ST. PETERSBURG — With coffee, ice cream and sweet liqueur, a new date-night spot is hoping to bring something sweet to downtown St. Petersburg.
Beans & Barlour is a new craft coffee bar and dessert lounge set to open in July that plans to serve alcohol-infused ice cream. Helmed by Story Stuart, owner of the Story Brooke Craft Coffee Bar in Old Southeast, and her business partner Steve Bliven, the two have conceived a space that hopes to offer fun for date nights and family outings.
"We noticed that in St Pete there are so many great spots to eat out, but there aren’t a lot of places for that after-dinner date that isn’t a bar," said Stuart. "So, we want to be that place."
Beans & Barlour will be wedged in between Angelou’s Bar and Grill and the St. Pete Brewing Company at 538 First Ave N. Stuart said there will be three different spaces for varying late-night experiences: a casual place to grab coffee or ice cream; a sit-down sexier date spot with full table service; and a library-themed area to sit and study or have a group meeting.
It will also offer non-alcoholic options for those looking for a good place to have a cup of coffee or bring their children.
But the ice-cream infused cocktails will be the star of the show, Stuart said. And this won’t be just any old scoop of ice cream. Most of the cocktail-inspired scoops will have an alcohol content of around 7-12 percent, which is roughly the equivalent to a 16-ounce beer or glass of wine.
Most of the ingredients will be homemade, Stuart said, from the ice cream to the syrups used to give that added flair.
Stuart conceived Beans & Barlour while planning the relocation of her prior shop Storybrooke location. As they closed up shop and searched for a new location, Stuart and Bliven started to think about what else they could offer to the community.
Stuart opened Storybrooke in January 2017 but closed last month as part of a transition. She plans to continue serving the same coffee and waffles that Storybrooke had become known for. Bliven moved to St Petersburg from Albany, New York, where he had opened his own gelato stand at the age of 19.
Both Stuart and Bliven are just 25-years-old. To them, their mutual experience made them the ideal pair to pull off the concept of combining a cocktail bar, coffee shop and ice cream parlour.
"That what we wanted to do, bring a cocktail flair to coffee and ice cream," Stuart said.
She can’t wait to share some of her creations. There will be at least 10 cocktails, including a Tiramisu with Amaretto mascarpone ice cream layered with espresso-soaked lady fingers, or an Irish car bomb made with St. Pete Brewing’s Imperial Stout poured over a whiskey and Irish cream-infused ice cream.
The ice cream cocktails will be served in martini and beer glasses like standard cocktails. Stuart said that she created her new cocktails by prioritizing flavor first and fun second.
"I start with an idea that I think will be delicious," Stuart said. "With the ice cream I try to think of flavors that will pair well but not be too complex. It’s also about the experience and thinking about how nice it is to sit and enjoy a cocktail with friends and then we transformed that experience with ice cream.
"Sort of nostalgic and whimsical but catered to adults."