Tarpon Springs business starts with an old shop — July 1996
The owner and his friends have worked two years to refurbish the future home of Neptune Lounge and Neptune Cyclery.
By Deanna Bellandi / St. Pete Times Staff Writer
TARPON SPRINGS – “Some men look at the world as it is and say, why? He looked at the world as it should be and said, why not? ”
That inscription is on a plaque that sits in the window of Eddie Mullally’s soon-to-be bicycle shop and bar just off the Pinellas Trail near Tarpon Avenue. The same might have been said of Mullally when he decided to locate his new business in a decrepit building.
A paraphrasing of writer George Bernard Shaw, that plaque was one of the few things Mullally salvaged from the old building that he – along with the help of a dozen friends – has transformed from an eyesore to an eye-catcher.
It’s in that 4,000-square-foot building at 13 Safford Ave. that Mullally hopes to create the latest downtown hot spot. His Neptune Lounge and Neptune Cyclery are scheduled to open next month.
“I never really realized what good friends I had until I did this,” said Mullally, 33, who sells lines of clothing.
Half the building will be a cycle shop, where people will be able to rent bikes and in-line skates, as well as buy bicycles and have them repaired. The other half of the building will be a bar where people go to hear musical acts.
Click to Read Article
Some neighbors are pleased about the new business.
I think it’ll be great,” said Pat McSparren, who owns the Coffee Depot next door. “It’ll be a real addition to the trail.”
“They’ve done a beautiful job of it,” she said.Odessa Tevis of the Tarpon Springs Historical Society commends the hard work to bring the building back to life.Mullally hopes his new business will succeed.”I love the location and love the trail,” he said.
Mullally still must apply for conditional-use approval from the City Commission for his business. He hopes to serve beer and wine once he has the proper state license. Walter Fufidio, the city’s planning director, said he doesn’t expect problems getting local permission for the new business.For two years, Mullally and a crew of friends have worked to renovate the building, which, when they started, was filled with debris and falling down. Mullally said he thinks the structure was built in 1905. It was a trophy shop and a bar but had been vacant for 10 years, he said. Twenty-three trash bins of junk were hauled out, and the building was stripped to its walls.
But not everything in the building was lost.
The plaque was saved. So were the wooden floor and ceiling rafters, which were refinished and used to make a bar, cabinets, ledges and doors.
“That’s all original wood,” he said, showing off the handiwork.
Mullally, who lives in Ozona, said friends encouraged him to tear the building down and start over. But he would have no part of it.
“This is the best case of taking lemons and making lemonade I’ve ever seen,” he said.
Best Beer and a Bicycle — 1997
Now this is the kind of idea we gladly embrace: bikes and beer. There’s no doubt that riding the Pinellas Trail in the punishing Florida sun takes a toll on both man and bike. It’s a given. That’s why when we’re pedaling around the quaint environs of Tarpon Springs and need to imbibe fluids of some sort, we stop at Neptune Lounge, conveniently located smack dab on the trail, for a little spirit-lifting. Should our tires be feeling as deflated as we are, we can take them for a little lift in the well-stocked bike shop next door. But please, don’t drink and ride.