For months, questions have swirled around town regarding the fate of the old Captain’s Pizza as well as the future of the Main Street Market.
Ever since the landmark restaurant was forced to shutter its doors following a report detailing a number of health code violations back in September, speculation has run rampant about what would become of the building.
Now, after months of rumors and wrangling, the news is official – according to owner Bill Bailey, Main Street Market will move into the former home of Captain’s Pizza, where the business will be folded into a new surf & turf and grocery mart.
“We’re going to open an upscale surf and turf market where we’ll sell meat, seafood, groceries and other specialty items,” Bailey said from the location last week. “We’re real excited about it.”
Bailey and his wife, Dawn, have been trying to find a more permanent home for their market ever since they moved to town earlier this year.
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Following an outpouring of support from the community and the city commission at a meeting regarding the fate of the market, the Baileys knew they wanted to make Safety Harbor home for their family and their business.
And although a prior attempt to secure a location downtown fell through, Bailey says everything worked out for the best.
“This is going to work out so much better for us,” he said. “We own this building, and we believe it’s a great spot.”
Bailey is currently in the process of completely gutting the old building and prepping it for its transformation from a restaurant to a market.
The new shop will have an open floor plan, with shelves and cases full of gourmet and organic foods as well as grocery staples like milk, bread and eggs.
Of course the produce will also be there, and possibly a spot for a small café. Bailey also plans to host wine tastings as well.
“We might grow into a café. We’re going to see what the community wants,” said Bailey, who added that the Main Street Market would remain open until the new place is ready sometime this spring.
Whatever the market becomes, Bailey believes it will be one of many new businesses that are helping to change the face of downtown.
“I’m excited. This place could revolutionize the downtown district.”
Harborites, what are your thoughts on this news? Let us know in the comments below.