Two new diners will open in downtown St. Petersburg this spring and eventually never close — not even for an hour.
At least, that's the plan.
The upcoming 2nd & Second, at the corner of and Second Street and Second Avenue N, and Diner24 DTSP, on First Avenue N across the street from Williams Park, are aiming to become the only 24-hour restaurants in downtown St. Petersburg.
Their owners say they'll offer places for late-night eats when the area's many bars close, but also provide a breakfast option for very early risers, also a rarity in downtown.
Diner24 DTSP will open in the 7,000-square-foot space that was Fuego Lounge at 350 First Ave. N. Owner Ken Collado, who opened Fuego Lounge a year ago as a Puerto Rican restaurant, said he had seen business shifting toward a nightclub atmosphere, with a steady draw for its "Latin Night," but wanted to shift gears back toward a restaurant.
Collado said he's shooting for an April 1 opening, with 24-hour service Thursday through Saturday, with plans to eventually stay open around the clock seven days a week. The place is currently being remodeled to install booths, which will be the biggest change to the space. There's a now-hiring sign in the window.
Collado said Diner24 DTSP will be a "classic, New York-style American diner," but it will also have a full liquor bar, a coffee bar and a juice and smoothie bar.
Less than three blocks away, 2nd & Second will be a collaboration between Kahwa Coffee owner Raphael Perrier, chef Jeremy Duclut of Cassis American Brasserie and Tryst owner Renaud Cowez.
"The idea is to do classic, basic, American diner food, eggs, hash browns, meatloaf, but to use good ingredients, as much local as we can, while also keeping the prices low," Perrier said. "And don't be scared about us being French, because we have an American chef."
Their space at 201 Second Ave. N, across the street from the Sundial shopping center, most recently housed a RE/MAX real estate office. That building is undergoing an extensive renovation based on a design by St. Petersburg architects Fraze Design, and plans include a patio area with outdoor seating.
The diner will serve Kahwa coffee, have a full liquor license and offer healthier menu items, too, Perrier said.
The owners of 2nd & Second hope to open in early May, with 24-hour service seven days a week.