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Tavern set to open on Beach Drive; downtown apartment complex hits the market

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Two pieces of good news for downtown St. Pete are coming down today.

The space formerly occupied by Bruce Waters Jewelers on Beach Drive will be the home of Stillwaters Tavern as soon as June 20. The Tampa Bay Times reports owners 2B Hospitality announced its culinary team for the “modern American tavern” bar and restaurant.

Executive chef Jeffrey Jew heads the team up. He’s a former Top Chef contestant and a Washington, D.C., native. Joshua Breen and Christopher Kent join Jew as chef de cuisine and sous chef, respectively. Kent has worked in the neighboring Bella Brava kitchen for the past five years. Bella Brava is also owned by 2B Hospitality.

Breen is a former chef at a gastropub in Cambridge, Mass.

The team is keeping a tight lid on what the Stillwaters menu might look like, but the tavern will serve local brews on tap as well as bourbon and whiskey drinks.

The restaurant will host four friends and family dinners before opening to the public sometime later this month.

The other bit of good news – Urban Style Flats has hit the real estate market. The 481-unit apartment complex overlooking Tropicana Field used to be a public housing project. It was transformed into apartments as the downtown St. Pete boom continued.

According to the Times, the asking price for the property isn’t listed, but it sold for $6.8 million in 2010 and would likely go for more than that now.

Because demand for downtown rentals is on the rise in downtown St. Pete, it’s likely the complex would remain a rental property. Currently apartments in the complex are much cheaper – about $500 – than other nearby rentals.

It was transformed in 2010 into hip apartments after previously housing disabled and elderly residents. Prior to that it was owned by the St. Petersburg Housing Authority.

The interior of the apartment complex is updated with modern décor including dark wood and brightly colored accents. It’s noticeable from the highway and nearby spots in downtown St. Pete by it’s bright orange window awnings.

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Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for Patch.com and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email janelle@floridapolitics.com.

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