Thursday, May 24, 2018
Business

Frenchy's rooftop bar opening at Clearwater's Capitol Theatre

CLEARWATER — When the renovated Capitol Theatre reopened for business last December, concertgoers were wowed by its acoustics, its lineup of shows, its state-of-the-art sound system, its wraparound exterior balcony and the cool bars in its lobby and mezzanine.

But one promised piece was missing on opening night — Frenchy's Rooftop Terrace, a bar on the theater's roof.

"We just wanted to get the building ready so the performances could begin. The construction was completed so quickly, we had no time to plan beyond that," said Zev Buffman, president and CEO of Ruth Eckerd Hall, which manages the city-owned Capitol Theatre.

Now, seven months later, the rooftop terrace is finally ready. Able to accommodate up to 75 people, it's bound to become a popular spot on performance nights. It opens for business Sunday night for a show by a group called Classic Albums Live, which will be performing Creedence Clearwater Revival hits from Chronicle.

"It's a retreat. It's a very special place, a quaint and attractive space — open to the public, but private in feeling," Buffman said. "We're going to make it a top attraction."

Ruth Eckerd is also pitching the Capitol's rooftop in downtown Clearwater as a prime spot for business groups to hold catered receptions.

On show nights, the terrace will offer drinks and free hors d'oeuvres: she-crab soup and smoked fish spread, signature dishes of the iconic Frenchy's group of Clearwater Beach restaurants.

Frenchy's owner Michael Preston donated $350,000 to the Capitol's renovation in exchange for naming rights to the theater's rooftop. He said he wanted to help bring back a rejuvenated downtown like the one he remembered from when he arrived in Clearwater four decades ago.

Ruth Eckerd Hall is still working on selling naming rights to the entire Capitol Theatre, which would likely retain the "Capitol" part of its name. The restored theater's first quarter in business went well, according to financial reports, and Buffman says the second quarter went well, too.

The rooftop terrace offers a view of Clearwater Harbor, although it's partially blocked by the Harborview Center, which will likely be demolished.

"We have a water view. When that ugly convention center goes away, we'll have 50 percent more," Buffman said. "It's going to be the view of the world."

Contact Mike Brassfield at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Follow @MikeBrassfield.

Comments
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

It’s where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.It’s where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the program’s biggest road games.It’s where folks showed up in...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

Birchwood owner will open a three-story restaurant and bar at St. Petersburg pier

ST. PETERSBURG — Chuck Prather, owner of the Birchwood in St. Petersburg, returned from his daughter’s Maine wedding this week with an exciting announcement of his own. On June 7 the St. Petersburg City Council is expected to sign off on him being on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
St. Petersburg’s Jabil expands in Israel with new innovation center

St. Petersburg’s Jabil expands in Israel with new innovation center

St. Petersburg-based contract electronics company Jabil announced Wednesday it has expanded in Israel by opening an Optics Technology Innovation Center.The 6,560-square-foot complex is in Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city. "Our Optics Innovation Cen...
Updated: 1 hour ago
New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

New restaurants on the horizon: Metro Diner and Zoes Kitchen in Tampa, Trophy Fish and Oak & Stone in St. Pete

OPEN NOW: BAHAMA BUCK’SFeel a shiver? Just in time for Florida’s sultry summer, Bahama Buck’s opened this week in Trinity with an avalanche of sno. The 2,346-square-foot island-inspired shop opened at 8815 Mitchell Blvd. with more than 91 flavors of ...
Published: 05/23/18
Lee Roy Selmon's original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon's original Tampa restaurant is closing, marking the end of an era

Lee Roy Selmon’s, the restaurant that paid homage to the community icon who rose to fame as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer and grew to become a popular civic leader, will shutter the doors of its original location on Tampa’s Boy Scout Boulevard in...
Published: 05/23/18
At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

At Bay 3, developers of Tampa’s Armature Works transform old industrial space into new co-work offices

TAMPA — The name of the new Bay 3 co-working space at the Armature Works goes back to World War I, when the red-brick warehouse overlooking the Hillsborough River was the maintenance barn for Tampa Electric’s streetcar system.As the name suggests, it...
Published: 05/23/18
Comcast may outbid Disney for Twenty-First Century Fox

Comcast may outbid Disney for Twenty-First Century Fox

Associated PressPHILADELPHIA — Comcast may make an offer for Twenty-First Century Fox, potentially putting it in a head-to-head bidding war with Disney. Comcast Corp. on Wednesday did not provide specific details on a bid, other than to say that it w...
Published: 05/23/18
Brunch-based alcohol will be available at First Watch’s new Orlando location

Brunch-based alcohol will be available at First Watch’s new Orlando location

ORLANDO — The popular breakfast and brunch chain First Watch will be opening a new restaurant in Orlando that will add cocktails, beer and wine to the menu. The new concept restaurant, set to open on Memorial Day at 1448 N Alafaya Trail, will be 1,00...
Published: 05/23/18
Humana hiring 100 for phone sales, Medicare enrollment assistance

Humana hiring 100 for phone sales, Medicare enrollment assistance

Kentucky-based health care provider Humana is hiring 100 phone sales employees in Tampa Bay. The new hires will field sales calls and offer enrollment assistance for Humana’s Medicare plans and other products.The positions, which are being added to h...
Published: 05/22/18
Updated: 05/23/18
Downtown St. Pete Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s to open Wednesday

Downtown St. Pete Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s to open Wednesday

ST. PETERSBURG — Ford’s Garage, a car junkie’s haven, has proven to be popular eatery across the state.Now it has a chance to drive customers to its seats in St. Petersburg. The restaurant opens its ninth location downtown Wednesday at 200 First Ave....
Published: 05/23/18