Independent Bar St. Petersburg is closing next month

For the last six years it’s been a champion of craft beer in the EDGE district.

click to enlarge In Independent Bar in St. Petersburg, Florida will host its last day on Oct. 2, 2022. - Photo via independentbarstpete/Facebook
Photo via independentbarstpete/Facebook
In Independent Bar in St. Petersburg, Florida will host its last day on Oct. 2, 2022.
A stronghold of local beer culture is bowing out of St. Petersburg next month. Independent Bar St. Pete will close its doors on Oct. 2, after six years in the Edge District.

The bar’s final days include a Burke Bros. Trio concert on Friday, Sept. 30. Indie St. Pete’s popular Sunday Jazz Project led by James Suggs—which owner Veronica Danko will probably miss more than anything—will be the last event, set for Sunday, Oct. 2.

“We are proud that we were the first to bring a World Class Beer Hall to this wonderful city and we are thankful for all of the support over the years," Danko, who co-founded Indie St. Pete in 2005, wrote in an email to Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. “This is a heartbreaking decision, but I am confident that it is the right one."

Danko used to live in St. Pete, and raised her daughter there, so selling the building—not the brand—is a tough move, especially since she’ll no longer have a place to see Indie St. Pete’s small staff and many loyal customers, including some who’ve been there since day one. “I will miss the link that I have to that community,” Danko added.

She told CL that she’s sold the building to a partnership group that includes Ryan Griffin, who’s involved in popular St. Pete concepts like The Mandarin Hide and TrophyFish. She would not disclose the financials behind the deal, but said that the sale allows her to to concentrate on other endeavors.
Independent St. Pete first opened in a different location in 2005 before closing in 2012. Four years later, Danko reopened as “Indie St. Pete 2.0” in its current location, 1049 Central Ave. After the closure, Independent, which once had a downtown Clearwater location, will operate solely out of its Seminole Heights spot, which celebrates its 13th anniversary this fall.

Over the last two years, it's been challenging for Danko to keep her businesses open and properly take care of her staffs. During the pandemic, and as the Tampa Bay restaurant industry navigates out of it, she became more motivated to simplify her life and take more time for family and friends.

“As much as it pains me to let go of this, I know it is the right decision. We never had any prior offers, but we became aware of some interest lately and a deal was made very quickly,” she said.