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Proposed Bass Pro Shops in Brandon may include 'underwater' bowling

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Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 02:46 AM
TAMPA -

The new Bass Pro Shops store planned for Brandon will include the chain's signature indoor fishing pond, plus a novel bowling alley/restaurant concept found in only three other Bass stores.

Springfield, Mo.-based Bass Pro Shops on Friday gave more details on the outdoor sporting goods store it expects to build between Interstate 75 and Falkenburg Road, south of Adamo Drive. The Tribune reported Friday that Bass hopes to locate in a proposed development called the Estuary.

Hillsborough County will be asked to contribute $8.25 million to the project to pay for road improvements. County commissioners are expected to discuss the issue Wednesday.

The new store will be one of Bass Pro Shops' full-line Outdoor World stores, as opposed to one of the chain's smaller concepts, spokeswoman Katie Mitchell said. As such, it will be 140,000 square feet, feature its typical assortment of fishing, hunting and hiking gear and have its standard indoor aquarium, where people can cast a line and test fishing equipment.

The most unusual element may be Bass' new Uncle Buck's Fishbowl and Grill, a restaurant with 16 bowling lanes designed to look as if you're bowling under water, Mitchell said. Some feature bowling ball returns made to look like sharks and alligators.

Mitchell said the new store would open sometime in 2014. The store could employ about 250 people, with another 50 employees at the restaurant/bowling alley.

The county's proposed road subsidies for the project have already stirred up some opposition, and it's likely some small bait and tackle shops may show their disapproval at Wednesday's County Commission meeting.

Two such shops contacted the Tribune on Friday to complain that the new superstore would hurt small retailers.


msasso@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7865 Twitter: @msasso

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