ST. PETERSBURG — Ford's Garage, a car junkie's haven, has proven to be popular eatery across the state.
Now it has a chance to drive customers to its seats in St. Petersburg. The restaurant opens its ninth location downtown Wednesday at 200 First Ave. S. Right next door, its parent company — 23 Restaurant Services — is also opening a second location of Yeoman's Cask & Lion.
The Tampa restaurant group, headed by CEO Marc Brown, opened its first Ford's Garage in Fort Myers, where Henry Ford had his winter home. The garage and Americana concept caught on and eventually made it to Tampa Bay locations in Brandon, Clearwater, Lutz and the Westchase area of Tampa,
"We're really excited to be in St. Pete," Brown said.
When Brown found the space, he had just planned to do a Ford's Garage but decided to split the 10,000-square-foot building between two concepts. Yeoman's already has a location on Morgan Street in Tampa, where it was adapted to a bigger footprint from its original location on Davis Islands under different owners.
Brown said the new Ford's Garage and Yeoman's aren't combined into one restaurant and will both have their own kitchen and service staffs. Each open at 11 a.m. The restaurants are replacing what was formerly the Rowdies Den, which closed in mid-2015.