One of downtown St. Pete’s most loved local haunts turns a year older this week, and the popular tavern is throwing a huge three-day celebration of food, drink and pirates in honor of the occasion. The Galley, located at 27 4th St N, is marking its 6th anniversary this Thursday-Saturday with what it is calling a chance to show appreciation to the community that has been so supportive since opening.
With so many outside organizations opening bars and restaurants downtown, The Galley is proud to be St. Pete’s “legit local” tavern, with owners, 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.
This weekend, owners and staff are taking their opportunity to celebrate that success with three days of all things local and good, showcasing live music, a Gasparilla pre-party, and great deals on food and drink.
Celebrate St. Pete’s legit local tavern
The party starts on Thursday with the appropriately-themed pirate party, as all staff at the nautically-themed bar will be in pirate gear, and guests are encouraged to dress up as well. 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). There will also be “Dirty Pirate Karaoke” with T2X Karaoke.
The party continues into the weekend with live music every night, food specials daily, and drink specials from Captain Morgan and Jameson, including $8 carbombs and Navy Grog. And of course, there will be live music all weekend. Radio Silent plays from 6-10 pm Friday, followed by DJ Wildcard until 3 am. On Saturday, the Josh Magwood Duo kicks things off from 5-8 pm, with Chris Powers taking the mic from 9 pm – midnight.
Our favorite special for the weekend, however, is buy-one, get-one TB Cuban sandwiches, The Galley’s excellent take on the classic dish. Made with fresh bread from La Segunda and topped with salami (in addition to the usual ingredients), it’s truly a Tampa Bay Cuban, and also a nod to the last names of co-founders Ian Taylor and Pete Boland.
That said, we’re particularly excited for a sneak peek into the culinary future of The Galley, which we’ll get at this weekend’s festivities. Boland recently brought on Chef Andy Dolan as the new culinary director for their hospitality group, a name many may know from his celebrated Vanchetta food truck. This weekend, Dolan will be dishing up a variety of new creations and fresh catch specials as he begins exploring new culinary frontiers for The Galley.
The move is yet another nod to The Galley’s ultimate goal. Since opening six years ago, in what was then considered perhaps not the most desirable location, the team’s goal has been to provide downtown with “Beach Drive quality food and Central Avenue-style fun.” This weekend will be an apt celebration of that mission.
“Six 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. This is our way of saying thanks for giving all the support over the years.”
And of course, neighboring bar The Ship’s Hold will be getting in on the action with specialty cocktails from Joey Frasco and his team, as well as drink and food specials all weekend. And as a reminder, the kitchen is always open late at both The Galley and The Hold (midnight corndog nuggets, anyone?)