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Banyan Cafe, Margarita Mama's arrive in St. Pete; charter boat starts in Gulfport

ST. PETERSBURG

Banyan cafe reopens downtown

The menu and homey atmosphere of Banyan Cafe & Catering are still the same since recently reopening after owner Erica Allums took a nine-month hiatus. She temporarily closed the restaurant but continued paying rent so she could spend more time with family, including a daughter who was in her senior year of high school.

"I felt like I had just missed her whole high school because of the restaurant and wanted to take some time to be with my family and figure some things out with the restaurant," Allums said. She opened Banyan Cafe, her first restaurant, three years ago at 689 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N. It seats 35.

A few of the staff are back after the break and many of the customers are saddling up to the same bar and tables to order homemade soups, Nutella scones and the turkey sandwich on multigrain bread with sage dressing and cranberry chutney.

"It's the same concept we had before, kind of like your home away from home," Allums said. Her favorite entree? The pork sandwich with caramelized onions and banana peppers on Cuban bread.

Katherine Snow Smith, Times staff writer

gulfport

New diving charter

A new diving and fishing charter business is hitting the waters off Gulfport. Scuba Cat Charters specializes in six-passenger scuba trips to sites off the St. Pete Beach coastline. It will head out from the Gulfport Marina at 4630 29th Ave. S. Dives with two or three tanks range from $100 to $140 per person.

The 29-foot boat can also be reserved for full- and half-day fishing and exploration excursions for $300 to $975. There are special prices for sunset cruises, marriage proposals and ash scatterings at sea.

ST. PETERSBURG

Grand opening is Friday

Margarita Mama's and Banana Joe's pulled up their roots in Channelside and found a new home in downtown St. Petersburg's Kress Building, 475 Central Ave. Friday's grand opening celebration includes music, free cocktails, games, shuffleboard and a silent auction from 6 to 8 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Children's Dream Fund. No cover. For information, call (727) 667-1530.

News of businesses and business people can be faxed to (727) 893-8675 or emailed to kssmith@tampabay.com.

Banyan Cafe, Margarita Mama's arrive in St. Pete; charter boat starts in Gulfport 08/07/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 7, 2012 3:47pm]
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