Although this was the first year that there was no hog at the Tampa State Bank hog roast, bank officials served about 300 pounds of pulled pork from Carlsons’ Grocery to those patrons in attendance.
“Lonnie Nickel used to always smoke a pig,” Mickey Lundy of Tampa State Bank said. “But he retired this year.”
However, the women at the Catholic and Lutheran churches provided 28 gallons of baked beans as they have in years past, Lundy said.
Along with the pulled pork and baked beans, 12 gallons of dill pickles, a selection of chips, and a variety of beverages were provided free of charge, Lundy said, as part of the customer appreciation event.
Even with all the good food, attendance numbers were a little down this year.
“We had about 500 this year,” Lundy said. “We have had from 600 to 700 in the past.”
Those in attendance sat and ate in little clusters along the street and strolled around conversing while Justus played classic rock and country cover songs by bands like Credence Clearwater Revival, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Shania Twain, to name a few.
“This is about the 28th year we have done this,” Lundy said. “Dad started it as a way to thank the farmers for harvest.”
Lundy said the bank always encourages local business, people and youth to use the event as a way to generate revenue.
Owners of La Luna took the opportunity to mark off a section of Main St. in front of their restaurant with a moveable cattle corral and use the area as a beer garden. The Snow Barn, a mobile snow cone shop, was also parked nearby.
In the evening, bank officials presented a check for $25,000 to Tampa Main Street and David Mueller for an economic development grant that will help fund the Tampa Café project.
Mueller has redone most of the west side of Tampa’s Main St., Lundy said, and through extensive renovations, he was able to preserve the original face of the buildings which now house Tampa Trail Stop grocery store, a board meeting room, fitness center, and a hair salon.
Renovations on the historic café will include fixing the roof, replacing HVAC, remodeling the bathrooms with handicapped accessibility, ceiling repair, and new flooring in the restaurant.
The project will also provide numerous jobs during its construction and once complete the café will employ wait staff and cooks with competitive wages.