The latest downtown St. Pete restaurant to welcome LGBT patrons debuted during a soft opening in the Grand Central District Tuesday night.
At 3063 Central Ave., where Jimbo's Joint previously operated, owners Brian Longstreth, Lynn Deibert and John Burt have introduced Punky's Bar & Grill. The neighborhood hangout, with chef Frank Costelli Jr. at the kitchen's helm, features an emphasis on food in a laid-back setting.
The restaurant might help fill the gap left by Georgie's Alibi, which catered to an LGBT crowd but attracted plenty of S's, too, and served good food late.
Divided into bar-style staples like appetizers, flatbreads and sandwiches, the large menu's highlights include The Sticky Burger (creamy peanut butter, smoked applewood bacon, Cheddar cheese), fried provolone wedges, and the Rachel, a turkey take on a Reuben. Brunch specials are offered on Saturday and Sunday as well.
On the beverage side, craft and bottled beers and wines by the glass or bottle are highlighted, and Punky's is looking to add liquor, plus live entertainment (music, drag shows, bingo, karaoke) and nightly dinner specials (prime rib, steaks, seafood, pasta).
The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday.