From fresh-baked Cuban bread to shrimp and grits, here’s the latest St. Petersburg foodie news:
Doc Ford’s second restaurant
The parent company that runs Doc Ford’s Rum Bar and Grille is getting ready to open a new location in a space formerly occupied by the Green Iguana, as the St. Pete Catalyst first reported in August, 2021.
The Fort Myers-based HM Restaurant Group currently operates a Doc Ford’s restaurant on the St. Pete Pier, and plans to open the second location this summer.
The restaurant group purchased the waterfront property in West St. Pete, at 8790 Bay Pines Blvd., in 2021 from Chesapeake Bay Holding Company Inc. in a $3.45 million deal.
The 6,750-square-foot building has been vacant for nearly a decade. Before it was used for the Green Iguana, it operated as a Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant.
“This location has the feel and look we go for and it’s on the water. Besides the restaurants at John’s Pass, there aren’t that many waterfront restaurants and this is a market that’s far enough from the pier but is close enough that people are familiar with our brand,” Joe Harrity, marketing & operations director at the restaurant group, previously told the Catalyst about the new second location.
HM Restaurant Group plans to have transient floating docks on the property that would allow for eight boat slips.
The group initially wanted to open the new location by the end of 2021; however, it was delayed due to the pandemic’s impact on permitting and the increased cost of materials.
The Salty Nun
The Salty Nun is a new concept born from the duo behind Stella’s and Salty’s in Gulfport. The Salty Nun is now open in St. Pete’s Grand Central District at 2501 Central Ave., the former location of Swinger’s Patio Bar and Grill and The Queen’s Head Pub.
Its menu items have a wide range of offerings including blueberry chipotle pulled short rib sliders, buttermilk fried chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, and nachos with beer-based queso.
It also features Stella’s southern-style breakfast and Salty’s bar.
The Salty Nun is now open from 5 p.m.-10 p.m. on Thursday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday. It is closed Monday through Wednesday. The Salty Nun has live music and a pet-friendly outdoor patio.
The popular Ybor City-based La Segunda Bakery and Café will open its first-ever St. Pete location Monday (March 21).
Famous for its fresh-baked Cuban bread, the 106-year-old bakery will open the 1,820-square-foot restaurant at 2436 4th St. N. It will focus on grab-and-go service, delivery and catering.
“We have been patiently waiting to open in St. Pete and we felt that it was a good time,” Copeland More, fourth-generation owner, previously told the Catalyst. He said the vibrancy and walkable nature of the city attracted the bakery.
The new café will feature red brick walls to pay homage to Ybor City’s roots. There will also be custom-made ironwork accents, similar to the Spanish and Italian architecture of Tampa’s 7th Avenue, and globe-shaped pendant lighting and mounted lamps throughout the café to give a nod to Ybor City’s architecture.
While smaller than the Ybor City and South Tampa location, the new site will seat 40 people inside and 40 on an outdoor, pet-friendly patio. La Segunda is the world’s largest producer of Cuban bread, baking 18,000 loaves a day.
Bakes and Wakes Fat Lenny’s World Headquarters
Bakes and Wakes Fat Lenny’s World Headquarters is prepping to open its new location at 2148 49th St. S. in the coming weeks.
Bakes and Wakes, simply known as Fat Lenny’s Headquarters, represents the combination of owner Scottie Freeman’s businesses in Pennsylvania.
The whimsical and wacky restaurant is described as a “funky ice cream shop with a Cheech and Chong attuned (sic).” While it will serve rolled ice cream, shaved ice and bubble tea, it will also sell items you’d generally find in a smoke shop – bongs and pipes – and additionally, novelties and toys.
The owner said he is aiming for an April 1st opening from 3 to 9 p.m.
“This will be a sneak peek so to speak as we are still growing into this space and finding out other than it being a little heaven on Earth, why we were drawn so intensely here,” Freeman wrote in a Facebook post. “We believe in positive change, healing and growth through love, forgiveness, music, fun, creativity, and of course a little ice cream. There are quite a few kinks we will be sorting out as we build out this project and we ask for your patience and understanding as we do.”
The fried chicken tender franchise Huey Magoo’s opened its first local store in Pinellas Park earlier this month. The 2,500-square-foot restaurant at 4590 Park Blvd. includes indoor and outdoor seating, and a drive-thru.
For franchisees Collie and Dametris Lightsey, it’s the first of four proposed Huey Magoo’s restaurants in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Largo and Seminole.
“This has been a dream come true for us. The restaurant is beautiful, and we know people will love the food. Pinellas Park is centrally located, and as we develop our additional locations, we felt we can spread the brand out from here,” the Lightseys said in the news release.
The restaurant’s dine-in hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday through Saturday. The drive-thru hours are from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Huey Magoo’s Pinellas Park will offer dine-in/out, take-out, curbside pickup and delivery (through third-party delivery services DoorDash and Uber Eats).