Central Thyme lunch spot closes
The owners say the Grand Central District cafe was wildly successful but that they're tired after 41/2 years of operating it.
By SHARON L. BOND
Published January 4, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG - Central Thyme restaurant, one of the businesses that helped in the resurgence of the Grand Central Business District, is closed.
Its owners say they are worn out and business is too big for its current spot at 2101 Central Ave.
"We had kind of outgrown the space," said Bret Trifler, who owned the cafe with Barry Jones.
Central Thyme closed Dec. 23. It was a popular lunch spot that offered imaginative soups, salads and sandwiches.
"It's been a long run," Trifler said. The restaurant opened in August 2001. Trifler said he and Jones would take some time off and then figure out what's next.
"We will decide what the future plans are. It could be anything from 10 locations to another single location in the Grand Central District," Trifler, 36, said. He and Jones, 41, might remain business partners or could decide to go their separate ways, he said.
In the past decade, the Grand Central Business District has drawn more and more storekeepers who are reawakening the area, on Central Avenue from 18th to 31st streets. Empty storefronts are less frequent and older buildings have been renovated. Sidewalks now have district signs and pots of flowers.
Stores range from antique shops to art galleries, high-end home accessories to gift shops and restaurants, such as Central Thyme.
"Our business was wildly successful. We never did any print advertising. It was all word of mouth," Trifler said. He and Jones were cleaning out the last of the cafe over New Year's weekend.
"Clientele was mostly the arts crowd" and a lot of socially connected people.
Trifler said many customers were regulars and that he and Jones had been quietly putting out the word they were closing to those folks.
Trifler lives very close to Grand Central and said he and Jones would remain "forces in continuing the redevelopment of the neighborhood."
[Last modified January 4, 2006, 01:07:18]
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