SUN PHOTO/CINDY LANE
Ace's Lounge is under new ownership at Cortez Road
and Palma Sola Boulevard. From left to right are Renee
Ranallo Bennett, original owner Carol Ranallo, Monique
Ranallo, Peter Barreda and Marisela Barreda.
By Cindy Lane
sun staff writer
CORTEZ Aces runs in the family.
Renee Ranallo Bennett and sister Monique Ranallo have paired
with former Cortez Kitchen owner Peter Barreda and wife Marisela
Barreda to buy Aces Lounge.
The establishment at Cortez Road and Palma Sola Boulevard
was built in the mid-1980s by Bennett and Ranallos mother,
Carol "Ace" Ranallo. It has since been sold and
operated under other names, most recently, Riptide.
The new Aces sports several changes, according to Peter
Barreda, including a new bar menu featuring tacos, spring
rolls and Japanese and Indian appetizers.
"Its an ethnic collage of different tastes,"
he says, adding that the menu will be light fare because smoking
is allowed at the lounge, where an improved air conditioning
system and high ceilings make it friendly to non-smokers too.
"We want people to be comfortable here," he says.
"Everybodys welcome. Were bringing more energy
back to Aces."
Some of the energy comes from the live music lineup, which
includes rock and roll (Wicked Jester), reggae (Democracy)
and blues (James Peterson) set to a backdrop of cable sports
television highlighting NASCAR and football.
Surf videos also are on the schedule, and the lounge is sponsoring
pre-teen Bradenton surfer girl Molly Taylor, whose wetsuit
will sport the Aces logo.
A pool league and a dart league are forming now, he says.
Also on the drawing board are bus trips to Lightning games,
fundraisers for diabetes research and a second bar in the
upstairs pool room.
Aces is open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
4343 Palma Sola Blvd.
11 a.m. to 2 a.m.