In one of St. Pete’s longest anticipated moves, an iconic downtown venue is set to get new life. Hunger Thirst Group (HTG) announced this morning that Concrete Jungle, a Tulum-inspired restaurant and bar, is opening at 475 Central Avenue in the former Iberian Rooster space.
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, will place 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 will showcase 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.
“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 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.
While an opening timeline has not yet been shared, the announcement indicates that the years-long project is nearing its grand opening. Once that day comes, Concrete Jungle will open at 11:30 am on weekdays for lunch and dinner service, and 10:30 am on weekends for brunch and dinner service.
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.