Partners face off over former St. Pete mental health clinic, now a nightclub

in Local Courts by
Marcus Lloyd Anderson

Business partners, who are the joint owners of a South St. Petersburg nightclub once the site of a behavioral health clinic, are going to court over accusations of mismanagement and shady operations.

The Porch St. Pete, owned by Blue Oasis LLC, is a bar and nightclub at 1239 4th St. S in St. Petersburg. Porch obtained its liquor license in August 2016, opening sometime soon after that.

Half of Blue Oasis is allegedly owned by plaintiff Fulltrot Investments, with the other half owned by defendant Marcus Anderson Investments.

Sanford resident Nwabufo Chinedu Chidolue, 41, owns Fulltrot Investments. Marcus Lloyd Anderson, a 32-year-old St. Petersburg native, holds Marcus Anderson investments. Anderson is also listed as CEO and director of Tampa Bay Behavioral Health Centers, a mental health service provider and assisted living facility.

Anderson, a member of the St. Petersburg Alumni Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, was the subject of a 2014 profile in the Weekly Challenger newspaper, which wrote, “he has owned and operated several local living facilities since 2009.”

Records show that the Tampa Bay Behavioral Center was the previous tenant in the space now occupied by The Porch St. Pete. This suggests that Anderson turned the mental-health clinic he owns into a nightclub, possibly operating two vastly different establishments at the same time. Bruce and Julia Gramaila jointly own the strip mall where The Porch is located.

However, it should be noted that Tampa Bay Behavioral does now operate at a different address, 3455 58th Ave. N in St. Petersburg.

Nwabufo Chidolue is suing Anderson, accusing his business partner of shutting him out of the operation of The Porch, as well as selling Porch-purchased liquor at private parties – keeping the money for himself. He also says Anderson refuses to pay certain vendors “while secretly enriching itself at the expense of Blue Oasis,” and continues to sell alcohol, despite his claim that Porch’s liquor license was recently suspended.

Chidolue also suspects Anderson of fraudulently diverting Porch revenue to a personal bank account.

In the lawsuit, filed Jan. 24 in Pinellas County Circuit Court, Chidolue is asking the court either appoint a custodian to manage The Porch, or put the business in receivership and have a receiver shut it down and liquidate assets.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.