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Concrete Jungle now open, a two-story, Tulum-inspired restaurant and bar

Concrete Jungle now open, a two-story, Tulum-inspired restaurant and bar

The exterior of Concrete Jungle

In one of St. Pete’s longest anticipated moves, an iconic downtown venue has been given new life. Hunger Thirst Group (HTG) announced that Concrete Jungle, a Tulum-inspired restaurant and bar, is now officially open at 475 Central Avenue in the former Iberian Rooster space.

Reservations are now available on Open Table, and the restaurant opens at 11:30 am daily (see the full menu here), open through dinner and into late-night drinks, and also open at 10:30 am for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. The ground floor is the primary sit-down restaurant space, while the basement bar will stay open late for cocktails and music. We got a sneak peek at Concrete Jungle and came away highly impressed with the newest HTG concept, from food and drink to ambience and service alike.

The interior of Concrete Jungle
The entrance to the downstairs bar

In addition to bringing a unique concept to St. Pete, Concrete Jungle is reviving one of the city’s best bar and restaurant venues. The two-story space is inside the historic Kress building, and the dual first-level and below-ground areas give HTG founder Stephen Schrutt plenty of room to get creative with his latest passion project.

The food menu at Concrete Jungle, available daily for lunch and dinner, places an emphasis on lighter and healthier dishes such as jackfruit flautas, charred watermelon, wood-fired catch of the day, and other creations inspired by Tulum and the Yucatán Peninsula. The cocktail program showcases two different styles, with the main bar on the first floor providing an “easy-drinking cocktail list with a fresh and light focus,” while the intimate downstairs bar will heavily feature tequila and mezcal cocktails.

The downstairs bar at Concrete Jungle
The downstairs bar

“I have always loved this historic building and space since the first time I saw it back in 2012,” Schrutt said. “It’s been a long process, but it’s been really cool to be able to bring my vision to life. I think the two levels of the space really help bring the duality of the concept together. It’s a place that people can enjoy no matter the time of day.”

For the new HTG concept, Schrutt has tapped Executive Chef Jason Gordon to lead the kitchen. Both beverage programs have been curated by Niall McCourt, the current beverage manager of Lost & Found St. Pete.

The menu has a long list of shared plates, from ahi tostadas and Spanish octopus, to crispy brussels sprouts and savory chicken skewers. The flatbreads come highly recommended, as well, and we can speak from experience that both the hanger steak and the Oaxacan pappardelle are stars on the entree list. We didn’t get a taste of them ourselves, but we’re told the hot honey churros are the star of the dessert menu.

Food at Concrete Jungle

The Concrete Jungle development has been in the works for over two years as the HTG team has made significant renovations to improve the beloved space. Former Iberian Rooster regulars will be particularly happy to hear that part of Schrutt’s updates include the addition of bathrooms downstairs – no more walking upstairs every time.

Concrete Jungle joins the robust lineup of HTG concepts, including The Avenue, Park & Rec, No Vacancy, Good Fortune, Lost & Found, Dirty Laundry, and the soon-to-open Summer Camp bar HTG announced earlier this summer. Follow Concrete Jungle on Instagram for more updates as they approach opening day.


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