A new 1970s-themed dance club will open in downtown St. Pete’s former Ringside Cafe space

You’ll be able to boogie to ABBA and Bee Gees by the end of April.

click to enlarge Good Night John Boy / Facebook
Good Night John Boy / Facebook
A recent St. Pete Rising article confirmed the suspicions of former Ringside Cafe employees—a '70s-themed dance club will open at 16 2nd St. N in downtown St. Petersburg by the end of April.

The development blog says Cleveland-based Forward Hospitality Group will open the 4,000 square-foot nightclub together with Beth McLeod, a former meteorologist at Fox 8 News. McLeod's boyfriend Bobby Sotka is in charge of operating the club, called Good Night John Boy.

In terms of music, Good Night John Boy will stick to all of the expected pop hits of the 1970s, but also feature modern artists that incorporate disco nostalgia into their sound—think Silk Sonic, Doja Cat, Daft Punk and Dua Lipa. McLeod told SPR that St. Pete’s newest nightclub will play ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” as often as every half-hour.

The only other location of Good Night John Boy is in Cleveland, Ohio, where the owners of St. Pete’s upcoming night club recently relocated from. Forward Hospitality Group opened Cleveland’s Good Night John Boy less than a year ago.

That location's menu features a wide variety of bottled beer and wine,  and a speciality cocktail menu, which will include drinks like the “Dirty Ashtray”—a​ Miller High Life loaded with Tapatio hot sauce, salt, pepper and lime—as well as the popular “Disco Punch,” a rum-based punch served in a souvenir disco ball.

The decor in Cleveland features plenty of vinyl records adorning the walls, disco balls, earth-toned wallpaper, patterned shag carpeting and a light-up dance floor straight out of “Saturday Night Fever.”

And if you don’t know where the phrase “Good Night John Boy” comes from—you probably don’t know much about the 70's anyways. It was the iconic farewell line of the popular TV series "The Waltons," as each episode ended with the family saying good night to each other.

Laura Wood, a veteran bartender at Ringside Cafe, started noticing men in suits—escorted by limos—checking the space out in the fall of 2021, so Good Night John Boy’s Southern outpost has been in the works for at least a few months now.

And while Good Night John Boy prepares to open its doors by the end of April, the recently-displaced Ringside Cafe—which hosted its last gig on Jan. 29— is still searching for a new home in St. Petersburg.

Ringside’s former employees heard more rumors that the same folks behind the new nightclub were also turning St. Pete’s MacDinton’s into a western-themed bar, but only time will tell if that speculation reigns true there. Forward Hospitality Group owns and operates a wide variety of restaurants and bars throughout Ohio, but none are western-themed.

To keep up with the latest updates on Good Night John Boy’s build out, follow the Cleveland's Instagram at @goodnightjb and Facebook at @goodnightcle because there are no social media profiles for the upcoming St. Pete location yet.

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