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Central Park Food Hall becomes third food hall planned for downtown St. Petersburg

The three-story building will feature a health-focused food court and bar, two restaurants and a rooftop event space.
Central Park Food Hall, a three-story food hall, restaurant and event space, is set to open at 551 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg in 2021. [Courtesy of Central Park Food Hall]

St. Petersburg is poised to get yet another food hall next year.

Central Park Food Hall, a three-story multivendor food court, restaurant and rooftop event space, will open at 551 Central Ave. by summer 2021, the owner of the ambitious new project announced Thursday.

The food hall will take over the space formerly home to longtime breakfast restaurant the Dome Grill, which closed in 2018.

The exterior of 551 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. A new food hall is planned for the former Dome Grill location. [CHRIS URSO | Times]

Natalia Levey, a New York-trained chef, restaurateur and healthy lifestyle advocate, is behind the project. She is also one of the co-owners of Speaks Clam Bar, the only restaurant concept announced for the space so far.

“We were so excited to have such an amazing following at our other restaurants and we feel very fortunate with the (St. Pete) location,” Levey said.

The speakeasy-themed seafood and Italian restaurant (think handmade pastas, antipasto plates, steaks and seafood) currently has outposts in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch. The restaurant will be on the second floor of the building and will feature the same menu as the other two spots, Levey said.

Levey, who is originally from Moscow, and her husband, Mark, bought the St. Petersburg space in 2018. The historic 24,000-square-foot building will soon undergo renovations, though Levey said architectural renderings and design plans for the space are still being finalized.

“I’d like to keep the facade in tact,” she said, adding that the current plans include keeping some of the building’s historic charm and character while adding modern accents like open air spaces, a mezzanine and a rooftop.

The bottom floor of the building will be home to a large bar and a food court with a variety of different concepts yet to be announced. Levey, who is also the founder of the culinary education company Healthy Intent, said that while plans are still coming together for the food hall, it’s safe to say there will be a strong emphasis on healthy cuisines.

Upstairs on the third floor, a rooftop will feature an event space with a small park and leisure area, as well as a yet-to-be-named second restaurant concept from Levey.

As for the name, Levey said it’s both a reference to the Central Avenue location as well as a nostalgic nod to Central Park in New York City, where she lived for several years while attending culinary school.

The food hall is the latest in a series of multivendor food concepts planned for St. Petersburg. In fall 2019, the team behind Tampa Heights’ popular Armature Works announced they would open a two-story food hall and bar at Sundial, less than a mile away.

Related: New food hall at Sundial will replace Locale Market and stores

Also downtown, a spinoff of Tampa’s Hall on Franklin dubbed the Hall on Central is coming to St. Pete’s Edge District, at 1246 Central Ave.

Related: Food hall planned for St. Pete’s Edge District

All three food halls are projected to open in 2021.