ST. PETERSBURG — South St. Pete has a new neighbor that is drawing a crowd to its porch.
The Porch Bar and Lounge is a small local bar located at 1239 4th St. S, near downtown. Since opening in mid-August, customers have been finding the place through Facebook and word-of-mouth.
“It’s looking optimistic so far,” said owner Marcus Anderson.
The Porch turns up the volume on the weekends with Friday’s Happy Hour, which features karaoke music and dance from 6-11 p.m., and continues with Reggae Dance Hall at 11 p.m. Saturday nights are Grown and Sexy nights starting at 10 p.m., where women can get in for free.
“The vibe you get when you walk through the door is different from other bars I have been in,” said Jondae Solomon, one of the Porch’s bartenders. “It is a very laid back vibe here.”
The Porch offers drinks such as Long Island or Texas teas for $4, well drinks for $5, daiquiris for $10 and hookahs for $15.
A St. Pete native, Anderson graduated from Lakewood High School in 2003 and from the University of South Florida in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in criminology.
By day, Anderson is the CEO of Tampa Bay Behavioral Health Center. Since 2011, he has helped patients with emotional and behavioral problems with psychosocial therapies and resources.
The building that his bar currently occupies was the health center’s old space, but as the operation grew the office became too small. Anderson transferred the health center to 58th Avenue North, and with the building still in his name, he got the inspiration to start a lounge area.
“It’s something I always wanted to do for the community,” he said.
Anderson also owns two other storefronts next door, Marc’s Wash and Fold Laundromat and Area 26, a recording studio for music and podcasts.
“It is a difficult process to work almost like 24 hours a day,” said the 31-year-old entrepreneur. “I have always been a motivated person.”
Anderson next focus will be to provide food service with options at the bar, such as food trucks or installing a kitchen. He’s also looking at other party themes such as Teen Night and Salsa Night.
“Still needs more character,” Anderson said about his latest venture.
The Porch is getting ready to host the after party for 95.7 Beats By The Bay, a music festival being held this Saturday, Oct. 22 at Vinoy Park. The party starts at 10 p.m. and will go non-stop until 3 a.m. Live music and drink specials will be featured.
For more info, visit their Facebook page or call (727) 800-9739