New Pink Palace bar opens with cocktails, coastal bites

The history and character of St. Pete Beach's Loews Don CeSar are being reflected at Rowe Bar.

click to enlarge Anytime Rickey at Rowe Bar mixes gin, aquavit, orange marmalade and lime. - Loews Don CeSar Hotel
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
Anytime Rickey at Rowe Bar mixes gin, aquavit, orange marmalade and lime.

A new bar is set to complement the character and history behind the Loews Don CeSar Hotel.

With a menu of coastal-inspired bar bites, local beer and vintage craft cocktails, Rowe Bar, named after Pink Palace developer Thomas Rowe, is the latest addition to the legendary St. Pete Beach resort.

Cocktails are the nautical-feeling bar's specialty, and they carry titles like Angels on Toast (vodka, kiwi, sauvignon blanc, lime) and Anytime Rickey (gin, aquavit, orange marmalade, lime). Communal punches that serve 4 to 6 and three riffs on a classic julep are also among the selections.

"There were no blender drinks back in the ’20s; everything was made with crushed ice. That's what we're doing in Rowe Bar today," said Eben Klemm, the mixologist retained by Loews to assist in the concept. (A former biologist, he's also created cocktail menus for Loews hotels in Philly and Boston.) “Adding the traditional julep drink that was popular in the ’20s to the menu just makes the Rowe Bar that more attractive and distinctive,” he said in a press release.

click to enlarge Outside, the bi-level main deck area is meant to feel like the porch of a coastal Florida home. - Loews Don CeSar Hotel
Loews Don CeSar Hotel
Outside, the bi-level main deck area is meant to feel like the porch of a coastal Florida home.
The drinks are made with fresh herbs, fruits and veggies, and general manager Stephen Cummings said each cocktail has a story behind it. (The story behind Angels on Toast was rumored to have something to do with "ladies of the night,” but it was actually named after a 1940s book that poked fun at New York's pseudo-intellectual elite, according to one inside source.)

"Creating the Rowe Bar gave us the opportunity to provide guests with a distinctive bar atmosphere featuring cocktails they can't find anywhere along St. Pete Beach," Cummings said.

Also on the beverage lineup is Tampa Bay craft beer, including St. Pete Brewing Company's Goliath Imperial Stout and Cycle Brewing's Fixie IPA, while the food side highlights seafood-driven dishes like peel-and-eat pinks, black mussels, a mahi mahi Reuben and crab cake sliders.

The indoor-outdoor Rowe Bar operates 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For up to three hours, diners can use self-parking for $10 per car.

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