Bridge Street Merchants Assoc. expands its capability
SUN PHOTO/TOM VAUGHT Members of the Bridge Street
Merchants Association at the traffic circle on the
west end of Bridge Street. The east end is their
preferred location for the Bridge Street Market,
which must relocate this fall.
The Historic Bridge Street Merchants Association is now a 501(c)3 non-profit group.
This status will allow the group to live up to its mission statement: A merchant group dedicated to promoting Bridge Street, the Bradenton Beach community and its businesses.
The association began several years ago to expand its image as the city’s main commercial district, which began from an historic past when the area’s main commerce was fishing. Since the street’s rehabilitation that began more than 17 years ago, an upscale hotel, several restaurants for all tastes, boutiques ranging from fashionable to eclectic and businesses to service real estate have settled in. The recent refurbishment of the Historic Bridge Street Pier with a restaurant and a bait shop offers fishing, a bayfront vista and a place to snack for shoppers. Tampa TV channel 13 recently filmed its live morning show on Bridge Street to share with its audience a variety of things to see, taste and do.
“It makes perfect sense for my business to be positioned at one of the most interesting areas of the entire island,” said Lynn Zemmer, of Waterside Lending. “I love being on Bridge Street.”
The group strives to balance commerce with charity, taking first place as the winning fundraising team in this year’s Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.
Their outdoor market on Saturdays, held during season, features vendors offering fresh produce, unique gifts, live entertainment and more. It will relocate from an empty lot this year, possibly to Rotten Ralph's at the east end of Bridge Street.
Membership is open to those willing to work toward the group’s common goals and who own a business on or near Bridge Street. For more information, call 779-6836.