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Third coffee shop fails in storefront

By BRIDGET HALL

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 13, 2000


INVERNESS -- The Barking Frog Cafe abruptly closed up shop earlier this month, leaving customers and the owner of the downtown building wondering what happened to the offbeat coffee shop.

Barking Frog had only been in business for seven months, and it was the third coffeehouse in as many years to occupy the shop at 107A W. Main St.

"That's it -- no more coffee shops here," building owner Ernest Glover said Friday as workers cleared out abandoned dishes and cookware that will be donated to a church. "I want a retail store or an office for this space."

The building housed Mid-State Bank in the 1970s and served as a probation office for many years before CATS, Cory's and Barking Frog -- all coffee shops -- came and went.

A piece of paper taped to the door said Barking Frog had to close down "due to circumstances beyond our control."

Before leaving May 1, cafe owner Martha Bowman left the shop key and a similarly worded letter with the Marine recruiting officers next door to pass on to Glover.

Bowman could not be reached for comment.

Winston Perry, president of the recently formed New Inverness Olde Towne Association, said Bowman had mentioned that her business was struggling.

"She said, "When Applebee's opened, it cut my business in half,' " Perry said.

"We have a need for a coffee shop downtown," Perry continued. "We just need the right person who could make it work."

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