Downtown Developments Feb 2019: Owners of The Galley to Open Cocktail Bar and More!

Downtown Developments Feb 2019: Owners of The Galley to Open Cocktail Bar and More!

We are trying something new! As many of you are aware, we write a column every month for Green Bench Monthly, a local community magazine. From now on, that column will be available right here on St. Pete Rising AND in print in Green Bench Monthly!

It seems like each time we take a stroll through downtown there are new restaurants and galleries opening and more apartment complexes and condo towers being built. We realize it’s difficult to keep track of everything. Luckily, we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Each month we will feature a few of the most exciting new downtown developments that are on the horizon for the Sunshine City.

Want this news first? Be sure to follow us! Most of what we discuss in Downtown Developments has already been posted to either our website, newsletter, Facebook or Instagram. With Downtown Developments, you’ll never miss the latest Downtown St Pete news.

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Black Crow Coffee Targets Grand Central District for 2nd Location

Black Crow Coffee Targets Grand Central District for 2nd Location

It didn't take long after opening for Black Crow Coffee to weave itself into the fabric of Downtown St. Pete’s java community. Nestled in an unassuming retail building in Historic Old Northeast, Black Crow has become a space where creatives gather to share their art, where community members sip coffee and chat about the town, and where those trying to escape an office can read, study, work, or dream.

Black Crow's story began back in 2007 when Greg Bauman opened his first coffee concept on Gulf Boulevard in the beach town of Indian Shores, FL. Nestled between the gulf and the intercostal, the appropriately named Indian Shores Coffee Co. found its place in the community. Eight years later, Bauman set out to create more spaces for the community in other parts of Pinellas — which brought him to St. Pete.

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The Twisted Indian Graduates from Food Truck to Food Hall

The Twisted Indian Graduates from Food Truck to Food Hall

Can we take a moment to appreciate all of the new cuisine that has come to Downtown St Pete recently? Over the past few years, Iberian Rooster introduced us to Portuguese fusion, 11 Chicks brought us Venezuelan, Renzo’s specializes in Argentine asado, and Avocado Valley serves Middle Eastern fare. By the end of February, a Puerto Rican eatery named WEPA! will open. And in late 2019, Baba, a Greek-Lebanese restaurant and bakery from the owners of Bodega will join the Grand Central District.

But perhaps most exciting is the introduction of Indian cuisine in the EDGE District. For the past four years, Lokesh Vale has operated The Twisted Indian, one of the most popular food trucks in St. Petersburg. Over the years, the truck has gained a loyal following and become a staple of the Saturday Morning Market and Localtopia.

Today marks the next step in The Twisted Indian’s journey as Vale pulls back the curtain on a new pop-up storefront located at 1113 Central Avenue inside Baum Avenue Market (or BAM for short), a multi-concept space showcasing local makers of fresh fare. At long last, we no longer need to wait until Saturday to enjoy The Twisted Indian’s delicious food.

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Daddy Kool Records to close on 600 block, reopen in Warehouse Arts District

Daddy Kool Records to close on 600 block, reopen in Warehouse Arts District

Well, we had a feeling this was coming. Today, at Localtopia, Daddy Kool announced the closing of their 600 block record store. Fortunately, they’ll be reopening in a larger location off of the Pinellas Trail at 2430 Terminal Drive in the Warehouse Arts District.

The original Daddy Kool opened in in Bradenton in 1985 by Gaeano “Tony” Rifugiato, a concert promoter with No Clubs Presents. After instant success, the shop relocated to Sarasota, where it stayed for 15 years before moving to Downtown St. Petersburg’s 600 block.

Since opening in 1999, Daddy Kool has become a staple of not just the 600 block, but all of Downtown St Pete. It’s was originally located just down the street from the city’s historic State Theatre, which is currently undergoing a million dollar renovation, and also host to many of Rifugiato’s No Clubs concerts.

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Downtown St. Pete Tavern, The Galley, to Open Cocktail Bar in March

Downtown St. Pete Tavern, The Galley, to Open Cocktail Bar in March

In 2016, Pete Boland and Ian Taylor opened The Galley, a nautical-themed tavern, at 27 Fourth Street North in Downtown St. Pete. At the time, the location was a risk due its proximity to Williams Park, which had earned a reputation for being a homeless hangout. However, being St. Petersburg natives, Boland and Taylor felt an obligation to help clean up the corner. 

And it worked! Over time, the PSTA bus hub relocated, WiFi was added, and the mayor started a monthly food truck rally in the park. Although there is still work to be done to clean up Williams Park, great strides have been made over the past few years. No doubt the opening of The Galley helped catalyze these efforts.

It didn’t take long for The Galley to become a favorite among locals either. “I pop by often, for lunch, meetings, or a quick pilsners-and-policy chat with other patrons,” said Councilwoman Gina Driscoll. “It’s such a popular neighborhood spot sometimes I have trouble finding a seat!” In fact, you’ll occasionally find me at the bar enjoying the cuban sandwich, fried ravioli and a frosty Guinness.

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Kolter Group Reveals Second Condo Project in Downtown St. Pete

Kolter Group Reveals Second Condo Project in Downtown St. Pete

When the 41-story ONE St. Petersburg project was announced in June 2014, it was billed as a catalyst project for Downtown St. Pete. The CEO of the Kolter Group and developer behind the project, Bobby Julien, was quoted as saying, “[St. Pete’s] downtown is emerging as one of the nation's special urban centers, and we are excited to be a part of its future.”

But despite Julien’s excitement, many wondered whether St. Pete was ready for a project of this magnitude. How would these units be received in the market?

Back then there was a sense of emergence, a feeling that Downtown St. Pete was on the brink of something special in the creation of a livable and workable urban center. In 2014, it wasn’t quite there yet, but it was close.

Flash forward nearly five years later and construction is just wrapping up on 450 foot tower, now the city’s tallest building. Every single one of its 253 condominium residences sold out over six months before completion, and many have hit the resale market, some with nearly 42% premiums. 

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