For the past eight years, J.P. Brewer’s familiar face has run Salty’s Bar, a downtown Gulfport staple. Sunday, July 11 was Brewer’s last day aboard the ship after selling the business at 5413 Shore Blvd. S.
“The day that I saw [the former bar] ‘On the Rocks’ for the first time, it was my vision to purchase it, remodel it and give it a ‘neighborhood, laid back vibe,’ where everyone is welcome and comfortable. I can pass the torch knowing my goal has been accomplished,” Brewer posted to the bar’s Facebook page on July 8.
For locals, however, not much will change, according to Brewer.
“The staff will stay in place, the events and bands will also remain on the schedule,” Brewer wrote. “I do believe in my heart, the new owner, and his general manager, have Salty’s Bar along with this community in their best interest, and will continue to make it one of the best bars around!”
The bar has become a local hot spot, recently hosting portions of Gulfport’s First Annual Pride this year.
Brewer says she will continue to live in Gulfport and run Salty’s Sandwich Bar, nearby at 3121 Beach Blvd. S.
The future of the Thunderbird Resort is unclear after the iconic 50-year-old retro hotel on Treasure Island’s waterfront sold for $25.5 million in June.
That multimillion-dollar price tag does not include the price of the business.
According to the Pinellas County deed, the original owners of the resort were a Tampa family group headed by David King.
The buyer is Hollywood, Florida-based Thunderbird TI Holdings LLC, which is affiliated with Surf Style Inc., a beach retail company that currently has no other hotel chains.
Both the buyer and seller choose to not comment on the sale.
Since opening in late 2019, local health fanatics know Gulfport Nutrition for their fresh smoothies and heavily-booked cardio drumming classes, but the wellness shop is only recently celebrating with a Gulfport Merchant’s Chamber ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We stayed open the entire pandemic,” said co-owner Marlene Ross. “But with COVID-19, we didn’t get the chance to properly celebrate.”
The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, July 24 at 12:30 p.m. at the shop on 5012 Gulfport Blvd. S.
Ross runs Gulfport Nutrition with Erica Beaurline, and the two work as life coaches and fitness instructors six days a week.
“The goal was to build a community within a community,” Beaurline said. “That’s why we started, and that’s why we’re here.
Pastries in Pinellas
A Tampa Cuban bakery, established in 1915, is in the process of adding a third location, their first in St. Petersburg.
La Segunda Bakery and Cafe owner Anthony Copeland Moore says St. Petersburg can expect the opening in fall of 2021 at 2436 4th St. N. in the city’s new Holiday Plaza.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but we’re very selective about location,” Moore said. “The new bakery is in a good residential area with nearby office clusters. I’m really looking forward to it.”
The shop is known for authentic Cuban bread and sweet treats, and has two other spots in Ybor City and South Tampa. According to Moore, the shop across the bridge will be modeled after the original Ybor City location’s diner feels and red brick walls.
There will be 40 seats inside and 40 outside with a pet-friendly patio.
“It will be maybe more streamlined at our new location, but it’s the same pastries, coffee and sandwiches,” Moore said.
Gulfport’s McDonald’s – once an aged red and yellow – has been completely torn down and rebuilt to correspond with the chain’s modernized look.
A reopening on Wednesday, July 7 clocked the project at nearly five months to complete since the store was demolished in March. Patrons can enjoy better traffic flow in the parking lot and drive through, state-of-the-art grills and updated ordering devices.