ST. PETERSBURG — Crowley's Pub at 269 Central Ave. has reopened under new owners after legal troubles shuttered the restaurant's doors for a few months.
Teresa Hwa and Zach Horgan, who worked at Local Brewing Company in Palm Harbor, along with a few other business partners, bought Crowley's from former owner Alice Crowley and opened a few weeks ago. Crowley had closed the restaurant in July. Local business owner Craig Munroe offered to buy the restaurant for $150,000 and the restaurant reopened the next day though Munroe had not officially bought the place. Crowley then decided to back out of the sale after Munroe formed a corporation to buy the restaurant and opened a temporary joint bank account with Crowley , according to a lawsuit filed by Munroe, who filed an emergency injunction after Crowley changed the locks. The lawsuit was settled in early November.
Hwa, who declined to say how much they paid for the business, said she hopes Crowley's can continue to be part of the fabric of downtown that it has been since it first opened in 2010.
"There's a lot that happened," she said. "But I want to keep the positive things that Crowley's offered."
Being in downtown St. Pete was something Hwa said she always wanted. When she began looking at the venue, she said she heard from people who used to frequent the pub.
"When we talked to people about Crowley's, it was such a sense of community," she said. "It was such a staple. People talked to me about the first dates they had here. There was a lot. That's why we kept the name.''
They plan to keep the menu small, she said, focusing on trying to keep the food similar to how people remembered it under the original owners. There are a few additions, such as buffalo cauliflower and Mulligan stew. They host trivia nights on Tuesdays and Hwa said they are looking to get a liquor license in the future and offer breakfast as well.
"We want to keep the heart and soul of the nearby community happy," Horgan said.