TAMPA, Fla. - "It was fun. It was an event. It was a night out. It was a special occasion," said Diane Kelly of Land O'Lakes
Kelly speaks fondly of the fun times she and her family had at the Boizao Steakhouse on Boy Scout Blvd. in Tampa. Now, the once popular Brazilian-style restaurant sits dark and empty. Earlier this week and with little fanfare, Boizao closed its doors.
The phone at the restaurant has been disconnected and attempts to reach the owners of Boizao Steakhouse have been unsuccessful. Also, the company's website has been removed from the internet.
The signature open fire pit, for now, has cooked its last meal. A banner that used to advertise specials sits crumpled in the dining room, discarded valet parking tickets litter the mulch and garbage cans in the back hold the last bits of thrown out food. One vendor was quick to post a sign seeking return of their company equipment from inside the restaurant.
Lester Ruiz tended bar for more than 3 years at Boizao, now he's looking for work at a nearby competitor.
"I don't blame anybody. I guess they didn't say anything because it was bad for business. But I'm still unemployed and still looking for a job; and I'm in deep water now," said Ruiz.
Like many other customers, Kelly and her husband will never get to use the $50 gift card their daughter gave him for Father's Day.
"Of course it makes me mad. I mean, it's fifty dollars. Fifty dollars doesn't come easily and it was a gift that we'll never be able to do anything with. So yeah, I imagine there's a lot of people out there that probably feel the same way," she said.
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