UPDATE 1/20/20: Andy Salyards announced on January 20 that the restaurant is officially open. The Floribbean counter service restaurant is open for lunch and dinner at 2410 Central Avenue.
Urban Brew & BBQ has long been praised for its tasty pulled pork and fried green tomatoes, savory collared greens, killer sweet potato soufflé, and overall awesome roster of specials. When owner Andy Salyards consolidated Brew & BBQ and Comfort into one space, he brought the best of both foodie worlds to one sprawling restaurant.
He’s cultivated a space in the Grand Central District where BBQ fanatics, whiskey connoisseurs, shuffleboard stars, and craft beer enthusiasts can gather from day to night.
Crafting really food experiences on Central Avenue
When I first met Andy about 6 years ago he was cutting stone by hand for the beer garden out back at his first Urban Brew & BBQ space. He had just spent hours of work gluing wax pennies to the bathroom floor. To this day, I consider it one of the best bathrooms St. Pete ever had.
His commitment to creating a space for locals is what the Sunshine City is all about. Believing heavily in promoting from within, Salyards has also surrounded himself with ambitious employees ready to deliver their own culinary projects to the Sunshine City. With Floribbean, that’s exactly what’s going to happen.
Sal Merola, who has served as a kitchen manager with Urban Brew & BBQ for years, is set to deliver a quick service Florida-Caribbean fusion concept in the Grand Central District. Construction is currently underway on the former Urban Catering space at 2410 Central Avenue.
Tropical juices and build your own bowls
Floribbean will be all about counter service. You’ll be able to build your own bowl, or select from a list of curated dishes. Tropical juices, and craft beers will also be on the menu.
Salyards and Merola hope to open the restaurant before the end of 2019.
In the meantime, you can treat yourself to any of the flight nights at Urban Brew & BBQ, which are typically announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page. Salyards has a Veteran’s Day BBQ planned on November 11 beginning at 11am.
Learn about the craft of whisky at Urban Brew
On November 15, visitors can enjoy Suntory Toki. Urban Brew & BBQ is offering it neat, or in 2 featured cocktails beginning at 6pm that night.
Salyards also revealed plans for a potential Makers Market at the Urban Brew space. Makers Mark whisky, local vendors, we’re here for it.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a William Faulkner quote Salyards read to me before we ended our interview at his restaurant:
“Civilization begins with distillation.”
Sip on that, St. Pete.