The Vinoy Hotel. Photo credit: City of St Petersburg.

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It seems like each time we take a stroll through downtown there are new restaurants and galleries opening and more apartment complexes and condo towers being built. We realize it’s difficult to keep track of everything. Luckily, we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. Each month we will feature a few of the most exciting new downtown developments that are on the horizon for the Sunshine City.

A new wine bar, Lolita’s Wine Market, quietly opened last month in the Grand Central District. Specializing in wines from across the globe, Lolita’s carries an assortment of everyday drinking wines, mid-tier wines, and some pinnacle wines. The food menu at Lolita’s encourages sharing, and includes an incredible selection of small plates, paninis, salads and create-your-own (CYO) charcuterie. The space is a comfortable 974 square feet and the atmosphere is that of a wine shop meets coffee shop. Lolita’s Wine Market is located at 16 18th Street South, neighboring St. Pete’s only venue for improv comedy, Spitfire Theater. More about Lolita’s..

The historic Vinoy Hotel recently broke ground on a $50 million improvements project. The redevelopment includes an expanded onestory parking garage with eight rooftop tennis courts, a new 200-seat marina-view grill and spa that will be open to the public, a fitness center for club members and resort guests, an outdoor event promenade for special events, and enclosed walkways. Due to the location of the expanded parking garage, the city requires the project be approved in a referendum, which will will be held this coming November. More about Vinoy Hotel Project…

This past month, Maple Street Biscuit Co. announced plans to open up on St. Pete’s 600 block. By the end of the year, downtown residents and visitors will be able to feast on Maple Street’s mouthwatering biscuit sandwiches. The most popular sandwich is called The Squawking Goat — a flaky buttery biscuit sandwich with an allnatural fried chicken breast, a fried goat cheese medallion, and house-made pepper jelly. Maple Street Biscuit Co. will be located at 662 Central Avenue, formerly home to the popular grunge music venue, The Local 662. More about Maple Street…

After much turmoil, the St. Pete Pier has finally broken ground. The first phase of construction involves driving 425 pilings into Tampa Bay to support over-water construction. This process should take 10 months. It was also revealed recently that New York Times bestselling author and local Floridian Randy Wayne White is in discussions with the city to open Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille at the new pier. The entire $66 million pier district is scheduled to open to the public in early 2019. More about Pier Park…
Copper Shaker, craft cocktail house and kitchen, opened their doors at the end of June. Their menu boasts 21 innovative hand-crafted drinks that push the envelope by using various exotic ingredients. For example, “Broken Spanish” is Mayalen mezcal, lime, agave, jalapeño, pineapple, and cilantro. A small selection of sharable food dishes are also available, such as Niman Ranch Beef Sliders, Mac n’ Cheese, and Steam Buns. Copper Shaker is located at 169 1st Avenue North, formerly home to Playerz Taphouse and Grill. Visit Copper Shaker Facebook page… 
In June, the city broke ground on the $1.25 million Campbell Park Regional Skate Park situated next to Tropicana Field. Not only will admission be free, but non-profit organizations have expressed excitement in offering mentorship programs for kids interested in learning how to skate. Once complete, the 30,000 square foot skate park will be the largest in Florida.

St. Pete Rising is an urban development blog covering future retail, restaurants, and real estate in Downtown St. Petersburg, FL. Stay up-to-date, visit

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