Hail to the Queens: Queenshead bar opens in Grand Central today (video)

Located next to Beak’s on Central Avenue in a former gas station (most recently home to the 2501 Gallery of erotic-art-show fame), Queenshead promises to be a gleaming yet homey reinterpretation of the British pub, with a gay twist. There's good news in the food department: chef is Chris Green, who was second in command to Domenica Macchia at MJ’s. And the co-owners are charming as heck.

Paul Smith, 36, and Darren Conner, 40, a couple for 14 years, are from Manchester and Yorkshire, respectively. Smith, a former art director for Brit tabloids like the Daily Mirror and the Star, came to the states to work for the National Enquirer and the Globe; Conner has a variety of experience in the restaurant and bar biz. And they’ve always wanted to open a bar in a ‘50s gas station because they like the aesthetic (and the parking).

Look for seating and maybe even a beachy area outside, a sleek, curved white bar inside and — a tribute to Smith’s journalism past — a men’s room papered entirely in trashy front pages from London tabs with headlines like “LOST MOUNTAIN DWARF IS SAVED BY CHIHUAHUA.” 2501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, opening June 22, thequeensheadbar.com

Creative Loafing's Gay Issue hits the streets on Wednesday just in time for St. Pete Pride. During Pride Week, we'll be updating last year's Za-Gay Guide with news about bars, clubs and restaurants that are newly opened or recently renamed.

First up: The Queenshead Eurobar, opening today in St. Pete's Grand Central District. It's an updated version of a British pub, with good food and a gay sensibility — and be sure to check out what they've got on the walls of the men's room. More video after the break.


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