Babalu Restaurant Has New Owners
The Fourth Street N eatery is a St. Petersburg institution.
ST. PETERSBURG -Babalu, a longstanding fixture in this city’s restaurant scene, has been sold and is under new management.
The restaurant, 9246 Fourth St. N, will remain open under new owners, Abuhamra and Sears, according to Realto Michael Holmes of Yellowtail Commercial Realty. Former owners Chip and Laurie Pitts operated the restaurant for more than 30 years with its casual restaurant and bar and “all American menu.”
The restaurant itself has been serving guests since 1946 when Fourth Street was an unpaved, two-lane road. It was initially a “drive up” food stand. Early renovations included a screened porch in 1947. A wine and beer bar was added, and the location became known as a popular gathering spot and pizzeria in the 1950s before the main restaurant was expanded in 1955.
In the 1970s, customers played pool and embraced the casual and popular menu items. By 1986, the menu slowly expanded to include more than 100 items and a full bar was added. Smoked fish spread has always been a popular item, and is still made fresh daily. Ribs made from its own smoker and Caribbean shrimp are award-winning menu items.
Holmes said the new owners intend to continue the “where everybody knows your name” atmosphere. Popular menu items from burgers and “World Famous Jumbo BABALU Wings” to grouper nuggets are still on the menu. And the popular weekend Bloody Mary bar will also continue. It begins at 9 a.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. Sundays.
Among changes that will be made are menu additions and breakfast is now available from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Entertainment options are in the works and customers are invited to enjoy weekly Karaoke on Wednesdays. Renovations are underway and a grand re-opening will be announced for March.
Babalu is open daily.
For information about Babalu, call (727) 576-7414 or go to babalueats.com.
Babalu | Restaurants | St. Pete | Business News | Fourth Street N | Dining | TB Reporter
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