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Progress report: The new Getaway in South Pinellas

Bill DeYoung

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The palm trees have taken root, the beach sand is laid, and St. Pete’s newest tropical oasis is very nearly ready for its first visitors. As workmen scurry back and forth, putting the finishing touches on the parking lots and sidewalks, the Getaway is taking shape.

The latest addition to the Skyway Marina District, the Getaway will be a casual dining-and-drinking establishment, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Its older sibling, on the Pinellas side of the Gandy Bridge, has been a popular hangout for years. That location backs up to the mangrove-lined bay shore.

The second Getaway has a waterfront view, too – it’s nestled against the southern border of the recently expensively-renovated Maximo Marina. It’s not visible from U.S. 19, aka 34th Street South – the entrance is slightly west, on 37th Street.

According to co-owner Dave Burton, the restaurant will probably make its debut the second or third week in June, “after onsite training with our staff members. We won’t open until we feel they’re ready.”

Those new hires, 35 or 40 of them, are currently being trained in the ways of the Getaway at the Gandy location. Construction is 99 percent done; all the necessary inspections are currently taking place.

Burton and his business partner Scott Tashkin have been planning this project – from the 4,000-foot indoor restaurant, bar and kitchen, to the lush landscaping and the waterfront tiki hut – for well over a year. “To see where it’s at now, versus where we started, it’s a huge thrill for us,” Burton says. “It looks beautiful.

“We feel like we’re really bringing something to the area that people are going to respond positively to.”

Burton says the idea is to open “slowly. And hopefully people will be very generous with their feedback and everything, because restaurant openings are always challenging.”

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