Monique Welch, Tampa Regional News Reporter

Monique Welch

Tampa Regional News Reporter

My passion for journalism dates back to my days as a sports editor and writer for Goucher College’s Quindecim, the student run newspaper, in my hometown of Baltimore. As a student athlete, I brought some of my own insights to the stories I told. From there I started as a freelancer covering horse racing at the Tampa Bay Downs to covering sports, education, health, news features and more. Since 2017, I’ve been a staff writer and editorial assistant in the Times’ Tampa bureau, producing the weekly Everybody’s Business column, which focuses on businesses coming and going in the South and Central Tampa area. I love to shop, dine at different restaurants and check out new places in the area just as much as I love writing about them.

St. Petersburg’s Rib City to become Jubilee’s BBQ

Barbecue chain Rib City has rebranded the St. Petersburg location as Jubilee's Barbecue. The new restaurant uses different woods to slow-cook its signature chicken and baby back ribs. [Jubilee's Barbecue]
The rebranding includes having 3 Daughters Brewery beer on the menu.

Dr. Delay: St. Pete Pier work closes part of Second Avenue N
The stretch will be shut down for six months.

‘I say let them go.’ St. Petersburg’s black community is indifferent to Rays’ fate.

The Coalition for Social Justice, part of the National People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, held a protest outside Tropicana Field on March 31, 1998, before the first Tampa Bay Devil Rays game in history. The protesters demanded social justice and economic development for African-Americans. The Gas Plant district, a historic black area, was bulldozed to build the dome in the late 1980s. But the promises of jobs and economic development that would come with baseball went unfulfilled. Now African-American residents say they are indifferent to the fate of the Rays. [Times files]
The future of baseball may be undecided, but many African-American residents are ready to move on.

Tiger Bay’s ‘long overdue’ discussion of race and racism in Pinellas, St. Petersburg

Suncoast Tiger Bay on Thursday drew one of its largest crowds to listen to a panel talk about the history and reality of racism in Pinellas County and St. Petersburg. From left to Right: Imam Askia Muhammad Aquil, community leader and equality activist Gwen Reese, United Pinellas executive director Tim Dutton and St. Petersburg political activist Winnie Foster. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
It was the first time in the organization’s 41-year history that it spent an entire lunch talking about race — and it won’t be the last time, the club president said.

Fourth Street’s former Durango Steakhouse demolished, but no replacement yet

The former Durango Steakhouse structure at 3901 Fourth St. N has been demolished. Plans were submitted in 2017 for a Pollo Tropical, but the popular chicken chain decided against building a location here. [Monique Welch | Times]
Pollo Tropical submitted plans two years ago, but now says it has no plans to open there.