A pair of St. Pete’s most anticipated openings took place over the last week, as rooftop bar Cane & Barrel welcomed guests for the first time as part of the grand opening of the AC Hotel by Marriott in the heart of downtown at 110 2nd St N.
The hotel itself has, of course, been years in the making, and since news first came out last year about the rooftop bar opening as part of the development, downtown has been readily anticipating its debut.
On the 8th floor rooftop, Cane & Barrel is a Cuban-inspired concept, “designed to capture the colorful energy of Havana nights,” featuring a 1,000 square foot indoor bar and seating area and a sprawling, 1,900 square foot outdoor deck, complete with its own walk-up cocktail bar. The bar pairs its rum and tequila-forward cocktails with a highly-snackable food menu, heavy on Cuban and Caribbean influence.
Stars of the cocktail menu include Bird Of Paradise, a tropical and easy-drinking rum concoction, Cane & Smoke (their take on a rum old fashioned), and the Cafecito, a minty and chocolatey espresso martini. For something to eat, the kitchen is rolling out flatbreads, a Cuban sandwich, empanadas, croquettas, and a strong list of small plates highlighted by picadillo queso dip, crispy plantains, red pepper meatballs, yucca fries, and tostones.
Cane & Barrel is accessible by elevator, open late night every day, beginning at 4 pm Monday-Thursday, and 11 am Saturday and Sunday.
AC Hotel brings multiple bars and restaurants to downtown nightlife
Elsewhere in the AC Hotel, the lobby is home to an exquisite new bar and restaurant, with the AC Kitchen offering both breakfast and dinner service daily. The AC Lounge, which welcomes guests with its gleaming bar in the middle of the lobby, is open from 5-11:30 pm every day, with dinner service running until 10 pm.
The ground-level AC Lounge offers more of an American cocktail menu, though certainly with Floridian influences, as seen in the Pinellas Punch or the Sunshine State of Mind, an orange-forward twist on an old fashioned.
The kitchen menu inside AC Lounge offers a long list of options, with flatbreads, salads, loaded toast plates, burgers, NY strip steak, wings, pasta, and more. By morning, the AC Kitchen will offer European-inspired eats for breakfast.
Along with the grand opening, big news came for the entire hotel itself, as OTO Development, which is part of The Johnson Group, announced it had purchased and will operate the hotel. The hotel features 172 sleek, modern guestrooms – including a dozen suites – as well as an outdoor pool, a well-equipped fitness center, and 1,800 square feet of meeting space. AC Hotel is part of Ascent St. Petersburg, a mixed use and residential development that is also now open.
“Located in the heart of St. Petersburg, Ascent will provide an unparalleled rental housing experience in the Tampa Bay region,” David King, Senior Director of Development, said. “It has a creative and eccentric interior that complements its modern exterior, which is emphasized by expansive glass balconies at nearly every unit. Overall, Ascent connects with St. Pete’s vibrant energy and creates an environment where residents can feel like they vacation where they live.”
The podium-style high-rise will reach 36 stories with 357 units that feature floorplans that include studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms as well as penthouse units with elevated finishes and access to dedicated penthouse amenities. Ascent St. Pete boasts a 94 percent walkability score.