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Lounge toasts mature clientele

In hopes of attracting more older customers, the Globe Coffee Lounge has added beer and wine to its menu and a credit card machine to its checkout.

Serving alcohol will curtail hours that underage kids can spend at the Globe and require the restaurant to close earlier.

Located at 532 First Ave. N, the Globe has been open for five years as a Bohemian/Goth place for arts, music, discussions and eating. It is filled with retro furniture and found objects, making it both campy and comfortable.

Owner JoEllen Schilke believes the beer-and-wine service adds a missing ingredient.

"I didn't want to turn it into a bar," Schilke said. "I just wanted something for the people who want sandwich and sangria and then coffee and dessert afterward."

The Globe serves an eclectic menu, including soups, salads and sandwiches plus an array of desserts and "lots of chocolate." The signature sandwich is the Sloppy JoEllen, a mix of barbecued chicken, roasted red peppers and pepperjack cheese on focaccia.

Schilke is serving wine by the glass, specialty beers and making a variety of sangrias.

"I'm a huge sangria fan," she said, and she loves drinking wine. She learned about the beer subculture, she said, when she began investigating microbreweries because she wanted beer "as close to hand made or home made as possible."

The Globe draws a large number of underage teens who now have to leave the restaurant by 11 p.m. because alcohol is served. That time may be moved to 10 p.m., Schilke said. She likes most of the kids who come in but said she grew weary of being a babysitter for those whose parents dropped them off in the evening but didn't pick them up until the 3 a.m. closing time.

"If they are that young, (not driving) and it's 11 p.m., they need to be home," she said.

"A lot of times adults weren't comfortable because there were so many kids hanging out here," Schilke said.

The Globe's hours now are 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. The city of St. Petersburg requires the 2 a.m. closing time. Schilke said she would love to be open later.

Customers have been asking for a credit card machine for a while, she said. Until adding beer and wine to the menu, however, it had not been worth it because few entrees were much more than $5.50, she said, and credit card companies charge retailers for their use.

Wireless internet service should be available some time this week, Schilke said.