Meet The Graysons

The Grayson Family

The Grayson family lived and owned business in St. Petersburg, Florida during the mid 1900s. The family was very influential in the African American business growth of St. Pete. They were considered a family to look up to at a time when many African American families were still figuring how to make a living in a predominately white world. During this time in St. Pete, many people still struggled to trust an African American owned businesses.


The family who included their mom and dad, and three children moved to St. Pete in the 1920s. The dad worked a seasonal job in the hotel business while the mom stayed home to care for the children and run their two businesses. The father’s job kept him traveling often, so Mrs. Grayson was head of their family and businesses. The family owned two cafes in south St. Pete that were very popular among the black community during this time.

                             A beer garden & cafe located at 1337 3rd Ave S

                            The Ronrico Club – tavern and cafe located at 938 3rd Avenue S

grayswillie                 “We established a good business and a    

                                             good reputation, and customers kept coming back.”

                                    – Mrs. Grayson

One of the cafes, The Ronrico Club was known to host big name local bands such as George Cooper on their outdoor patio. Since opening their businesses, much more black owned cafe and taverns starting popping up all over the city. The Beer Garden and Tavern had been at the location since 1337. Their business gave hope to others in the community that they could succeed in the business world of St. Pete.