The family was shopping one day, and my (Tony the Balloon Guy’s) daughter brought me a necktie who’s pattern was pizza slices and pizza boxes.
Of course I bought it right away!
Back in February, 2008, we drove down from Brooksville to New Port Richey for a karate tournament that our kids were competing in. At the end of the tournament, local folks in the know said, let’s go get something to eat – we know a great place!
They took a bunch of us to Anthony’s Italian Restaurant, 8809 Mitchell Blvd, in Trinity (Pasco County, Florida). There, we got these huge pizzas, about a mile across, that were DELICIOUS. And the people were super nice.
At the time, I was doing balloons at an Ale House near Sea World in Orlando, and at a few other restaurants throughout the week (Cici’s, and Denny’s), but my Thursday night IHOP had just decided to take their marketing another way after 18 months.
So we talked to Rich Baker, the co-owner, about me doing balloons at Anthony’s on Thursdays.
Rich is a very business-savvy guy – Face Painter Phyllis and I always enjoy talking to him about marketing and promotions, as he reads a lot about that kind of thing, and tries a lot of cool ideas (check out the new wine list and the cool wine rack they put in!) – who at the time had live music one night a week and had worked with a magician and other entertainers in the past. He himself has another business as a DJ for weddings, parties and other events.
Rich talked to his partner, Karla Barkdoll, and took us up on our proposal. On March 13th, 2008, I started entertaining at Anthony’s Thursdays, 6-8pm, and a kids-eat-free deal was put in place, too (buy an adult entrée, get a free kid’s dinner, I believe, but ask someone smart for the details). Eventually, Face Painter Phyllis started joining me. A while later, Rich extended the hours to 5-8pm, where it stands now.
I don’t think I have missed a Thursday that wasn’t Christmas or New Year’s Day since!
Of course, we’ve gotten to know a lot of folks down in Trinity in these three years, and we are always seeing new faces, too. Every Thursday night is a lot of fun!
And the food?
We love it! And we often see folks going out of their way to find Rich and tell him how this dish or that dish reminds them of what they had up north, especially in New York, that other Florida restaurants just don’t do as well.
http://anthonysoftrinity.com/ – which has a link to an online Anthony’s menu – says that a St. Petersburg Times poll ranked Anthony’s number one in Pasco County. I can see why.
Anthony’s also does catering, and provides food for a lot of school events, kids’ sporting events, etc. And, of course they deliver – (727) 372-1663.
I’ll be the guy with the pizza tie.
Have a fun day!
www.TonyTheBalloonGuy.com (Please visit for testimonials, more info and photos/pictures)
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Balloon Artist/Balloon Twister Tony the Balloon Guy (”Tony Balloonguy” on Facebook) and family provide special-occasion balloon delivery/balloon deliveries and also entertainment (party packages that can include balloon twisters/balloon man/balloon animals, face painters/face painting – chiefly Face Painter Phyllis, glitter tattoos, pony parties, princess parties, piano music, an upbeat and entertaining fortune teller, a magic show magician, etc.) for birthday parties; family reunions; family picnics; trade shows; school parties, fairs, carnivals, festivals, assemblies and other events; church parties, picnics, festivals, outreach events and holiday events; grand openings, corporate/company picnics, parties, employee appreciation days and such; holiday parties; kids’ parties/children’s parties; civic association picnics, parties and other events; and more, throughout the Tampa Bay area (Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Holmes Beach, Feather Sound, Northdale, Bushnell, Lakeland, Brooksville, Leto, Redington Shores, Lake Wales, Westchase, Brandon, Davis Islands, Apollo Beach, Ruskin, Sun City Center, Palmetto, Ybor City, Sarasota, Winter Haven, Old Hyde Park Village, Egypt Lake, Bradenton, New Port Richey, Pinellas Park, Plant City, Town N Country, Bloomingdale, Mango, Madiera Beach, Treasure Island, Lutz, Oldsmar, Odessa, Shore Acres, Tavares, Trinity, Thonotosassa, New Tampa, Wesley Chapel, Temple Terrace, Belleair Beach, Ridge Manor, St. Joe, Largo, Seminole, Bartow, Riverview, Cheval, Haines City, Gibsonton, San Antonio, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Floral City, Spring Hill, Clearwater Beach, Homosassa Springs, Carrollwood, St. Petersburg Beach, Dunnellon, Inverness, Citrus Park, Crystal River, Kenneth City, St. Leo, Gulfport) and the state of Florida, including the Orlando/Kissimmee area (Poinciana, Altamonte Springs, Winter Park, Longwood, Oviedo, Casselberry, The Villages, Maitland, Masaryktown, Darby, Deland, Deltona, EdgeWater, Daytona Beach). Balloon decor/decorations, too (arches, columns, canopies, centerpieces, etc., for weddings, baby showers, grand openings, dances, golden anniversaries and more).
Tony the Balloon Guy’s work has been covered by and photographed for the St. Petersburg Times, the Tampa Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, and smaller newspaers like the Gulfport Gabber and The Laker of Pasco County. He has also appeared on Emmy-award-winning Charely Belcher’s “Charely’s World,” a “Good Day Tampa Bay” feature on WTVT-TV Fox 13.