Close this search box.
Close this search box.
Close this search box.

The Galley celebrates 7th anniversary with huge weekend extravaganza

The Galley celebrates 7th anniversary with huge weekend extravaganza

People inside a bar

Get your pirate hats *and* your spandex ready – one of the biggest weekends of the year in Tampa Bay is here, an appropriate birthday party for one of downtown St. Pete’s most loved local haunts. The Galley, located at 27 4th St N, is marking its 7th anniversary this weekend with three full days of celebration while the entire region welcomes Gasparilla and the WWE Royal Rumble to town.

Before we wax poetic about The Galley being one of our favorite homegrown watering holes, we should note the part they play in this annual weekend. As they do every year, The Galley will be hosting its Pre-Gasparilla “Shipwrecked” Party on Thursday night (January 25) featuring food and drink specials, karaoke, live music, and a bar pull of patrons all dressed in their best pirate gear.

People inside a bar

Owner Pete Boland says offerings will include a customer appreciation menu, replete with liquor and cocktail specials and island-themed cuisine, such as a soft shell crab po-boy and “dirty pirate fritters.” Galley Partner and bartender Joey Frasco has created a cocktail he dubs “The Silent Order,” of which few details have been shared, though Boland described it as “an experience cocktail” that ensnares all the senses. And to celebrate the special anniversary, Josh Magwood will be taking the stage – the same musician who played on opening night seven years ago.

Whether you’re crossing the bridge Saturday for the parade in Tampa or staying in town to avoid the chaos, Thursday night operates as St. Pete’s unofficial Gasparilla party (and an excellent opportunity to give your pirate costumes a test run).

And of course, on Saturday, The Galley will show Royal Rumble on all screens (as they do every year), so if you couldn’t get tickets to see it at The Trop, we recommend heading to The Galley.

St. Pete’s “Legit Local” tavern

A Cuban sandwich on left, and crab legs on the right

With so many outside organizations and investment groups opening bars and restaurants downtown, The Galley is proud to be St. Pete’s “legit local” tavern, with owners and operators (and even the entire investment team) having been born and raised in the Burg. As St. Pete continues to grow, that of course means more people will come in from elsewhere, and the boom our city is experiencing is (mostly) reason for celebration. New faces are always welcomed, which is part of what makes St. Pete so special and hospitable.

But within those changes, it’s meaningful to celebrate the roots of the city, the arts community it has fostered, and the local success stories that have made St. Pete so desirable to begin with. The Galley is a perfect example of a team of locals who worked their way through the industry, got their opportunity, and managed to create a spot in downtown that is not only successful, but can comfortably be considered a gathering place for locals.

Take founders Pete Boland and Ian Taylor, for example: a pair of locals who spent years in the service industry, learning more and more as they went, eventually reaching the point that they were able to open their place seven years ago. Naturally, they made it a laid-back spot for locals, where for nearly seven years they have delivered on their goal of “Beach Drive quality food with Central Avenue-style fun.”

People shaking hands
Joey Frasco welcomed to ownership team

What’s particularly impressive is how The Galley has grown (including outstanding cocktail bar The Ship’s Hold next door), and how it has supported its internal team in doing so. Rob Camera has been with The Galley for six years, nearly the entirety of its existence, growing part-time to full time bartender, becoming one of the elite team at Ship’s Hold, taking the lead with special events, and now recently being named the Creative and Culinary Director for The Galley and Ship’s Hold.

Right alongside him, Joey Frasco has been part of the team for four years, a journey that started as a part-time bartender, grew into beverage director at Ship’s Hold, and has now resulted in being part of the ownership team and official Partner at The Galley and Ship’s Hold.

The Galley is a dream made reality

The outside of a bar

For all the success The Galley has had these last seven years, the venture was viewed by many as a longshot when Boland and Taylor announced their plans. As bustling and spread out as downtown is now, The Galley’s address was a bit less desirable all those years ago. But the founding duo believed in the future of St. Pete, had a vision for what they thought downtown would become, and were willing to bet their life’s experience (and savings) on it.

“Seven years ago, they told us it was a bad location and we wouldn’t make it,” Boland recalled. “But here we are. As downtown has grown, so have we.”

“We’re a homegrown place,” he added. “We’re a self-made, American dream. We built this thing from the ground up. This is what we do. We took a chance on St. Pete embracing this kind of thing. We’re an underdog place that always tries to exceed expectations.”

To their credit, Boland and Taylor had the right experiences to do so. In addition to their years in the local hospitality industry, they had plenty in their back pocket to add the confidence of investors who bought in with them. Boland in fact went to culinary school at the Art Institute of Tampa, while Taylor is a Navy vet (and USF grad) who became a specialist in demo and buildout through skills in metalwork and woodwork. Early on in their professional careers, with their talents combined, they helped establish many downtown favorites and assisted in the buildout of a myriad of local bars and restaurants.

People raising a toast
Photo courtesy The Ship’s Hold

Take all of that experience and pair it with a camaraderie and trust that goes back to their days on the St. Pete High School wrestling team together, and it’s no surprise their venture has worked so well. Their laid-back yet highly-experienced and attentive approach has created a venue emblematic of the city – a place where you can arrive flip-flop fancy in the summer, or enjoy a well-earned night on the town with great food and amazing cocktails. Or, just catch a game and have some crab legs and beer.

“When you go to another city, you’re looking for a place like this,” Boland said. “We’re a place that personifies what the city is all about. We’re filling that void of being a truly local spot. We have local music and local cuisine and support of our local sports teams.”

Follow The Galley on Facebook and Instagram for more information and updates. The Galley is open daily from 11:30 am – 3 am. See the full food and drink menu at


Subscribe Now

Don’t miss out on All Things Good in the Burg 👉

Stay connected to All Things Good in the Burg by subscribing today.