Make us your home page

Pub, market time openings to coincide with St. Pete Pride festival


For two new businesses in the city's Grand Central District, the past few weeks have been a mad dash to the finish line.

Ask the owners of Island Seafood Market and Bistro, at 2057 Central Ave., or the Queens Head, a few blocks west at 2501 Central Ave., and they'll say they're eager to be ready for this Saturday's St. Pete Pride parade and street festival.

"The great thing for all the businesses, whether or not they make a ton of money, is that day is really about the exposure. If they can market themselves to 70,000 people on one day, it hopefully will lead to people coming back to them,'' said Jeff Klein, co-chairman of St. Pete Pride, organizers of Florida's largest gay pride celebration.

Monday, owners of the Queens Head were still hustling to get ready. There was painting to be done in the bathrooms, where sheets of protective plastic draped walls covered with pages from Britain's cheeky tabloids.

At Island Seafood Market and Bistro, owners Linda Schuch, 46, and Elizabeth Moch, 49, were working on the finishing touches. Schuch hung colorful flags above the sidewalk, where tables and chairs awaited customers.

They did much of the work themselves, even tiling the floor. "We never want to see another piece of tile in our entire lives,'' Moch joked.

In recent months she scoured Craigslist for equipment and snagged great deals on display cases, a lobster tank and a steamer.

Island Seafood will offer fresh seafood that shoppers can cook at home or have steamed to take away. Patrons can sit and enjoy clam chowder — a Moch family recipe — lobster rolls, smoked fish spread, cod fish cakes, grouper sandwiches and other items from the menu. The store will offer beer and wine.

"We want to serve a lunch and then an early meal. It's our idea of a neighborhood market,'' said Schuch, who used to work for a large corporation. The two decided to start their business after Schuch was laid off.

At the Queens Head, stools stood ready at a bar that will serve European draft beers and wines from around the world. Though styled as an English pub, the owners are aiming for something a bit more upscale.

British-born owners Paul Smith, 36, and Darren Conner, 40, say they are offering a place where people can dress up.

"It's an English influence with a kind of South Beachy feel,'' Smith said.

He said they'll create a beach ambience outdoors with beds and lounges. "The idea is to create an outside living room. And the inside is a bit darker and sexier for the evening.''

The Queens Head will serve brunch and a traditional British roast beef dinner on Sundays. Chris Greer, the executive chef, said he'll serve European-influenced food with some traditional English pub fare.

The kitchen will be open today.

Over at Island Seafood, Moch and Schuch have recruited friends and family for the expected throngs. "We'll be here pretty early on Saturday,'' Schuch said.

Waveney Ann Moore can be reached at or (727) 892-2283.

fast facts

The Queens Head: 2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday; or (727) 498-8584.

Island Seafood Market and Bistro: 2057 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday. , (727) 821-8181.

Pub, market time openings to coincide with St. Pete Pride festival 06/23/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 5:31pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  2. New owners take over downtown St. Petersburg's Hofbräuhaus


    ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown German beer-hall Hofbräuhaus St. Petersburg has been bought by a partnership led by former Checkers Drive-In Restaurants president Keith Sirois.

    The Hofbrauhaus, St. Petersburg, located in the former historic Tramor Cafeteria, St. Petersburg, is under new ownership.

  3. Boho Hunter will target fashions in Hyde Park


    Boho Hunter, a boutique based in Miami's Wynwood District, will expand into Tampa with its very first franchise.

    Palma Canaria bags will be among the featured items at Boho Hunter when it opens in October. Photo courtesy of Boho Hunter.
  4. Gallery now bringing useful art to Hyde Park customers


    HYDE PARK — In 1998, Mike and Sue Shapiro opened a gallery in St. Petersburg along Central Ave., with a majority of the space dedicated to Sue's clay studio.

     As Sue Shapiro continued to work on her pottery in St. Petersburg, her retail space grew and her studio shrunk. Now Shapiro's is bringing wares like these to Hyde Park Village. Photo courtesy of Shapiro's.
  5. Appointments at Raymond James Bank and Saint Leo University highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers



    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. Jackson will oversee all of Raymond James Bank's operational business elements, risk management and strategic planning functions. Kackson joins Raymond James Bank after senior …

    Raymond James Bank has hired Grace Jackson to serve as executive vice president and chief operating officer. [Company handout]