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Lucy’s in St. Petersburg closes permanently

The popular vegan restaurant has been closed since March. Now, the owner says he won’t reopen.
St. Petersburg vegan restaurant Lucy's will not reopen, the owner said Monday. The restaurant, which opened at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, has been closed since March.
St. Petersburg vegan restaurant Lucy's will not reopen, the owner said Monday. The restaurant, which opened at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, has been closed since March. [ SCOTT KEELER | Times ]
Published Apr. 12
Updated Apr. 12

ST. PETERSBURG — Following a month-long shutter, vegan restaurant Lucy’s won’t reopen after all, owner Michael Young said Monday.

Young, who opened the casual vegan breakfast and lunch spot in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District last March, said the decision was a personal one, and not caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Originally I was just looking to restaff and streamline (the menu),” said Young, who announced he was temporarily closing his restaurant last month to work on the business. “Being closed for so long, I just had a lot of time to think about it. I was trying to live a full life and I feel like the restaurant kind of took that away,” he said.

The restaurant’s shutter was first announced on a social media post from Valhalla’s Bakery account over the weekend. The bakery, from pastry chef Celine Duvoisin, shared a space with Lucy’s at 2462 Central Avenue.

“Due to a series of unfortunate events we will be taking over the Lucy’s side,” the post said. Duvoisin, who is also opening an offshoot of her Orlando donut shop Valkyrie Donuts, said the vacant Lucy’s space will become a build-your-own biscuit and breakfast bowl concept. Both Valkyrie Donuts, which is opening nearby at 2444 Central Ave., and the biscuit and bowls spot should launch sometime in May, she said.

Related: Tampa Bay is experiencing a vegan renaissance

Despite only being open one year, Lucy’s had garnered a strong following, especially within the local vegan community. On busy weekend mornings, it wasn’t uncommon to see a line of diners stretch out the door. Young said size constraints and a limited revenue stream (the restaurant was to-go only, with some outside patio seating) were part of the reason he decided not to reopen.

“We were doing well and we were turning a profit,” Young said. “But I didn’t really ever see enough (revenue) growth from that location to grow out of it.”

Young said he might explore the idea of a larger Lucy’s-themed vegan restaurant or a food truck in the future. But right now? He’s just taking a break.

“I just figured, if I’m not going to be happy for the next four years, then why do it?” Young said. “I’m proud of what we’ve done.”