Have you taken a look recently at what used to be Bruce Watters Jewelers space on Beach Drive? Wowzers, they've been busy. Today, Stillwaters Tavern management announced its culinary team as well as a target opening date of around June 20 on the heels of a fundraiser benefiting Great Explorations Children's Museum.
The 2B Hospitality (which also owns BellaBrava) project is yet another in a long list of ambitious newcomers downtown. With executive chef Jeffrey Jew at the helm, Stillwaters will debut with a staff of 130. Joshua Breen has been appointed chef de cuisine, and Christopher Kent has been named sous chef. Kent has spent the last five years at BellaBrava, most recently as a line cook, and Breen, a Johnson & Wales grad, came from a stint as chef of Kennedy's on the Square, a gastropub in Cambridge, Mass. Jew said that Breen was chosen because he exhibited "technique and an understanding of flavor profiles and efficiency that made him perfect for the job."
Jew, a Top Chef contestant and transplant from the Washington, D.C., area, has spent the past year developing recipes for the new project, refining the menu at BellaBrava, and getting involved in the local culinary community, often judging contests or working with the area's culinary students.
With his team in position, though, he now embarks on three weeks of intensive training at the 4,600-square-foot, 260-seat indoor-outdoor "modern American tavern."
Jew and the rest of the 2B crew — Robert Sanderson, Dyce Craig and Lee Karlins — have been reluctant to part with details about the menu, but the liquid focus will be on draft and local craft beer, as well as bourbons and whiskeys, and wines and cocktails on tap.
With a white brick facade and a modern industrial warehouse look, the building at 224 Beach Drive NE was designed by Robert Reid Wedding architects with furnishings by T2theS of St. Petersburg. Stillwaters will serve lunch, dinner and weekend brunch when it debuts after four "friends and family" working-out-the-kinks dinners.
Contact Laura Reiley at [email protected] or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley.