ST. PETERSBURG — Ringside Cafe will close the Fourth Street location it has had for 26 years on Dec. 1 and reopen Dec. 4 in what's now Club Detroit at 16 Second St. N.
"One door closes and another one opens. We're excited about going through this one," said Ringside owner Greg Pugh.
The popular restaurant and stage for live music seven nights a week has to close its current location because new owners are buying it in January and are expected to bring a Trader Joe's grocery store to the block.
Jannus Live owner Jeff Knight owns the Club Detroit space, which was formerly Vintage Ultra Lounge. It has been overhauled in the past year and has a new sound system. The downtown space is 4,800 square feet, compared to Ringside's current home, a 3,400-square-foot former boardinghouse.
"We will still have the same acts, but now we can have more national acts because there is more room, a better situated stage and the sound system," Pugh said. "We're still going to have the same style, flavor and personality we've had for 26 years, but it will be downtown."
Ringside will keep its casual American menu with items like short rib sandwiches and Angus beef burgers with bacon-onion jam. The food will be cooked in the kitchen of the Calypso Rum Bar & Island Grill, which backs up to the new Ringside location. Knight recently took over the Garden restaurant and is opening the island-themed eatery there.
Ringside will have a farewell weekend at 2742 Fourth St. N starting Thanksgiving Day that will run through Dec. 1. Favorite bands will play day and night with specials and giveaways. The kickoff weekend downtown will start Dec. 4.
Katherine Snow Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8785.