One of downtown St. Pete’s most historic buildings will soon be home to an upscale restaurant to match it. Fortu, an “elevated Pan-Asian steakhouse experience,” is opening this fall on the first floor of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in the former home of Ceviche.
The new concept is the latest from Shan Bakrac, who also owns Top Slice Pizzeria and the soon-to-open Black Cattle Burgers, both in downtown, as well. Fortu has been in the works for close to a year, and renderings unveiled today showcase a transformed space inside the historic hotel. Bakrac has quietly been building toward the opening, as anticipation among those in the know has grown steadily over the months. The release of these renderings is the first public glimpse into the exciting new concept.
While Fortu is labeled as a steakhouse, we’re told the menu will feature a wide range of entrees, shareable plates, and other dishes spanning a variety of Asian influences. The drinks program, serving cocktails and more from its swanky and plush bar, is expected to bring creative and impressive creations to restaurant guests.
The space itself was, of course, formerly home to Ceviche, which has since relocated to Beach Drive, leaving the place vacant for more than a year now. With its opening later this year, Fortu will join Novu Bistro and the Che Latin underground lounge as food, drink and nightlife options surrounding the historic hotel.
Meanwhile, Bakrac’s more casual concept Black Cattle Burgers is nearly ready for its debut, showcasing thin and crispy smash burgers, hand-battered chicken tenders, and soft serve ice cream. At a few pop-up test kitchen events, the burger joint has given out free samples, and the reviews have been quite promising.
Stay tuned to I Love the Burg for more updates as Fortu nears its grand opening.