Sunday, January 21, 2018
Business

Harbor Bar in Safety Harbor bar will open deck on own land

SAFETY HARBOR — Harbor Bar will have its Margaritaville-themed deck after all.

But it won't be on city land. It will be on the bar's private property.

The 1,600-square-foot deck is under construction in front of Harbor Bar at 844 Main St.

It won't be shaded by trees like it would have been on the city land next door. But people can lounge under colorful umbrellas as they have margaritas or daiquiris and listen to acoustic music.

Brady's Backyard BBQ will cater a party on the deck July 6 to celebrate the opening.

"It would've been nice to work with the city, but this is better," said Harbor Bar manager Johnny Zemzicki. "Now we can make our own decisions about what's good for the business."

Commissioners had approved but then torpedoed a plan in April for Harbor Bar to build a deck on a city-owned parcel beside the bar.

Under the failed proposal, the bar would have built the deck at its own expense, but opened the space up to the public during the day in exchange for use of the land.

Commissioners stalled the deck's construction after the Tampa Bay Times wrote a story about the arrangement and residents voiced concerns at City Hall about noise and the flicker of television screens in the neighborhood. Opponents also questioned the fairness of supplying one business with land and not another.

In some ways, bar competition in downtown Safety Harbor is stiff. Just across the street, Safety Harbor Grill & Bar and Whistle Stop Grill & Bar both have decks.

Harbor Bar, just a few steps from City Hall, may be one of the more noticeable buildings on Main Street. The bar has a local feel, and bartenders go out of their way to remember the regulars' names and favorite drinks. It's dark and smoky inside even during the day. On a weekend night, 300 to 500 customers might stop by, Zemzicki said.

When the bar had a different owner, some say it had a seedy reputation. But Zemzicki has added fresh paint, hardwood floors and a karaoke stage. He wants the outdoor space to be an extension of his effort to clean the place up.

And he wants to avoid irritating residents who complained about the deck's potential to be disruptive. He plans to keep the television and loud music indoors, for example.

And at the new outside mini-bar, he said, customers will have the option of milkshakes and virgin drinks rather than alcoholic beverages. The menu's new non-alcoholic section will be named "Sophie's Smoothies," after his newborn daughter, Sophia, Zemzicki said with a laugh.

"We want the community to be happy with us and feel comfortable here," he said. "If people are not happy, they're not going to come here."

Still, some neighbors are concerned.

Darryl See, 34, who lives directly behind the bar, said he already hears bar patrons at night. And he can only see it getting worse.

"Safety Harbor used to be so quiet. That's why we moved here," he said, adding that he teaches meditation and other healing practices in his home and loud noise disrupts his business. "Now it's a big party just like Dunedin."

Brittany Alana Davis can be reached at [email protected] or 850-323-0353. To write a letter to the editor, visit tampabay.com/letters or mail to 1130 Cleveland St., Suite 100, Clearwater, FL 33755.

Comments
Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

Tampa Bay jobs chief Ed Peachey making top dollar

For years, Edward Peachey has bragged about the number of jobless people he has helped find work.As president and CEO of CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, he’s in charge of the two main government agencies that provide training to the...
Published: 01/20/18
Sunday Conversation: Lightning VP Keith Harris strikes a chord for the Boys & Girls Clubs

Sunday Conversation: Lightning VP Keith Harris strikes a chord for the Boys & Girls Clubs

Keith Harris fondly looks back on some memorable days from his Tampa upbringing when he worked as a lifeguard at a pool next to a Boys & Girls Club. ¶Whenever it rained, he watched as the kids retreated to the safe haven of the club. They entered int...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/21/18
Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

Inspector General launches investigation into Tampa Bay’s local career centers

The state has opened an investigation into CareerSource Pinellas and CareerSource Tampa Bay, days after the Tampa Bay Times asked about whether the two regional job centers were inflating the number of people they had helped get hired. The agencies, ...
Published: 01/19/18
Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

Tech firm TranferWise moves to Ybor City, illustrating a new chapter in Tampa’s business history

TAMPA — You could sketch an economic history of the city of Tampa — and maybe get a glimpse of its future — just by looking at the old J. Seidenberg & Co./Havana-American Cigar Factory.It opened in 1894, making it Ybor City’s second-oldest brick ciga...
Published: 01/19/18

Want to buy into an exchanged-traded bitcoin fund? You might have a long wait

NEW YORK — It may be a while, if ever, before investors can buy an exchange-traded fund made up of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Federal regulators have a long list of questions they want answered before they’ll approve a digital currency fun...
Published: 01/19/18
Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

Child psychologist weighs in on mom who charges 5-year-old ‘rent’

A Georgia mother has gone viral for charging her 5-year-old "rent." Yup — the kid pays up for food, water, cable and electric, too.Essense Evans described in a Facebook post how she handles her daughter’s allowance. The post, written on Saturday, was...
Published: 01/19/18

Addicted to your smartphone? Now there’s an app for that

Did you text? Sorry, I can’t see messages right now. Arianna Huffington locked my phone.The media tycoon turned wellness entrepreneur wants to keep you out of your phone, too, with a new app called Thrive. Its goal is to make it cool for a generation...
Published: 01/19/18
Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

Proposed monument near St. Pete pier would honor Tony Jannus history-making flight

ST. PETERSBURG — Tony Jannus’s history-making flight in an early seaplane — simultaneously as ungainly and graceful as a pelican on the wing — is what Mayor Rick Kriseman calls an "under-told and under-appreciated" story, but a team of local history ...
Published: 01/19/18
Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

Learn how bus rapid transit (and rail) could work in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — The newest hope for transportation in the Tampa Bay area is a bus rapid transit system projected to cover the 41-miles separating St. Petersburg from Wesley Chapel and attract 4,500 new riders at a fraction of the cost of light rail....
Published: 01/19/18
Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

Five things Tampa Bay needs to know about bus rapid transit

ST. PETERSBURG — Transportation planners on Friday unveiled a new transit vision for Tampa Bay leaders on Friday morning: Bus rapid transit.Also known as BRT, it has arisen as the leading option in an ongoing study to find the best regional transit p...
Published: 01/19/18