalapenos and a combination of Brie and pepper jack cheeses topped with bacon — is another favorite among guests.
In addition, the zucchini fries, added Iannasoni, are an often-selected menu item as are many of its seven salads, including the California chicken salad and the spinach salad.
Another attraction, she said, is its variety of entertainment throughout the week — a DJ, live music, various contests and a trivia night.
“We're family-friendly and we try to make sure our staff is super friendly and outgoing,” Iannasoni said, noting that people seeking employment may apply on site any weekday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. for chef, bartender and wait staff positions.
Smith said she's delighted the company opted to locate its first Tampa area restaurant in Temple Terrace, citing its proximity to the University of South Florida and the hearty welcome she's already received from many people in the Temple Terrace community.
“There are many great restaurants here and we're thrilled to be a part of it all,” she said.
The restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. For more information, call (813) 983-9000 or visit www.graffitijunktion .com.
Joyce McKenzie can be reached at [email protected]