The Ice Plant Bar in St Augustine Is So Hot It Needs To Be Put On Ice – Review

 

UPDATE- NEW FALL / WINTER MENU IS OUT!

The highly successful Ice Plant has been open for several months and have just released their new Fall/Winter Menu. Click the links to see the New Menus.

 

New Fall/Winter Menu         Late Night Happy Hour Menu

 

 

 

UPDATE – THE ICE PLANT IS NOW OPEN!!

If you are looking for info on the St. Augustine Distillery click here.

Usually we don’t review a place until we’ve tried the food and drinks but this place is different. We had to review it now. Why? Because it’s that special. Every day we’re asked the question, “what do you know about the ice plant.  When are they opening?” With this much excitement from the community, I knew we needed to review it early. As of today, September 5, 2013, we have been told that they’re shooting for some time within the next week or two. We will keep you posted on the opening date.

We met with Patricia McLemore today, one of the owners of this very special landmark. As I sat down next to her at the beautiful vintage bar, I realized this was not just any bar and restaurant. This place was going to be an “experience” for anyone entering through the vintage doors.

The setting is in the old St. Augustine Ice Plant at 110 Riberia Street. It is a beautiful building that has undergone extensive renovation. The attention to detail to keep the vintage look and feel of this establishment is apparent from the minute you walk through the doors. After they gutted the old building, they painstakingly refurbished it with reclaimed metal, reclaimed wood and gorgeous reclaimed wood floors. The walls are work of art. The way they were finished leaves you feeling like you have been transported to the old ice plant in the early 1920’s. The attention to detail and refurbishing  carries through right down to the restrooms. Walking into the restroom is like stepping back in time. White subway tiles adorn the walls and floor and the  pull chain toilets remind you of times past. They even have a sink in the ladies room that goes back to the early 1920’s. They have thought of everything here, right down to the mosaic tile Ice Plant logo on the floor as you step through the vintage door.

We met the head bartender on our tour of the bar. His name is Zach and after speaking to him for a few moments, I realized he was a true Mixologist. He is a consummate professional,  He answered all of my questions with a friendly ease about him that made me want to belly up to that bar and order a drink immediately. That unfortunately will have to wait till another day. Opening day!

Zack explained to me all of the things that make their drinks unique. To start with, they make all of their own soda there.

Mule Cup

Freshly extracted Ginger becomes ginger ale. Freshly squeezed lemons and limes mixed with some homemade simple syrup and soda water are turned into a delicious concoction almost too good to be called soda. And last but not least, they make their own cola here too.

Every day starts out with juicing fresh grapefruits, lemons, limes and oranges for their delicious signature drinks. They even go as far

as to make their own grenadine here. It’s made with fresh pomegranate juice, cane sugar, and a bit of orange blossom water. All of these delicious fresh healthy ingredients will go into their signature artesian cocktails that are reminiscent of the early 1920s. Each of these drinks is an experience.

A few of the cocktails offered are the Florida Mule and the Brooklynite.

The Florida Mule is made with cane vodka (local from Florida), ginger syrup, fresh lime and soda water. It is served in a classic Mule cup.

The Brooklynite is made with Siesta Key Gold Rum (local from Florida), honey, fresh lime and Angostura (Bitters)

I will warn you, after looking over the drink menu, it will be very difficult to choose your first cocktail at the Ice Plant.

Now let’s talk about the ice! The Ice Plant is all about the ice. In keeping with the “spirit” of things,  they have decided to hand cut their ice for many of their cocktails. There are several different styles of ice  they will use in their cocktails –  pebbled, sphere, shaved, and long rock –  some of which are expertly hand cut. On the ground floor is a gorgeous kitchen decked out in stainless steel appliances, refrigerators and freezers. The kitchen hosts three different ice machines. Most bars only have your standard cube maker. The Ice Plant also has an icemaker that makes pellet ice as well as the bad boy of ice machines. They have a Clinebell Ice Machine! This workhorse of a machine makes 300 pound blocks of ice. It makes two blocks every two days. These giant blocks are then hand carved into sticks of different shapes and sizes to be married up with the cocktails. Ingenious I say! Finally my bourbon won’t be diluted due to the ice.

The Ice Plant will be open from 5 p.m.  until 2 a.m. The kitchen will remain open until 10 p.m. They will be serving dinner and will be known for fresh wholesome  healthy ingredients.

For example, they will be serving  ” The Ice Plant Burger”, which is made with grass fed beef from Georgia that is hand ground in-house. I love the sound of that. The burger is served with a bacon-chive Aioli, lettuce, tomato and onion and your choice of fries or a house salad.

I also spotted on the menu  “The Bourbon Barbecue Pulled Sammy”. It’s smoked in-house with a jalapeno lime slaw and avocado. It also comes with your choice of fries or house salad.

The ice plant even goes as far as making their own homemade ketchup! Now that’s dedication.

All in all,  I think  the Ice Plant will become a local favorite in no time. I myself can’t wait to belly up to the bar and try some of their signature drinks and a burger. The effort that they have put in to restoring this building that is a piece of St. Augustine’s history is extraordinary. This gives me every indication that they are committed and dedicated to making The Ice Plant a success.

We will keep you posted on the food & drink, and the opening.

Until then,

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

    • There is a really good chance it will be. If you like us on FB or follow us on twitter, we will announce it the minute they let us know. Have a Happy Birthday!

  1. I am a local and very excited about the opening. My great grandparents worked there long ago and my mother lives very close to there. It’s not just St Augustine history to me, its my families history also. I can’t wait to walk where my family once stood. Thanks for the info. I will probably be there on opening day.

    • Nope, the writer is absolutely correct because I’ve seen the inside too. The Ice Plant Bar & Restaurant is very real, as are the people who work there. Folks are already saying it will redefine cocktail culture in Florida. Can’t wait until they are open…. please keep us posted!!

    • A GREAT place to start your evening in St Augustine, last even our party of four ordered up and devoured all but one of the appetizers and small plates….It’s great to see the heat pine floors and worth several trips back to really take the place in……they’ve really filtered the water, so much that the ice blocks in your drinks are barely noticible…now people, that puts a new meaning in crystal clear and I must say the flavors of the liuors are well preserved…the inhouse cinnamon cola is exceptional also….

  2. Awesome place. opening soon. I was fortunate enough to experience one of their preview nights. Food is absolutely fabulous.
    Floor and Bar staff is full or real artists – concocting your cocktails.
    Definitely feels like 1920’s.
    This is a must go spot.
    Opening soon. Real soon.

  3. Love the ambience and the food. However, have a huge problem with the bar service. The waitress explained that the drink orders may require a ‘little wait’ since there was such a great variety of special drinks. Explanation noted. However, a drink order of a vodka on the rocks, one glass of wine and one special drink should never take almost 25 minutes…and this despite their having two bars (although at one bar with two bartenders, no drinks were being made…lots of chatting with guests sitting at the bar however). Unacceptable.

  4. I had an amazing time last night, my first of many visits. The ambience was incredible; industrial chic with a lot of attention to detail. The bar tenders were very experienced mixologists and obviously took pride in their craft. I sat at the bar with three friends, and although we had to wait a while, it was all worth it. Earlier critics need to realize that this place has just opened and therefore working out kinks and that what they offer is very different and unique from your everyday blah blah bar. Anyone wanting to slam this place is obviously in need of a chill pill and would be better off at the dive bars they are accustomed to for their run of the mill beverages. I will be returning often and telling all my friends too. 🙂
    Any chance you can accommodate a group of 25 ladies one night?

  5. I went there with a group of close friends. We tried almost all the small plates and main dishes. The decor is detailed and very well done. I could spend hours just appreciation the architecture and decor, especially the bar. The bartenders are professionals. The drinks are amazing! The food was fresh and even the ketchup was homemade. Dessert was excellent too. All in all, going there is an experience that I would recommend within a 100 mile radius. If you really want to impress a date, or a spouse. Take them here.

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