Restaurant news: The Avenue owner to open barbecue joint next door in St. Pete

Stephen Schrutt has taken over the space next to his Avenue Eat/Drink in St. Petersburg.
Stephen Schrutt has taken over the space next to his Avenue Eat/Drink in St. Petersburg.
Published Sept. 23, 2015

Stephen Schrutt, owner of St. Petersburg's Avenue Eat/Drink and the soon-to-open Kings Street Food Counter on Central Avenue, has announced that he has taken over the former space of the short-lived POW pizza (Woodfired Pizza before that) at 344 First Ave. S and aims to debut a "gastro barbecue" concept.

Schrutt has not yet named the business, but for now he says, "Owning adjoining restaurants opens unlimited possibilities, and we will do more block parties, live music and proper food and drinks." With World of Beer next door and Hofbräuhaus just west of that, it certainly cements First Avenue S as a notable party spot in downtown St. Petersburg's ever-richer dining scene.

Kings Street is scheduled to open in October at 937 Central Ave. in St. Pete's EDGE District and will serve hot dogs, grilled cheeses, shakes and local craft beer in an indoor-outdoor space.

In Tampa, World of Beer opens its 75th tavern on Monday. This will be the sixth tavern for the area but will be the first flagship, prototype building featuring the new logo, design and décor, as well as their new "tavern fare" menu (giant Bavarian pretzels, brat sliders). The space, at 2815 E. Fowler Ave., will feature a 6,000-square-foot interior with three outdoor patios.

The opening day festivities, beginning at noon, will feature live music with performances by Bob Green and Jared Burnett and a firkin tapping of a beer created exclusively for WOB by Cigar City Brewing, in addition to WOB's 500 bottles and 40 rotating taps. The new location will employ 85 people, each "WOB Star" completing 30 hours of training to guide guests in their beer selections.

Contact Laura Reiley at or (727) 892-2293.