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Pop up! What’s coming to the Oyster Bar space?

Mark Parker



A pop-up bar with rotating themes is coming to the Oyster Bar's former space in downtown St. Petersburg. Frank Clemente, founder of FrankLynn Visual Marketing, said the unique concept will open the first week of October. Photos provided.

The Oyster Bar’s owners relocated the seafood restaurant after spending the past 25 years in downtown St. Petersburg; its replacement will change with the seasons.

Frank Clemente, an experiential architect and design strategist, has overseen the transformation at 249 Central Avenue. The Crafty Hospitality Group, which owns the Crafty Squirrel next door, will open a rotating pop-up bar in the vacated space.

The team expects to launch Random House Party Presents: Sleepy Hallows the first week of October. Clemente said his name came up about six weeks ago when the ownership group decided to create something unique on the bustling nightlife block.

“That I would be the one to make it happen,” Clemente added. “I immediately said ‘yes.’ I’ve been thinking about this since I was a kid. I can do this; I can see it in my head.”

Clemente, founder of FrankLynn Visual marketing, said Random House Party Presents: (the name will change with the concept) will make people think they traveled to another area on vacation. Sleepy Hallows will feature a Halloween theme.

A concept mimicking “a northern U.S. fall” will follow before giving way to winter holiday themes. Clemente promised distinctive smells, sights and tastes that correlate with the corresponding season.

He said the space will also feature a completely revamped configuration. “You’re going to go in but immediately feel like you’re outside,” Clemente said.

“The sounds – everything that will surround you will envelop your senses.”

Frank Clemente, an experiential architect and design strategist, is helping transform the space at 249 Central Ave.

While he acknowledged that rotating concepts would significantly add to overhead, Clemente said the experience would foster repeat customers. He also noted that patrons will have limited time to enjoy each theme.

Clemente and the ownership group will gradually update each pop-up bar for six to eight weeks. Those changes will incorporate aspects of the following theme before the team closes Random House Party Presents: for a 48-hour refresh.

“So, they’re (customers) going to want to see it in its entirety,” Clemente said. “They’re going to want to come back and see the changes as it’s happening.”

He explained that Josh Cameron, principal owner of the Oyster Bar and Crafty Hospitality Group, wanted to create something “special” for the location. Clemente said Cameron hopes to “elevate the block” for the next generation and provide “something more than just the average party.”

Clemente noted that as a dining destination, the Oyster Bar became somewhat out of place in an area known for its lively nightlife atmosphere. It will reopen in October at 2245 Central Ave., in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District.

He said the project is nearly complete. Crews will install a new bar by Tuesday, and Clemente pledged that people of all ages will “love” the finished project.

“Some people were saying, ‘Oh my gosh, what are we going to do? The Oyster Bar is gone,'” Clemente said. “The Oyster bar isn’t gone; it moved somewhere else, and it’s going to be really great in the new location.

“But once they see this space, they’re going to want to come back. It’s not just a night out – it’s an experience.”







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