Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

We're losing business to St. Pete, Largo bar owners say

After St. Petersburg extended its alcohol sales hours from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m., the move was heralded as a boon for bars in the city.

Elsewhere in the county, including Largo, some bar owners say they also have been affected, but in the opposite way.

"We're losing business to St. Pete. Everybody's down there," said Nancy Boostedt, owner of Whiskey Depot in Largo.

Boostedt, whose sports-themed bar has been in business for 19 years, said bars that cater to younger bar-goers have been the most severely affected.

But now, as the county is considering extending alcohol sales to 3 a.m. as well, bars in Largo might be able to add another hour until closing time.

"I love the idea," Boostedt said.

While city commissioners didn't embrace the idea with that much enthusiasm, a majority said Tuesday that if the county passes the later alcohol sales ordinance, they would like to see Largo follow suit.

"If the county changes theirs to 3 a.m., I would like to see us do the same thing. Just a fact: People do jump in their car and drive to the next jurisdiction," Mayor Patricia Gerard said. "I just know, because back in the day — a long time ago — I might have done the same thing myself.

"It behooves us to not have those people on our streets not driving any further than they need to."

Assistant city attorney Mary Hale said either way, the decision would impact a limited number of businesses. "I think in some cities, including Largo, you don't find we have many of the establishments that would be effected," Hale said.

While far from the county's nightlife hub, Largo is home to dozens of bars and pubs.

Vice Mayor Woody Brown said one bar owner has contacted him about extending Largo's alcohol sales time.

"I actually did have a business owner from Largo, shortly after St. Petersburg went to 3 a.m., come to my office and tell me that his business was down significantly for those first couple weekends," Brown said. "I think it would help our establishments here."

Commissioners Mary Gray Black and Gigi Arntzen both said they would not support an extension.

"Just a personal standpoint, I don't think it's a good idea. It will probably pass, but I don't think it's a good idea," Arntzen said.

Largo police Chief John Carroll said in an e-mail to commissioners last week that he would support a drinking hours extension in Largo if the county went ahead with its own extension.

Carroll said a uniform policy would be easier to enforce and result in less public confusion, and perhaps prevent some bar-goers from driving elsewhere for drinks.

Dominick Tao can be reached at or (727) 580-2951.

We're losing business to St. Pete, Largo bar owners say 07/10/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 9, 2010 4:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Once 'angry' about Obamacare, Republican David Jolly came to see it as 'safety net'


    Former Congressman David Jolly, who ran against Obamacare in 2013, said in an interview Monday night that he now considers it a "safety net."

  2. Five children hospitalized after chlorine release at Tampa pool store


    Five children were sickened at a pool store north of Tampa on Monday after a cloud of chlorine was released, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue.

  3. Deputies find unidentified decomposing body in Dunedin canal

    Public Safety

    DUNEDIN — Pinellas County sheriff's deputies found an unidentified male body floating in a Dunedin canal Monday afternoon, the Sheriff's Office said.

  4. Rays acquire slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria from Marlins

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Chaim Bloom said the Rays weren't necessarily in the market for a shortstop. The team has a number of those. But when the Marlins recently began shopping Adeiny Hechavarria, well, that was too much to pass up.

    Adeiny Hechavarria has emerged as one of baseball’s top defensive shortstops in the past three seasons with the Marlins.
  5. Lightning journal: Forward Yanni Gourde agrees to two-year deal

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Just three years ago, Yanni Gourde was fighting to stay in pro hockey.

    Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde celebrates after scoring against the Florida Panthers during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA108