New Vinoy restaurant named with nod to St. Pete history

By Katie Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, February 19, 2018, 9:16 AM EST

The Vinoy Renaissance Resort plans to add a little more history to its iconic grounds with a new restaurant opening later this month.

  • New restaurant to be named 'Paul's Landing'
  • Named for early settler of St. Petersburg
  • Restaurant scheduled to open Feb. 19

"The Vinoy always matches where historic meets hip, and this trendy new restaurant is grounded in a real person named William Paul," General Manager Barbara Readey said.

Hotel historians said William Paul was one of the earliest settlers in St. Petersburg.

"William Paul was a carpenter in the Navy," Director of Restaurant Operations Mark Heimann said. "Back in the 1850's, the Navy was trying to create a railroad depot. They found this land and [Paul] quickly built a barracks and a smokehouse."

Paul reportedly called the area where the Vinoy now sits "Paul’s Landing." He loved the area so much, he brought his family there to start a new life.

"He brought some orange seedlings with him, and planted the first orange grove in South Central Florida and lived here for several years," Heimann said.

The Vinoy is bringing back "Paul’s Landing" with a waterfront bar and restaurant. Heimann is incorporating history into the menus.

"We pulled the smoke from the smokehouse, the citrus from the citrus grove he had, and the seafood from the fish he caught in the gulf," Heimann said.

Paul’s Landing will open to the general public on Feb. 19.