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Jannus Landing: a walk around the block

1 ratchada

7 p.m.

It's a slow Monday night at this popular Thai and sushi restaurant named after Bangkok's bustling nightlife district. Lights are dimmed as usual as a woman sips a drink at the bar and two employees read in the dining room.

2 independent

7:45 p.m.

A bearded man tastes several of the beers on tap before settling on a dark wheat variety. A family munches on burritos on the monastery-style tables in the middle of the bar, while two young women drink from beer glasses on the sidewalk.

3 athenian Garden

7:40 p.m.

The sound of sizzling meat is apparent as soon as you enter this Greek-style restaurant, which has been here only a year. Two families are dining on Greek salads, souvlaki and grouper avocado wraps.

4 burrito Boarder

12:15 p.m.

The skateboards mounted on the ceiling seem to cruise along to the reggae music. James Perkins, who operates an electric taxi, pulls up outside and enters with three women, each ordering burritos.

5 the Havana Room

8:30 p.m.

The back room of Central Cigars is more smoke-filled, more subdued.

6 lucky Dill Deli

Noon.

The lunch crowds are always big at this New York-style Jewish deli.

7 central Cigars

6:15 p.m.

Football is on the television and a lone patron puffs on a stogie on a leather armchair. Another surfs on a laptop near the window. The evening bartender arrives for work.

8 crowley's

6:50 p.m.

It's empty inside, but a paper sign on the window indicates that a new restaurant is on the way. Another is for the soda purveyor. "Please call," it says. "I live two minutes away."

9 NGI Digital Copy Center

4:45 p.m.

It's the end of the day at this 17-year-old copy center, which holds a contract to do printing for city agencies. Workers are lamenting the city's recent removal of a loading zone parking space.

10 Trattoria Di Fortunato's

5:30 p.m.

A lone construction worker working on rehabbing Jannus Landing munches on a cheese slice at the "Italian bar." From the wall behind him, a menagerie of airbrushed gangsters, from Tony Montana to Tony Soprano, peer over his shoulder.

11 Fortunato's Pizza

6:25 p.m.

Two women enter from the cold and peruse the menu. They settle on slices of stuffed pizza. Families and teenagers huddle over their cheese slices all around them. Owner Charles Marco returns from the supermarket with a gallon of milk.

12 Plush Salon

2:30 p.m.

Corey Janney, the stylist and owner, gives a customer named Allie a haircut and eyebrow wax on this quiet afternoon. Janney has owned the small shop for two years. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town wafts through the air.

13 A Taste For Wine

6 p.m.

The after-work crowd has descended onto the balcony at this second-floor wine bar and art gallery. A man at the bar is on a carefree tasting spree, trying chardonnay, then a merlot, then a blend called Clairvoyant . . .

14 Central Avenue Oyster Bar

6:15 p.m.

An early dinner crowd is scattered throughout the dining room, and the cooks stand at attention. A waiter folds aprons. Three people at the bar nurse martinis with olives. "It's early yet," says co-owner Scott Long.

15 Chappy's Louisiana Kitchen

5 p.m.

The smell of New Orleans home cooking — is that jambalaya? — dominates the senses. A man sits at the bar enjoying a drink. Several dozen business people chat among themselves in a back room, where food is catered and jazz is playing.

16 Central Cafe And Organics

5:45 p.m.

Two customers in floppy summer hats enjoy roasted veggie wraps and split pea and smoked ham soup in the outdoor courtyard. Owner Mickey Paleologos leans on the coffee bar and gazes out onto Central Avenue.

17 Mastry's

6:10 p.m.

The large mounted tarpon on the walls are adorned with Santa caps and glittery holiday streamers. The bartender wears a red T-shirt that says NAUGHTY. A dozen bottled beers are nursed at the bar and speakers wail Bruce Springsteen's Dancing in the Dark.

18 The Garden

6:45 p.m.

It's closed for renovations, and workers are planting purple impatiens and green palms and tidying things up in the adjoining courtyard. Darlene Kavanaugh pops in. "Is this place really closing?" she asks. She is told no and breathes a sigh of relief.

19 Lobby Martini Bar

6:55 p.m.

Work continues inside. Tony Varlas, one of the new owners, explains that the 1890 elevator will be refurbished as a decorative object, the wrought iron railing around the bar is being restored, as is a small wood stage where Jim Morrison performed. "We're putting a lot of love into this place, man," he says.

20 The Detroit

7 p.m.

This historic building is among the oldest in St. Petersburg and today houses condominiums.

21 Detroit Liquors

7:30 p.m.

The new Jannus Landing co-owner, Jeff Knight, has big plans for this once seedy liquor store. Gone are the airplane-style bottles of liquor. In are good wine and craft beer. New tile floors, a black and cream paint scheme and wood-grain paneling give the interior a different vibe.

22 Vintage Ultra Lounge

8 p.m.

It's closed on a Monday night. But, vampire-like, the venue comes alive after dark.

23 Pelican Pub

8:15 p.m.

It has been just days since this bar reopened, and owner Jeff Knight is at the bar, sipping a drink and showing off his iPod-based entertainment system. The device is available to customers, who can browse music and videos. Knight has big plans for the concert venue but vows that the Pelican "is still a local tavern."

24 Angie's Cafe

8:30 p.m.

Three locals are bending elbows and talking football on the blue laminate counter. The owner serves them spicy wings with blue cheese sides. A tall blond woman arrives and waits patiently for a gyro to go.

25 Joey Brooklyn's Pizza

6:36 p.m.

A yacht club member stops by to pick up three slices, pepperoni, to go. The two tables on the sidewalk are full at the moment: eggplant Parmesan and cheese slices. A pepperoni pie goes into the oven.

26 Heavenly Things

1:30 p.m.

The scents of incense and aromatic candles blend together in the only retail shop on the block. Shoppers peruse gift cards, meditation books and jewelry, and speak in hushed tones.

27 Tangelo's

2:45 p.m.

The Christmas tree in the Caribbean restaurant is pink, and the ornaments are beer bottle tops. Jerzey Neuman, a longtime employee who is 81, is at the bar eating a house cupcake. The special today is the $6.50 curried fried chicken sandwich.

28 Pure Sake

3 p.m.

All's empty and bare concrete inside. Owner Jeff Knight plans an upscale sushi and sake spot where the gritty Tamiami bar once stood.

29 Frankie D's Tattoos

7:10 p.m.

A young man with a two-toned leopard print mohawk thumbs through a catalog of heart-themed body art. A shirtless man is getting tatted on his right breast. He grimaces. Manager and artist Josh Barrett flicks Tabasco sauce on a pork chop TV dinner.

30 Bishop Tavern

7:55 p.m.

The former Bishop Hotel has undergone a significant overhaul, with a long, clean bar downstairs and a multilevel dance hall with more bars upstairs. A bouncer wearing all black stands outside.

Jannus Landing: a walk around the block 12/26/09 [Last modified: Saturday, December 26, 2009 3:30am]

    

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