From civic leaders to scallywags, locals celebrate “new life” in pivotal downtown sector
The Galley is donating a portion of proceeds from weekend events to Trinity Cafe
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Many doubted, said it couldn’t be done, said it’s not time. There were several concepts in the former Howard Johnson hotel, on busy Fourth Street, across from a sometimes-beleaguered Williams Park. The Galley’s founders, St. Pete natives Pete Boland & Ian Taylor, have found success in their concept and vision for a local-themed tavern with a welcoming vibe.
Celebrating their grand opening a year ago this week, The Galley – “a St. Pete Tavern” – found immediate popularity among a wide spectrum. It’s common to bump into elected officials or business leaders, just as it is good-time enthusiasts and foodies. “From young professionals to retirees, sports fans, artists, traders, collaborators, leaders, breeders, readers, smokers, jokers… Students meet seniors, neighbors meet visitors – it’s a cool mix, it’s St. Pete,” said Councilman Charlie Gerdes.
“The Galley is a meeting-place by day and a go-to evening venue. It sounds silly to even use the word Cheers in any statement about a bar. But, it has that feel for many of us,” added businessman Justin Bean.
To celebrate and show appreciation for patrons, supporters, and community partners, The Galley is throwing a three-day party, January 25-27 – “Gasparilla St. Pete style” – which is kinda similar but less traffic and more bathrooms, still pirate-themed and “costumes encouraged!” Businessmen and philanthropists John La Budde and Brendan McCarthy host the “Second Annual Gasparilla Shipwrecked Party” on Thursday, January 25, kicking off the Thursday-Saturday festivities.
A portion of proceeds from the three days will be donated to Trinity Café, a Tampa Bay organization that has served more than a million “meals with dignity” for the hungry and homeless.
As for The Galley’s future, founders are committed to continually innovating, incorporating new elements, and giving back to the community. “We’re invested in this area for the long-term, we’ve always been dedicated to St. Pete, we feel we’ve found our spot, and we look forward to many more anniversaries,” said Boland. A couple highlights to come soon: a new mural on the adjacent alleyway (the original Central Avenue) by esteemed local artist Derek Donnelly. And Taylor hints about one more major décor addition coming to the establishment he built to look and feel like a ship: “Cannons”… “No, they won’t fire.”
Located at 27 Fourth Street North, The Galley is a street-cross from Williams Park, the open-air post-office, and Snell Arcade. Nearby are several notable developments both underway and planned.
About The Galley:
A nautical-inspired, locally owned and operated full liquor tavern, serving the best in St. Pete food, drink and culture. Located at 27 Fourth Street North, The Galley is open 11:30am to 3am daily, with late-night menu 11pm to 2:30am. Bar includes local options along with full liquor and wine list. Information/updates are available at TheGalleyStPete.com, Facebook, and Instagram.