Icon Central Fills Missing Retail Link on Central Avenue

Icon Central Fills Missing Retail Link on Central Avenue

People often point to the western creep of shops and restaurants down Central Avenue as an indicator of downtown’s growth — a symbol of pride that shows just how far the area has come. After all, the biggest draw to downtown 15 years ago was Beach Drive, a restaurant row that fronts numerous city parks and the famous St. Pete Pier. Today, not only is Beach Drive still bustling with activity, but you can meander down Central Avenue and experience nearly two and a half miles of continuous retail all the way to 31st Street. Arguably the longest stretch of walkable retail in Florida, stores along Central Avenue range from local coffee shops to art galleries and even a wig shop. 

But there are a few exceptions along this stretch, most notably, the 800 block of Central Avenue. For years the area of Central between 8th Street and 9th Street had been a dead zone with no retail or street level interaction on either side of the street. The 800 block is ideally flanked between two booming neighborhoods, the core of Downtown St. Pete with the thriving 600 block and Central Arts District, and the trendy EDGE District. The dead zone between these two areas has served as a psychological barrier that deters people from venturing to the other side. 

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Recharge Your Mind, Body, and Spirit at Serene in Downtown St. Pete

Recharge Your Mind, Body, and Spirit at Serene in Downtown St. Pete

Having spent her childhood in Cuba, Jen Miranda was always accustomed to locally grown products. When she was seven, her family moved to Tampa, and that’s when the American diet started to have a negative effect on her health. Ever since, Jen has had a fascination with health and wellness.

Her journey through nutrition is what inspired her to develop Serene, a wellness bar which quietly opened last month at 1113 Central Avenue in the EDGE District, formerly home to the Openhouse event space that has recently hosted a variety of pop-up concepts. Luckily for us all, Serene is NOT a pop-up!

Serene encompasses nutrition in every single way with a menu that features smoothies, smoothie bowls, and wellness lattes. “I want Serene to be a space where you can have a healthy, guilt-free meal,” says Jen. “I don’t want you to come here and have to count calories because I’ve already done that for you.”

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No Car? No Problem In Downtown St. Pete

No Car? No Problem In Downtown St. Pete

As Downtown St. Pete continues to grow in popularity, many residents and visitors are finding it harder to find parking near their destination. And while there is still plenty of parking in most parts of downtown, certain areas can be challenging at peak hours or during events. But thanks to a number of new transportation options, getting around has never been easier. Check out these five ways to ditch your car, but still get to your destination!

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Community-Driven Weekly Market Launches in Downtown St Pete

Community-Driven Weekly Market Launches in Downtown St Pete

Lauren Segedin and her husband, Matthew, have lived in St. Pete for six years, and she admits, “We both think this is the happiest place we’ve ever lived.” I’ve only been talking to Lauren for a minute, but I can tell she’s caught the bug. I contracted it a while ago. Most of my friends and my wife have it too. After all, it’s highly contagious. I’m referring to the St. Pete bug. 

It’s a narrative I’ve heard over and over. Someone moves to St. Pete, they fall in love with the city, and then they don’t want to leave. But why? What makes St. Pete so special? Lauren believes it has to do with the community. I’d have to agree.

For Lauren, just loving the city wasn’t enough. She felt the need to give back. Her first gift to St. Pete came by way of Chicago, where her college roommate started the American Bocce Company. After witnessing how bocce ball was building community and social engagement in the Windy City, Lauren felt she had to bring the concept back to St. Pete. 

And so last year, Lauren and her husband started St Pete’s first and only bocce ball league. The league still meets every Monday night, where everyone enjoys drinks, friendly camaraderie, and two games of bocce ball.

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Local Architecture Firm Proposes Modern HQ Expansion on St. Pete's Mirror Lake

Local Architecture Firm Proposes Modern HQ Expansion on St. Pete's Mirror Lake

One of St. Petersburg’s most recognizable architecture firms is expanding its downtown headquarters with the construction of a 34,000 square foot mixed-use building adjacent to its current headquarters. 

Wannemacher Jensen Architects, which was founded in 1992 by Lisa Wannemacher, has been located on Downtown St. Pete’s Mirror Lake since 1998. And over time the company has grown from three to 23 employees, including the addition of Principal, and part namesake, Jason Jensen in 2002. 

The firm has also expanded its offerings, which now includes interior design, design-build, development, and even entertainment services such as designing stage lighting and set installation. They also have a construction company: WJ Create

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Opening Date Revealed for Downtown St. Pete's Dr. BBQ

Opening Date Revealed for Downtown St. Pete's Dr. BBQ

It’s been over two long years since we first broke the news of Dr. BBQ coming to Downtown St Pete. And now the day has finally come. We have an opening date — October 17th. Located in the trendy EDGE District of St. Petersburg at 1101 1st Avenue South, Dr. BBQ is a New American smokehouse that celebrates regional and international ingredients by combining diverse flavors from around the world into classic barbecue dishes with a twist.

Dr. BBQ’s menu features dishes influenced by barbecue techniques seen not only across the country, but also across the globe. Diners can expect a range of flavors, including sauces like Korean gochujang and North African harissa. While Dr. BBQ will have a wide variety of meat including Certified Angus Beef and Compart Duroc pork, the menu will also be inclusive for guests of all diets, offering vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes beyond the usual salad and mac and cheese.

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