St. Pete’s biggest producer of spirits is making moves to turn its property into a destination for whiskey, pizza and art lovers alike. St. Petersburg Distillery has long been formulating plans for public nightlife and gathering spaces on its sprawling property in the Warehouse Arts District, and the first moves are taking place now.
At the debut of Chad Mize’s new studio and the SPACE gallery over the weekend, we got our first look at what’s coming to the celebrated distillery. Mize’s new studio is one of several activations in the expansive area surrounding the production facilities, which will soon include fresh-baked dinners, cocktails, live music, and big events.
One piece of the pie we’re particularly excited for is Cala at St. Petersburg Distillery, a restaurant partnership between Cala Italian Kitchen and the distillery itself. An entire mobile kitchen has been constructed for the project, complete with a wood-fired oven imported from Italy. The 40-foot commercial outdoor kitchen will allow Cala (the minds who have been running Italy Bottega the last two years, and are opening a full-service restaurant soon in Grand Central) to dish up sandwiches, meats and cheeses, wine, cocktails, and of course, scratch-made Italian pizzas.
Alongside all of this is a repurposed shipping container bar featuring cocktails and spirits from St. Pete Distillery, whose deep lineup of liquors includes delicious rums, vodkas, whiskeys and more. Following Mize’s opening this weekend, Cala at the Distillery is expected to open this April.
Of course, food and drink aren’t all that’s being added. As St. Petersburg Distillery develops the space, it also creating a home for live music, outdoor celebrations, al fresco dining in the garden, and whatever events they can come up with to host in the new area.
Those 21 years and older are welcome to stop into the distillery’s beautiful tasting room any day of the week for samples and plenty of bottles to choose from. But this on-property expansion allows the distillery to function as a nights-and-weekends destination, more like popular breweries in the area such as 3 Daughters or Green Bench who are a nightlife destination and production/distribution facility in one.
While we wait to see the full menu at Cala (and anxiously await their opening in Grand Central, as well), owners gave us a sneak peek at some sandwiches and calzones that look absolutely mouthwatering. Stay tuned to I Love the Burg for updates on their opening.