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Rising rents in downtown St. Pete led this local merchant to buy its building

Margie Manning



Grassroots Kava House at 957 Central Ave.

The owners of Grassroots Kava House in downtown St. Petersburg bought the building the business occupies to ensure long-term stability.

Grassroots Kava House

GRKH Holdings LLC, a limited liability company formed in November, bought the property at 957 Central Ave. for $1.45 million, according to a Dec. 26 deed filed in Pinellas County.

The seller was 957 Central Ave. Holding LLC. Jonathan Daou, president and creative director at Eastman Equity, is president of 957 Central Ave. Holding.

GRKH bought the building “to secure our destiny,” said Ryan Cavanaugh, one of the co-owners of Grassroots Kava House. “With rents rising in St. Petersburg we wanted to make sure we could stay for the long term.”

There are no immediate plans to make changes at the 2,846-square-foot, two-story building in the EDGE District. It was totally renovated about four years ago, Cavanaugh said.

Kava is a drink originally from the South Pacific known for its calming effects. It’s made from the root of a plant in the pepper family that is ground into a fine powder. The drink has been growing in popularity nationwide. Kalm with Kava, an industry website, lists about 120 kava bars around the United States, half of them in Florida and 18 of them in Pinellas County.

Related story: How two St. Pete brewers are ‘brewing for good’

Grassroots Kava House won the 2019 Outstanding Florida Main Street Business of the Year Award in July. The award is given each year to a merchant within a designated Florida Main Street who has made an exceptional contribution to that area’s revitalization.

The company will have its third anniversary celebration on Jan. 25, according to its Facebook page.

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