The 600 block of Central Avenue is a cool place for artsy boutiques and galleries, and alleyways that give way to the unexpected delights of the broad, eye-popping brush strokes of murals painted on the blank canvas of outdoor walls.
"It's certainly a place that draws a lot of art," says Ann Shuh. "We have a lot of unique boutiques. We have murals on every block."
Shuh is the owner of Sunspot Fresh Bar
, a new health food eatery that fits snugly into the 600 block's hip niche in downtown St. Petersburg. The restaurant, at 601 Central Ave., is home to a rotating gallery of work by local artists, notably Derek Donnelly, the founder of the artist-cooperative Saint Paint Arts
and Sunspot's art curator.
Sunspot is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Shuh plans soon to offer beer and wine and add evening hours.
The continental-style breakfast menu includes an assortment of pastries, yogurt, granola and oatmeal. For lunch, customers can grab a wrap or salad to go, or stay awhile to enjoy art and conversation. The salad bar, wraps and sandwiches offer organic, vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.
"Our concept is very simple," Shuh says. "We buy at a number of local markets. Our produce is always fresh."
The "fresh bar" of salad ingredients is open until 2 p.m.
The artwork is a special treat for customers. In addition to paintings by Donnelly, including three of his murals, artwork by Sean Young is currently on display. Work will change regularly.
"They'll see many different styles," Shuh says. "We hope (Sunspot Fresh Bar) will be a place that tourists (and others) will come to and take home art with them."
Writer: Kathy Steele
Source: Ann Shuh, Sunspot Fresh Bar