Downtown St. Pete is experiencing quite the metamorphosis. The area is undergoing constant construction. Many businesses are acquiring new neighbors. However, is downtown development hurting or helping existing local restaurants?
Continue reading below to find out.
Downtown St. Pete holds some of the best dining experiences in the country. The area's current development has brought on many positive changes. However, it has also come with difficulties.
We discuss the pros and cons for local restaurant owners below.
Many new concepts are coming, including dining halls, experimental hotels, condos, and lounges. As new businesses arise one after another, the domino effect seems never-ending.
On the bright side, new businesses can draw in new patrons. And, in a perfect world, more potential customers means more money for surrounding businesses.
However, it may not be that simple.
Although new developments have brought more patrons to downtown St. Pete, construction has brought many difficulties.
Many local restaurants have reported hardships due to the following:
For instance, the Tampa Bay Times recently reported that for several months downtown restaurant Il Ritorno experienced wine glasses trembling on its tables. Moreover, restaurant Original 1809’s entire bar table shook so much that they routinely had to relocate patrons to other seating areas.
Unfortunately, construction is deterring potential customers for some. Plus, these structures often take over a year to complete.
With many restaurants just recovering post-pandemic, how many can survive another blow to their bottom line? Unfortunately, many of our favorite restaurants have not survived.
Just last year, the owners of downtown St. Pete barbeque spot Dr. BBQ were forced to close their doors. The lack of parking spaces contributed to their decision to sell. Fortunately, the building sold for $4.5 million to PTM Partners. However, all owners aren’t as lucky.
To make matters worse, many small businesses cannot keep up with skyrocketing rental rates driven by increased demand and interest from large, non-local businesses. According to the Tampa Bay Times, retail space rental rates in Tampa Bay increased 4.7% over the last year and 14.4% over five years.
With countless new businesses arising from large corporations, many are afraid that St. Pete is losing its local charm. It’s more difficult for smaller businesses to withstand the hardships mentioned above. If they can weather the storm, they will benefit in the long term. However, how long can most survive before going out of business?
Luckily there’s something we can do: Support your favorite restaurants! Showing consistent patronage, despite minor annoyances like eyesores and vibrating tables, will help them make it through. Especially when you can dine during the traditionally slower times.
Dinefits makes it easy to support local restaurants by paying you to eat out during the slower times. And, rest-assured, signup is free for both diners and restaurants. We also don’t charge countless fees like other services. By signing up with Dinefits, you are not only earning cashback, but you are also helping out restaurants and servers alike.
Join us on our mission to #KeepStPeteLocal!
Discover and support restaurants in the Greater Tampa Bay area, here!