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By SHARON L. BOND
© St. Petersburg Times, published February 11, 2001
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Firehouse Bar & Grille closed late last month, a victim of the many new restaurants in the city and its location, on the south side of Central Avenue.
"With BayWalk, the focus now is on the north side of Central," said Scott Brainard, a lawyer, whose wife, Maureen, was partners with Tom Dzien in the Firehouse. Brainard said Dzien is a CPA who works for Eckerd Corp.
"I don't want to blame BayWalk. I live in St. Petersburg, and I am glad it's there," Brainard said. "There were a number of factors. We just decided it was time to get out."
The Firehouse was getting close to the end of its lease at 260 First Ave. S, and Brainard said the owners figured renewal would come with a larger monthly rent. He would not disclose what he paid.
Echelon Development owns the building in which the restaurant is located. An Echelon official said the company will re-lease the space, and it could be a bar and grill again or something else.
The Firehouse originally was Blayney's when it opened in 1984. The Brainards and Dzien came on the scene in 1992. The restaurant served sandwiches, burgers, seafood, salads and popular potato salad.
Brainard said business at the Firehouse fell off when Midtown Sundries opened a few doors down.
The Firehouse closed Jan. 26.