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Munch’s, a St. Petersburg icon, is for sale

The Coquina Key restaurant, once featured on Guy Fieri’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” has been slinging burgers and shakes for years.
Munch's has been serving customers at 3920 6th St. S in St. Petersburg since 1952. The restaurant was started by the late Dean and Clariece Munch. It is known for it's burgers, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes and hand spun milkshakes.
Munch's has been serving customers at 3920 6th St. S in St. Petersburg since 1952. The restaurant was started by the late Dean and Clariece Munch. It is known for it's burgers, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes and hand spun milkshakes. [ Times (2019) ]
Published Jun. 2|Updated Jun. 2

Munch’s, which has reigned for decades as “South St. Petersburg’s favorite breakfast spot and gossip center,” is for sale.

The restaurant at 3920 6th St. S and several surrounding properties were listed for $2,700,000.

“I’m getting old and I have no kids to leave it to,” said owner Larry Munch, who turns 68 in August. “I put it on the market to see if I could sell it because I am getting close, and we’ll just see where it goes from there.”

Munch’s parents, Dean and Clariece, opened the business as a sundries shop and post office in 1952. What started as sandwiches sold out of their car turned into a full restaurant. Munch hopes whoever buys it will keep the eatery alive.

“It could be somebody younger, with more energy, and it’s right what they’re looking for,” he said. “Tell them that I want it to stay the same.”

Related: Tampa Bay's 25 most iconic restaurants

Lisa Ulrich, a commercial and investment specialist for Barkett Realty, said the property includes three parcels up front (Southside Coffee Brew Bar, Phillips Air Conditioning & Heating and Coquina Meat Market are the current tenants). There are two residential parcels in the back with tenants renting below market rate.

“One thing is the location,” Ulrich said. “It’s at the beginning of Coquina Key, right across from Grandview Park. It’s surrounded by nice homes. You’ve got Mullet’s Fish Camp across the street. It’s just a nice little neighborhood retail hub.”

The property, which is a little more than an acre, has already generated interest.

Munch's has been serving customers at 3920 6th St. S in St. Petersburg since 1952. The restaurant was started by the late Dean and Clariece Munch. It is known for it's burgers, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and hand spun milkshakes. It retains its original interior including an original lunch counter and circular counter seats.
Munch's has been serving customers at 3920 6th St. S in St. Petersburg since 1952. The restaurant was started by the late Dean and Clariece Munch. It is known for it's burgers, fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, and hand spun milkshakes. It retains its original interior including an original lunch counter and circular counter seats. [ Times (2019) ]

“Some are looking at it as a redevelopment, but some are looking at it to keep it and reinvigorate it,” she said. “The value-add opportunities there are incredible for the future.”

Munch’s exterior has mostly stayed the same since Larry Munch took it over from his parents in 1994. The menu still features longtime local favorites, like the hot meatloaf sandwich and famous fried chicken, available on Tuesdays and Saturdays. It’s cash-only.

“I can’t change anything,” Munch said. “If I do, the neighborhood gets in an uproar about it getting it too fancy.”

A highlight came in 2011, when Guy Fieri visited Munch’s to sample their Texas hash and fried chicken for “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” The episode still brings in new customers when it re-airs.

“It was fantastic,” Munch said. “He’s such a great guy, and he does so much for independent businesses.”

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As other beloved restaurants have shuttered in recent years, from Coney Island Sandwich Shop to Biff Burger, Munch hopes his restaurant can remain a neighborhood staple.

“I have people talk to me every day, hoping that it doesn’t disappear,” he said.

Old photographs of Munch's in St. Petersburg are seen on the wall of restaurant. The business was started by the late Dean and Clariece Munch in 1952 at 3920 6th St. S in St. Petersburg.
Old photographs of Munch's in St. Petersburg are seen on the wall of restaurant. The business was started by the late Dean and Clariece Munch in 1952 at 3920 6th St. S in St. Petersburg. [ Times (2019) ]
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