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Kress Building Gets New Tenants

Margarita Mama's and Banana Joe's will occupy the first floor and the basements of the Kress Building, which is located at 475 Central Ave.

The Kress Building in downtown St. Petersburg is getting new tenants for its first floor and basement. 

According to a report by the Tampa Bay Times, Margarita Mama's and Banana Joe's will open at the location currently housed by rug store.

The two establishments closed their Channelside location in 2009, according to the Times. 

St. Pete resident Samuel Boutros bought the building, which is located at 475 Central Ave., in 2011. He told the Times that despite Margarita Mama's and Banana Joe's former reputation, that is not going to happen in St. Pete. 

"I know there was some stuff that happened in Tampa. That's not going to be the case here. (The owner) is aiming for a more upscale crowd this time around," Boutros said.

In 2005, according ESPN, Banana Joe's made national headlines after a sex scandal involving Carolina Panther cheerleaders happened inside the bar. 

Two Carolina Panthers cheerleaders who witnesses told police were having sex with each other in a bathroom stall at a Tampa, Fla., nightclub were arrested and charged early Sunday following a run-in with patrons and police. 

The public opinion also must improve. According to business review sites Citysearch, Yelp and Yellow Pages, Margarita Mama's had overwhelming negative reviews. 

Citysearch, with the average review of 1 1/2 stars, had a person comment on Margarita Mama's, "Worst Mexican Food EVER.. I hate giving it one star, but there is no negative 10 so that was the best option."

William Mansell May 24, 2012 at 03:25 PM
Good for downtown?

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