By Curt Wheeler, Wheeler Appraisals, LLC
Where in the world can you visit your friendly neighborhood tavern, purchase package supplies, AND hire a professional bartender for beverage catered events? Well, in the Lakeland, Florida world, the obvious choice is Southside Package and Lounge.
Southside has been in business since 1963, and all are invited to participate in their 50th Anniversary events in 2013! The company operates in an attractive 7,000 square foot building that opened in 2006 at 1122 South Florida Avenue at the same historic Dixieland location it has occupied these 49 years. The south side entry sign to Dixieland is located on the Southside Package property, and the facility provides an attractive focal point as you enter Dixieland.
Under proprietor Henry Tucker, Southside provides personalized service to clientele both new to Lakeland and those who have been customers since the beginning. Although there is plenty of competition in Lakeland, the combination of package sales, neighborhood tavern, personalized service (run a tab, drive-through service) and beverage catering place Southside in a special class.
Beverage Catering is an important segment of the Southside operation, with 20 to 25 events per month at times. In a busy time of the year there may be 17 bartenders going out to serve at local events and parties. Anyone who has attended an event with beverage service tended by Southside, has experienced professional and courteous service that helps an event flow smoothly. And, Southside bartenders can pour a mean martini, having won on multiple occasions the customer-choice award at the annual “Music and Martinis” event by Imperial Symphony Orchestra.
The staff enjoys their work environment. Employee tenure includes 9, 24, and 34 years, along with a brother-sister combo.
The company is heavily involved in giving back to Lakeland. A Chamber member since 1978, Southside has been active in United Way giving, and Henry has been active as a member of the Civil Service Board, past president of Lakeland Association of Realtors, member of ISO board, and chair of Margarita Ball, which has averaged $70,000 per year over 26 years in gifts and toys for those in need.
A professional and friendly package store, neighborhood lounge, and beverage catering service in business 49 years, giving back to the Lakeland community, from a modern and attractive facility in an historic area of Lakeland…. What more can you ask? Southside has been an integral part of Lakeland for 49 years going on 50, and looks forward to another 50 years. We congratulate Southside Package and Lounge on being the July Small Business of the Month.
Southside Package & Lounge
1122 S Florida Ave
Lakeland, FL 33803