Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, September 12, 2021

Somewhat surprisingly, downtown St. Pete’s Ovo Cafe shut down last week.

I seem to remember strolling past the Ovo last week — on the way to another restaurant further down Central Avenue. Which, I guess, says it all.

The Ovo was indeed a bright spot in downtown for a long while. It was the only refined-looking place for blocks. That said, it was probably a bit out of place. The last time I ate there was for a power lunch several months ago, and I noticed how empty it was. I can’t recall the last time I saw it even half-full, even on a Friday or Saturday night. You can run on fumes for only so long.

I guess I knew the Ovo location in Ybor had shut down a while back, but I can’t say I remember where it used to be on 7th Avenue. The Ybor spot predated the St. Pete, and probably the Sarasota one as well. Now they’re all gone.

It’s funny how eateries that you assume are local institutions manage to disappear so suddenly. I figured Ovo would be around for several more years.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 09/12/2021 10:03:51 PM
Category: Florida Livin' | Permalink |


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  1. Bottom line: Too Expensive. I always wondered how anyone could afford to eat there on a regular basis, and now I know the answer. They either couldn’t or wouldn’t.

    Not that there aren’t much more expensive places that are able to stay open, but Ovo didn’t really do anything that made it special enough menu-wise to warrant the high prices. Plus, they set the place up in such a way that it was difficult to do any kind of cross-promotion like open mic nights or poetry slams or whatever. A lot of restaurants have to do stuff like that to drum up regulars. They were always too cool for stuff like that.

    And maybe thats the real problem. For me, Ovo always seemed like it had this air of coolness about it that made it unapproachable. I ate and drank there a few times, and I always felt like the staff had a ‘my shit dont stink’ kind of attitude, like they were doing YOU a favor by waiting on you.

    Maybe none of its true, but they’re history now.

    Comment by The Belt — 09/13/2004 @ 07:24:47 AM

  2. I frequented the Ovo in Ybor (SW corner 7th and 19th, if ya care), and received the same sort of attitude from the staff that the Belt got… Not every time, but often enough to make an impression. It seemed to me that if you weren’t a “regular,” you were not nearly as important… An attitude problem found in many places, really.

    Comment by tommy — 09/13/2004 @ 10:59:29 AM

  3. Geez… it was the SouthEAST corner…

    Comment by tommy — 09/13/2004 @ 11:00:19 AM

  4. […] Thursday, September 16, 2021 ADIOS MALIO’S Right on the heels of St. Pete’s Ovo Cafe shutting down, Tampa institution Malio’s […]

    Pingback by Population Statistic — 09/16/2004 @ 10:49:22 PM

  5. A LUNCHING SENDOFF

    T-minus-one day. And so, today was time for the customary goodbye lunch.
    I enjoyed it. A good portion of office crew set out down the street for Bella Brava. I was quite pleased with the choice of locale; Brava is in the spot of the former Ovo Cafe. …

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 12/08/2021 @ 11:37:45 PM

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