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St. Petersburg's Skyway Marina District gets new dining, drinking option: The Getaway(w/video)

St. Petersburg's efforts to turn the Skyway Marina District into a commercial and retail destination got a big boost when the owners of the Getaway, a popular waterfront restaurant on Gandy Boulevard, announced plans to open a second waterfront spot in the neighborhoods near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This is an artist's rendering of what the establishment could look like. The Getaway̢۪s owners hope the new bar and restaurant will be open by Thanksgiving in the former boat showroom at Maximo Marina at 4801 37th St. S. [Courtesy of the Getaway]
St. Petersburg's efforts to turn the Skyway Marina District into a commercial and retail destination got a big boost when the owners of the Getaway, a popular waterfront restaurant on Gandy Boulevard, announced plans to open a second waterfront spot in the neighborhoods near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. This is an artist's rendering of what the establishment could look like. The Getaway̢۪s owners hope the new bar and restaurant will be open by Thanksgiving in the former boat showroom at Maximo Marina at 4801 37th St. S. [Courtesy of the Getaway]
Published Mar. 22, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG — The city's efforts to turn the Skyway Marina District into a commercial and retail destination just got a big boost: The Getaway, a popular waterfront restaurant on Gandy Boulevard, plans to open a second waterfront location in the district near the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

The Getaway's owners hope the new bar and restaurant will be open by Thanksgiving in a former boat showroom at Maximo Marina at 4801 37th St. S, which is undergoing a $20 million renovation.

The second Getaway will cost more than $1 million, said co-owner Scott Tashkin, and will be 12,000 to 13,000 square feet.

The Maximo Marina location is right for a new Getaway, he said.

"It's such a great, well-known waterfront location," Tashkin said.

He said the renovated marina is an ideal location since the Getaway is "dependent on the waterfront and being a boat-up restaurant, when the opportunity came to us, it was really what we were looking for."

He added: "It's going to be a beautiful facility."

The announcement was welcome news for the 3-year-old Skyway Marina District, which serves St. Petersburg's southernmost neighborhoods such as Broadwater, Maximo Moorings, Pinellas Point and Lakewood Estates.

The marina renovation is just one piece of the emerging Skyway Marina District. A new Publix opened in December and Tampa-based Phillips Development & Realty will build a $70 million mixed-use project on land once owned by Home Depot.

Residents have been clamoring for development, especially shops and restaurants. The city has offered a $50,000 incentive to the first new sit-down restaurant in the district, which runs primarily along 34th Street S, from 30th Avenue to 54th Avenue.

Tom Ando, president of the Broadwater Civic Association, welcomed the news. If the Getaway can succeed in the Skyway Marina District, he said, it could attract more development.

"It gives people a waterside location and a local place to getaway," Ando said. "It's a positive thing for our area. I think if it's successful, others will see the potential."

City Council member Steve Kornell, who began working with residents to revitalize the area in 2009, was also pleased by the Getaway's plans but said the district needs more dining options.

"It's exciting. It's nice to see it happen," Kornell said. "Restaurants were the No. 1 thing I heard from people. For one thing, there's still not enough. Nobody wants to go to the same place every single night and that's not to take away from any other restaurant that's there. There just needs to be some choices, all within the same neighborhood."

Gary Jones, a senior planner in the city's economic development department, said the new Getaway could be eligible for the $50,000 incentive. To qualify, he said, the restaurant would have to be full-service, open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, have a minimum of 5,000 square feet and offer a full liquor bar.

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"If they meet those qualifications, I don't see any reason they wouldn't be eligible for the $50,000 restaurant incentive," Jones said.

The new Getaway will employ 30 to 40 people, said Tashkin, who owns the restaurant with managing partner Dave Burton. Tashkin's wife, Karina, runs the day-to-day operations at the restaurant at 13090 Gandy Blvd. N, which he said serves about 2,000 people on weekends.

The new Skyway Marina District restaurant will be a little smaller in size and include features such as a patio area, a dock bar, decks and, unlike the original Getaway, indoor seating.

"The indoor portion really is going to be able to be open to the outdoors, through bifolding doors," Tashkin said, adding that the restaurant will also offer live music.

"It's beautiful down there," he said of the new location. "I hope the area will support it and welcome it."

Kornell thinks they will.

"It's a place that people who live in Broadwater and Maximo Moorings can walk to and have dinner," he said, adding that he's long said the area is a good place for business. "Having businesses move in speaks a lot louder than words."

Contact Waveney Ann Moore at wmoore@tampabay.com or (727) 892-2283. Follow @wmooretimes.