Cask and Ale Plans to Pour

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The craft cocktails that have become popular imbibes in St. Petersburg will soon be poured in Downtown Sarasota. Cask and Ale CEO Jeff Catherell expects to open a location for the luxury bar and restaurant on Main Street in about two months. And he hopes the opening of the establishment will only further the reputation of downtown as a hot spot for a night out. “We’re all working together to make downtown the destination spot,” he says.

Cask and Ale, which opened its first location in St. Petersburg almost three years ago, takes special pride in the cocktails it pours, Catherell says. The bar earned a Best in the Bay award last year for largest whiskey selection, and Cask and Ale bartenders regularly compete for personal honors as well. The cocktails can run anywhere from $10 to $30 a pour, so expect a refined and distinguishing patron ordering this mix. “They want stuff they’ve never heard of that is the most wonderful thing ever,” Catherell says. “It’s about the quality of spirit, but also about the education. Our bartenders are highly knowledgeable about our products.” 

Catherell says one of the drinks in high demand in St. Petersburg has been the Spring Fling, which includes muddled strawberries and cucumbers, as well as lemon juice and cucumber vodka. Barracks each night spend hours juicing fresh ingredients. “We’re not just giving out a vodka cranberry and saying, ‘give us 10 bucks.’ It’s a quality product and a luxury product,” he says. A menu from Cask and Ale also showcases dining offerings including Korean skirt steak tacos, tempura-battered oyster mushrooms and beer-poached shrimp. 

Establishment owners were waiting for approval to open from the Sarasota City Commission before ordering much of the new furniture and other inventory. That approval was obtained last night after Cask and Ale made a number of stipulations aimed at keeping noise levels under control. Catherell acknowledges a public hearing presented an image of young professionals fighting against retirees living downtown, but he plans to serve all of those groups. The people buying condo units upward of $700,000 are very much part of the audience Cask and Ale wants to serve. “We have a wide mix of types of people up in St. Petersburg,” he says.

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