New Owners - Cafe Alma and Old Northeast Tavern

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Downtown St. Pete's Cafe Alma, which opened in 2002 and quickly became a popular spot known for a kick-ass bloody mary brunch, has been sold! Original owners Dwight and Catherine Watkins have decided to pursue other ventures, with new owners Scott Vogel and Tony Harahan taking over immediately.

Dan Soronen and Sarah Potter (that's them in the pic), who opened the Old Northeast Tavern (which I'll be profiling in next week's issue of CL) in 2006, will also be moving on. They built the place into a one-of a kind local joint, smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood, the kind of pub that's more community living room than bar/restaurant. They didn't really want to sell, but needed to help out ailing parents up North. Soronen told me that he and Potter are thinking about getting back into the business, perhaps later this year with a place on Coquina Key.

New owners Mark Brindle and Bob Wareham (he used to own Sea Critters on St. Pete Beach) promise no serious changes when they take over April 1st.

“We bought it because it’s working,” Wareham says. “We’ve got a good thing going here.” I think the neighbors will be happy to hear that.

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