Good news for those who like to eat, drink and hang around downtown Safety Harbor: Bar Fly is expanding its business to include food and a much larger floor plan in the near future.
According to owner Jeff Harrell, work on the new addition, known as Bar Fly Saltwater Grill, will be completed sometime in December inside the adjacent property formerly occupied by Great Clips.
The expansion will allow Harrell to serve food and nearly triple his seating space.
“The capacity is approved for 75 people,” he said of the new layout, which will include a doorway to allow passage through from the original bar to the new grill.
“That allows us to seat a more people, still have our live music, and provide food for our customers.”
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Harrell, who opened on 3rd Friday in March, said he had heard so many of his patrons say they wish he served food that he knew he had to do something about it.
“Almost every little bar you go to, they have some kind of food,” he said. “People expect that when they’re out drinking.”
With the recent vacancy of the storefront right next to his spot in the Harbour Pointe plaza, Harrell saw it as a chance to help his business while increasing foot traffic for the whole downtown.
“The opportunity to expand came knocking, and I jumped on it,” he said. “I want to be here for a while, and I think with everybody doing their own thing, it all helps drive people downtown.”
The grill will specialize in Gulf-style seafood, including peel-and-eat shrimp, fish tacos, raw oysters and crab legs, and the décor will still feature local artists’ works, both for sale and display.
And according to Harrell, the new grill will keep with the theme of the original bar.
“It will have the same vibe, same music, same Fly beer and style, but with more room, more space to bring the family, listen to music, eat and have a good time.”