Cocktail house and kitchen from Cask & Ale founders shaking up St. Pete

In late spring, downtown St. Pete will see the opening of Copper Shaker.

click to enlarge The staff of downtown St. Pete's coming-soon Copper Shaker. - B. LIVELY IMAGES
B. Lively Images
The staff of downtown St. Pete's coming-soon Copper Shaker.

Two local service industry pioneers are back at it again. Partners Jeremy Wallace and Jeff Catherell are stepping away from Cask & Ale, the celebrated craft cocktail-driven watering hole they started in 2013, for their third project in downtown St. Pete: Copper Shaker, a cocktail house and kitchen, and a high-end nightclub and event space called The Estate.

The concepts, meant to offer a classier atmosphere in the evenings, have taken over the conjoined empty space at 169 and 179 First Ave. N., where Playerz Taphouse & Grill and Sip Social Lounge last operated. The Estate opened at 179 three weekends or so ago, while Copper Shaker is planned for 169.

With a combined 37 years in the industry, Wallace and Catherell intend "to reinvent the game... again," as Catherell puts it. Copper Shaker and The Estate are essentially the love child of the popular Vintage Ultra Lounge and C&A, the duo's two previous endeavors — but on a grander scale, with more space and more experience under their belts.

Those years in the game have helped the partners collect their staff, including April's WhistlePig regional contest winner Nicholas Notarpole and Juya Ebrahimi, who previously worked with Catherell and Wallace as a bartender at C&A. Ebrahimi started his career in the kitchen and recently reignited his zeal for food; he's on board to run the kitchen for both establishments.

Speaking of food, the menu will feature New American cuisine with edgy, tapas-style plates similar to C&A. Due to city and safety constraints, the kitchen is full electric, meaning patrons can look forward to healthier items sans grease. And instead of nixing the previously installed pizza ovens, they're set to churn out top-notch flatbreads and other innovative eats developed by Ebrahimi.

On the drinks side, the staff is collaborating on contemporary, inventive and traditional recipes for the specialty cocktail list with Wallace at the helm, whom Catherell refers to as a "cocktail genius." Copper Shaker has 20 beers on tap in store, alongside a rotating selection of draft cocktails such as ginger Palomas and Moscow Mules. Expect drinks to start at $7 and dishes at $8.

The inside of the coming-soon cocktail house and kitchen will submerge guests in a whiskey-inspired setting full of earthy, darker tones and amber highlights that accompany custom woodwork (think recycled whiskey barrels) by Kyle Habershon, whose work can also be seen at St. Pete's Park & Rec and Independent.

Catherell and Wallace expect to open Copper Shaker in late spring.

"We have passion for the industry," Catherell said. "We're here for the long run."

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