New St. Pete 'conversation bar' offers quieter nightlife experience

By Saundra Weathers, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, April 14, 2017, 4:02 PM EDT

Think bars are too loud and crowded, but you still want to go out and have a drink?  St. Pete bar owner Peggy Wesselink may just have the perfect spot for your next night out.

  • Room 901 on 1st Ave. S. is a "conversation bar"
  • No TVs; music, lights low; decor meant to spark conversation
  • Unveiling scheduled for April 15

Wesselink owns a "conversation bar" called Room 901 on First Avenue South in St Pete. She said her bar offers something others don’t.

“It’s hard to describe exactly what it is, because we offer many of the same options -- obviously liquor is liquor and beer is beer," said Wesselink. "It is more of an experience that we offer that is much different.”

That experience, according to Wesselink, includes quiet music and people who come out to have a good conversation and a drink.

“Most people who come in are surprised there’s no TV’s. The music is low," said Wesselink. "The lights are also low, but once they see what we do here, they see the connection between being able to talk about what you’re drinking, talk about bourbons and understand them, talk to your date -- it’s a great first date place."

Of course, any good conversation bar has to have conversation pieces. That’s where Amanda McMohon and her team come in.

They’ve created visuals that includes a :book wall" that will cover the walls at Room 901.

“You can’t remove them from the wall -- they are mounted on there tight,” McMohon said.

It’s a creation that’s both fashionable and functional.

“It’s a 20-foot by 12-foot wall that was originally designed, and the whole concept was, to absorb sound,” she said.

Keeping with the book theme, they’ve also created another wall that looks like a card catalogue for the wall behind the bar.

Those creative decor details, among other factors, have Wesselink pretty confident the crowds in search of quieter social spaces will soon be pouring into the bar.  

Room 901 plans to have its unveiling on Saturday, April 15.