Make us your home page
Instagram

Downtown St. Petersburg restaurant scene sees changes

Primi Ristorante Italiano has closed, but Bombay Grill, St. Petersburg Brewing, and Calypso Rum Bar & Island Grill are here or on the way.

Times file (2010)

Primi Ristorante Italiano has closed, but Bombay Grill, St. Petersburg Brewing, and Calypso Rum Bar & Island Grill are here or on the way.

ST. PETERSBURG — The downtown restaurant scene is heating up, with a big handful of newcomers, concept changes and personnel adjustments.

BellaBrava owners Dyce Craig and Robert Sanderson have had a parting of the ways with Mike Harting, who also owns 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg. Last week it was announced that BellaBrava owners will launch a yet-to-be-named tavern at 224 Beach Drive NE — now Bruce Watters Jewelers — this year.

Harting, who was with the Italian eatery for the past five years, will remain a silent shareholder but is no longer involved in day-to-day operations.

"I think it was God's way of saying I have too many irons in the fire," Harting said.

"In the end I have more time to invest, and I can grow 3 Daughters more quickly than I thought. BellaBrava has a strong management team, so I don't see them skipping a beat," Harting continued. "Dyce and Robert have a great vision for what their next concept will look like. I think it's going to be a great addition to Beach Drive, and I can't wait to see it."

The brewery's beer can now be found at restaurants and bars in nine counties, and 3 Daughters will enter the Naples/Fort Myers market midsummer. Harting plans to begin canning beer by the end of summer.

In other beer news, St. Petersburg Brewing, which has been a long time coming at 544 First Ave. N, is set to open. Tom and Michele Williams anticipate opening by mid April but have yet to have final inspections. Head brewer and part owner Jon McCracken will debut five of their beers at launch, and the brewery will work closely with next door's Papa Angelo's Pizza, because, as Tom says, "craft beer with craft pizza is a knockout punch."

Primi Ristorante Italiano has closed quietly at 27 Fourth St. N after a number of years and a couple of ownership changes at this location.

And after a rocky road with health inspections, India Grill closed at 409 Central Ave., to be reopened soon as Bombay Grill.

The historic Garden Restaurant has been reinvented by Jeff Knight's Knight Global Entertainment as Calypso Rum Bar & Island Grill. Purported to be the oldest restaurant in St. Petersburg, dating to 1890, the space at 217 Central Ave. has maintained its indoor seating, patio courtyard and stage for live music. Knight Global Entertainment also owns Jannus Live, St. Pete Kitchen, Pelican Pub, Club Detroit and MacDinton's.

Laura Reiley can be reached at lreiley@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

Downtown St. Petersburg restaurant scene sees changes 03/27/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 28, 2014 3:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 21: Tears of love and parting mark the beginning of the final leg of a pilgrim's journey.

    Travel

    Day 21: León to Hospital de Orbigo: 32.6 km, 8.75 hours. Total for Days 1-21 = 498 km (309 miles)

  2. Four chopped salads that are quick, easy and tasty

    Cooking

    When I'm in need of a summertime "grab and run" meal that has extreme flavor and crunch, chopped salads are my answer. The five I turn to most are easy to pack and don't require cooking.

    Spicy Beet and Carrot Coleslaw.
  3. That one time when Madonna wasn't burning up the charts

    Blogs

    Hot enough for ya? From the constant heat of Florida to the Midwest scorchers and finally the triple-digit temperatures in the Southwest, 2017 has been another year of burning up, but it's nothing new as in the '80s we were Burning Up with Madonna.

  4. Five ideas for cooking with ground turkey

    Cooking

    I rarely cook with ground beef. Ground turkey became the go-to ground protein in my kitchen years ago. As meats go, it's pretty ideal: not a ton of raw meat juices, easy enough to cook in a pinch, more flavor than ground chicken. I sub turkey in for just about any recipe that calls for ground beef, except on …

    Siraracha Turkey Skewers are accompanied by jasmine rice and carrot-cucumber slaw.
  5. Watch Round 3 of Feeding Tampa Bay's Epic Chef Showdown

    Cooking

    TAMPA — Round 3 of the third annual Epic Chef Showdown to benefit Feeding Tampa Bay is Monday night, and you can watch it live right here.

    Chef Richard Bergendale of The Mill restaurant and Sous Chef Jeff Thornsberry of Locale Market competed in Round 1 of the Epic Chef Showdown. [Epicurean Hotel / Feeding Tampa Bay]