The Zoie’s restaurant in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, described as a “place for everyone” and known as an inclusive LGBTQ+ destination, permanently closed its doors today.
Via social media, restaurant owner Jeff Baker cited his health issues as the primary reason for the sudden closure at 2245 Central Ave.
“Over the last month, my life took a turn when I was diagnosed with cancer. This unexpected turn of events has led me to reassess what’s most important in life, and prompted me to make the difficult decision to close our beloved Zoie’s for the sake of my health and my family’s well-being,” Baker wrote in a Sunday Facebook post.
“The pressures of running Zoie’s have begun to take a toll on me both physically and emotionally,” he continued, sharing his appreciation for loyal customers and dedicated team members.
“Zoie’s has always been more than just a restaurant. It’s a brand that stands for community and goodwill. We’ve had the privilege of parenting with numerous local organizations, contributing towards making our community a better place, and this is something I will always be proud of.”
Baker was not immediately available to further comment about the closure.
Zoie’s, named after Baker’s dog, opened last year.
The restaurant’s menu included Southern comfort food such as fried green tomatoes, Creole corn ribs, crawfish eggrolls, fried chicken biscuits and barbeque shrimp.
The 200-seat restaurant had a full bar serving craft cocktails and featured a stage. Zoie’s hosted numerous drag shows and other live entrainment events.
Father and Son’s A/C and Heating business previously occupied the 3,200-square-foot space.