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One of the walls inside of Where's Jubes.
Move over Outback, there’s a new Australian grill in town, and it’s heading to The Burg’.
Located at the former Lucky Dill Deli space
at 277 Central Ave. in downtown St. Pete, the Where’s Jubes team gears up for a soft opening, slated for sometime in early May according to owner Josh Cameron.
He’s hoping to debut his new brewpub during next month’s First Friday on May 6, but isn’t sure of the exact soft opening date yet.
Cameron tells Creative Loafing Tampa Bay that his brewpub and grill has encountered permitting delays, so when Where’s Jubes
soft opens next month, it won’t be selling food or its own craft beer just yet. The construction team still has more work to do on its newly-renovated kitchen, while Cameron is still awaiting his federally-administered brewing license.
Until the brewing license is confirmed, Where’s Jubes' four brand-new brew tanks—located on the North wall of the pub, adjacent to Ruby’s Elixir—cannot be used. For next month’s soft opening, Cameron plans to serve rotating beers from other local breweries, although no specific names were disclosed.
The menu continues to be “In F*cking Progress” like the Where’s Jubes website
, brewing license and kitchen, but the concept will eventually feature hearty dishes like the Aussie burger with bacon, egg, cheese, caramelized onions and pickled beets. Cameron says the menu won’t be too extensive, but will be full of Aussie favorites that compliment the craft beers.
And in addition to its grill-focused menu, Where’s Jubes will also boast a full craft beer menu—although it might be hard to get through its tap list without cracking a smile. The restaurant’s four brewing tanks will soon pump out signature beers like its Spanker Knob Pacific pale ale with notes of passionfruit and citrus, Crackenback wheat, a light fruity beer, and its crisp Barangaroo pilsner.
“I’ve never understood why America’s favorite beer is Bud Light but breweries tend to push heavy, hoppy beers— I think there’s a big demand for pilsners, lagers and lighter stuff in general,” Cameron tells CL. “Back home, all you want is a cold, crisp beer—especially on a hot day. In Australia, we love drinking cold beer—we take that shit really seriously.”
Once Where’s Jubes’ brewing program is up and running, it will eventually offer six different craft beers on tap. Cameron says that if people enjoy his beer and the demand is met, then he’d “love nothing more than to expand production and stick it in a bottle.”
Downtown St. Pete’s Lucky Dill location closed in 2018, and Cameron purchased it shortly after it shuttered.The roughly 1,600-square-foot space brewpub and grill was slated to open in August 2021.
The building itself is over 100 years old, but its old-timey feel was what drew Cameron to it in the first place. Cameron is a native of New South Wales, Australia, and the Where’s Jubes building is similar to his hometown’s historic pubs, which are typically two-storied as well.
Cameron is no stranger to downtown St. Pete’s bar and restaurant scene. Owner of the Crafty Squirrel and The Oyster Bar—which also reside on Central Avenue’s 200 block—Cameron has spent years in the local restaurant business.
In addition to Where's Jubes, Cameron also recently purchased St. Petersburg’s iconic Gigi’s Italian Restaurant in 2021, according to restaurantobserver.com.
That space is currently on Cameron’s back-burner while he gets the brewpub up and running, but says that he can see an “Italian gastropub and sexy lounge bar” open in the former Gigi’s space.
Although there are various trends from the “Land Down Under” that are incorporated into his other businesses—like Crafty Squirrel’s teapot cocktails—Cameron’s upcoming brewpub and grill will be his most personalized venture yet.
Even the name of the upcoming restaurant was born out of an inside joke between him and his staff.
“I’ve always been a hands-on operator, and the more you do the less time you have,” Cameron says. “I have a network of mates and people I work with always asking where I am—Where’s Jubes has always been a running joke. It was never the number one name, but it was certainly the most unique.”
Although Cameron couldn't confirm an exact opening date, you can keep up with Where’s Jubes Instagram
, both at @wheresjubes, for the latest information.
Future customers can also expect a true grand opening celebration once operations are fully up and running at the downtown brewpub.