The Merchant opens in new space on the 600 Block, adding a wine, cheese, and chocolate bar

UPDATE 5/3/20: The Merchant St. Pete will officially open on Monday, May 4. The store will of course follow CDC guidelines. The Merchant will operate at 25% occupancy and will observe social distancing guidelines.

You can see a full list of vendors at The Merchant’s website, Facebook, and Instagram page.

For now, The Merchant will focus on its main merchandise, and artist products, with the food concept planned further down the line. The store also currently has masks and hand sanitizers.

The shop will be open from 11am-6pm.

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It is a really good time for food lovers in the Sunshine City. The newest addition to the 600 Block’s roster is The Rendezvous Room, a wine, cheese, chocolate, and charcuterie bar. This savory new concept will be a part of the expanded Merchant St. Pete Store.

There’s a great shuffle currently occurring on the block. White Owl Market is preparing to leave the block and entering a massive warehouse space at 2770 25th Street North, and the Enchanted Apothecary is moving into the old St. Pete Shirt Co. space at 655 Central Avenue. The Merchant, in turn, is taking over the entire left side of the Crislip Arcade at 645 Central Avenue.

Featuring 80+ Tampa Bay makers and artists 

For those who don’t know. Merchant – St. Pete is the purveyor of all things local. Jennifer Athena’s shop features a curated selection of art, candles, jewelry, clothing, mugs, cards, sweets and more from more than 80 Tampa Bay area vendors.

Merchant’s new space allows Athena to expand the offerings. The Merchant team just knocked down the wall between the former Bijou Boutique (which moved to 2448 Central Ave), and the space behind it.

5 different rooms to explore

There will be 5 rooms with different featured sections: Bath, Body, and Candles; Pantry; St. Pete Souvenirs; Jewelry; Apparel.

At the way back will be “The Rendezvous Room” which will be a wine/craft beer/cider/cheese/charcuterie/chocolate bar.

“We will have wrought-iron bistro tables along the arcade, a few tables in the shop and then a community table out front.,” wrote Jennifer Athena in a direct message to I Love the Burg. “We plan to have some themed cheeseboards – California Dreaming, Southern Comfort, Prohibition, and much more.”

European-style brunch boards

There will be a  wide variety of wines, local craft beers and ciders to accompany the cheeseboards. Athena notes The Rendezvous Room will also host a Sunday brunch featuring European-style cheese and charcuterie brunch boards with mimosas.

The menu will include specialty wine/champagne cocktails, as well as some beer cocktails, according to Athena.

I still plan to get my Salty Sisters Popcorn and Dark Cycle tee shirt fix at their original 600 Block Shop.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to