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The Bank is not just another Miami bar and club, although the drinks do enter the sky-high Miami price range. Supposedly, this was the bank where criminal Al Capone did his banking.
Once you arrive in the club, there are four different areas that you can choose from, each one bringing you back in time.
The foyer which doubles as an art space takes you back to the bar. If you are lucky enough to have it for the night, you and your fellow drinkers will receive VIP table service.
Outside, you will find the Lotus Garden. You and your friends can lounge, spread out, and enjoy punch bowl service.
The last stop is the Capone Room, an upstairs jazz lounge. The speakeasy feel, low ceilings, old-fashioned sofas, and thick-carpeted floors of The Bank do not make up your typical bar décor.
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✓ The total in these foreign bank accounts reached more than $10,000 at any point in 2018
What happens if I don’t file?
✓ Non-willful violations: $10,000 penalty
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A Bank, Bar & St. Pete’s Businesswomen
Healing comes in many forms, for some it’s deep acupuncture in the muscles, for others it’s energy work with a reiki, for Nadine Copley, it’s bringing holistic practices to St. Petersburg.
Copley, a PhD student studying mind-body medicine, held a soft opening in April at the big blue house that is Embraced Wellness, at 2600 1st Ave. S.
On Saturday, May 22, the city’s newest wellness center hosts a grand opening welcoming the community to the combined therapy center.
Copley’s group of local healers offer massage sessions, therapy, acupuncture and energy healing to start, but the St. Petersburg native is eager to try more services as time passes.
“I thought, ‘How great would it be if I created a place where you could have a cup of tea after a massage, or after a therapy session,’” Copley said. “I want this to be a place that’s full of energy and life, a hive almost.”
Copley grew up driving past the two-story structure. Eventually, she moved to Colorado where she worked in the traditional healthcare for more than a decade.
“There was something missing in my life,” Copley said. “I didn’t agree with ‘stay sick medicine.’ I wanted to heal the body and the mind, not just symptoms.”
She came back to the Bay area to do just that, and the renovated house on 1st Avenue South embodies her growth along the way.
“I think St. Pete is a really woke place, a city that really challenges the standard and asks questions,” Copley said. “Really, I think people here want to be happy.”
Banking on the Planet
Ken LaRoe, Founder and CEO of Climate First Bank, doesn’t sound like the typical banking mogul.
“I did some soul searching, and my wife was like, ‘You got to do this,” LaRoe said in his characteristic southern drawl. “I describe myself as a rabid environmentalist.”
A rabid businessman too, considering LaRoe previously owned Florida Choice Bank and First GREEN Bank.
Climate First breaks ground as a community bank with environmentally friendly interests, opening June 1 at 5301 Central Ave.
“When I sold First Green, I never really felt good about it,” LaRoe said. “But there was a lot of shareholder pressure to sell.”
LaRoe still hopes to serve the planet and the community with green initiatives, including online solar loan programs and an emphasis on eco-friendly businesses.
The bank will also provide standard banking services.
A Businesswoman for Artists
Wendy Rosen’s been connecting artists with the market for three decades. Now, she’s bringing her expertise to Gulfport with a new meet-up group.
“Design, Launch and Grow Your Art Studio Business” brings marketing to 12 creatives per class, Wednesdays at 3 p.m., at the Sea Dog Cantina.
“I’m retired, but I love coaching,” Rosen said. “In some ways I became an artist through this.”
Rosen, whose mother illustrated coloring books, has worked with artists her entire life.
“A lot of artists have a hard time accessing that [business] side of the brain,” Rosen said. “Your work can be really nice, but without the proper audience and the right niche, it doesn’t matter.
Have a Drink, Queen
Sitting pretty at 2355 Central Ave, Cocktail St. Pete is the area’s newest cheekily named neighborhood bar.
The spot opens on May 7, and will serve a full bar every day of the week, except Monday.
There’s an outdoor patio, an old school dance floor, and the Director of Entertainment is a new school bearded drag artist, Adriana Sparkle.
“The big disco ball is now rotating! It’s getting close,” reads a post on Cocktail’s Facebook page.
My experience here was not that great, read the other reviews. Only come here if your looking for these attributes for a bar: Cons: - It's smells like vomit - other various smells, like an old.
Posted by Michael A. on July 28, 2013. Brought to you by yahoolocal.
This place is the worst. Another Red Bank "hot spot" that I get dragged to by my friends. If you grew up around here, you are going to run into two types of people - the people you went to high.
Posted by Ali C. on May 17, 2012. Brought to you by yahoolocal.
Don't go unless you want to pay 5 dollars cover to a dump that thinks they're on the same level as a classy bar in Manhattan. Drinks are over priced for little sippy cups and the place is over.
Posted by Steve O. on May 14, 2012. Brought to you by yahoolocal.
DO NOT GO HERE ON A SATURDAY NIGHT. Random- ass pool tables to your left when you first walk in. This place wasn't crowded or empty, but I made a beeline to the bar. The only good thing about this.
Posted by Paula L. on September 19, 2011. Brought to you by yahoolocal.
Do not go here unless you are extremely inebriated.Proceed to dance like a fool. Possibly make out with a stranger.Wake up in the morning and try to figure out WHY you went here in the first place.…
Posted by by Chrissy C. on February 07, 2011. Brought to you by openlist.
WELCOME TO BANK RESTAURANT & BAR
Situated within the cosmopolitan surroundings of Brindleyplace, Bank Birmingham is chic and sophisticated, emanating the character of a lively continental brasserie. Prepare to be absorbed by the bustling atmosphere and vibrant setting, from the moment you walk through their revolving doors! Bank boasts classic and inspired seasonal cooking, brilliant cocktails and amazing steaks. Dedicated to the philosophy of ingredient provenance, they serve only the best British beef, all naturally reared on carefully selected farms. For guests seeking a unique dining experience, the restaurant offers two all-weather terrace areas, providing guests with a calm and relaxing setting to enjoy dinner or drinks. So why not enjoy a cocktail or bite to eat overlooking the canal, on our terrace, The Waterside Grill come rain, shine, or even snow. Whenever and wherever you decide to dine at Bank, we guarantee that you will enjoy fantastic food and service, every single time you visit.
Harry’s New York Bar in Paris Turns 106
The oak-paneled haunt of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald is still going strong.
Courtesy John F. Kennedy Library
PARIS—It may not be true that “drinklore,” as my friend David Newhoff once wrote, is “the ether that binds all human existence.” But I think there is no watering hole anywhere in the world where the atmosphere is so thick with it as Harry’s New York Bar at 5 rue Daunou (“sank roo doe noo”: itself a legendary address) here in Paris, France, which is, of course, a mythical city.
The more one learns about Harry’s, the thicker the ether becomes, hanging in the air as heavy as the boxing gloves suspended from a wooden monkey’s tail above the bar. They are old and cracked and a little dusty, and maybe they once shielded the massive hands of Primo Carnera, the 6-foot-6 world heavyweight champion who came out of Italy in the 1930s. Or—maybe—they belonged to Ernest Hemingway, from his days as an amateur pugilist in Paris. A barman from Harry’s is supposed to have been his corner man, and on one occasion F. Scott Fitzgerald was timing the rounds when another writer knocked Hemingway flat on his back.
Christopher Dickey/The Daily Beast
Ah… Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Their Paris—home to the “lost generation” in the 1920s—remains the city millions of tourists dream about. Both writers used to drink at Harry’s, and heavily, and Hemingway actually did sign the guest book—as a fighter. “My writing is nothing,” he once claimed, probably after a few drinks, “My boxing is everything.”
Right. But were those truly Hemingway’s gloves? Probably not.
“Hey, it’s a bar,” says another friend who’s been a denizen here for decades. “What are you not going to believe after your first drink?”
One fact about Harry’s appears to be unassailable, however. It opened for business on Rue Daunou as “The New York Bar” 106 years ago, precisely, on Thanksgiving Day 1911, and from the beginning its specialty was cocktails.
Over the previous century, the United States had grown famous for mixed drinks. But that trend stayed for the most part on the far side of the Atlantic. In France, vineyards were devastated by the phylloxera aphid in the late 1800s, and locals deprived of affordable wine had conceived a passionate taste for absinthe, which came in the color of emeralds and contained a bit of thujone, a mild hallucinogen, as well as a lot of alcohol.
A favorite of French artists and writers, absinthe was said to give genius to those who didn’t have it, and take it from those who did. Around 5 p.m. each day, all along the boulevards, men and women would observe l’heure verte, the green hour, with glasses of absinthe and ice water amply sweetened.
But in 1911, times were changing. The temperance movement was on a rampage in the United States, and even though the Prohibition-era wouldn’t begin until nine years later, a well-known jockey named Tod Sloan could read the bottom of the cocktail glass. He found a great Paris address just around the corner from the Opera and the Ritz, and he proceeded to import the entire oak-paneled interior of a bar in New York.
The temperance movement was taking hold in France, as well, but narrowly focused on absinthe, which was portrayed as a particular plague on society. That it often contained 70 percent alcohol or more, and sometimes was colored green with poisonous chromium, did not help matters. In 1915, France banned it.
So, the moment was propitious for the French to learn that l’heure verte was really the cocktail hour, and potentially a very happy one.
Except, World War I had begun, and with it, the American ambiance at Harry’s attracted a growing population of American soldiers, first as volunteers like the flyers of the Lafayette Escadrille, and then as part of the massive deployment in 1918 under Gen. John Joseph “Black Jack” Pershing.
In the very early days of the establishment on Rue Daunou, a young Scotsman named Harry McElhone (later, MacElhone) had served as the barman. He left to gain experience in some of the great hotels of the U.S. and U.K. and in 1923, when he returned, it was with enough money to buy the place from what had been a succession of owners.
By now, prohibition madness was in full swing in the United States, and New York bars in New York had been shut down or turned into speakeasies. The Twenties were roaring, and Paris offered special intellectual, social, and sexual freedom for the Americans who made it here, arriving by ship and staying for weeks or months.
McElhone had picked his moment well. He renamed his acquisition Harry’s New York Bar, and so it has remained ever since. Its entrance then as now was through saloon-style swinging doors, and in the Hemingway and Fitzgerald days, he sat just to the right of the entrance much of the time.
At the piano downstairs, so the story goes, George Gershwin drank Black Velvets (a mix of Guinness and Champagne) while he composed “An American in Paris,” somewhat to the annoyance of other customers, who thought he was tuning the instrument incessantly.
Christopher Dickey/The Daily Beast
Harry’s advertising boasted, “Bar open all day and night.” And that suited his customers as the drinklore about the place grew, some of it naturally, some carefully contrived. One publicity play was the International Bar Flies (IBF), a club with members all over the world. The emblem, dancing drunken flies, is still emblazoned on the mirror behind the bar and on the paper coasters. Among the group’s rules, a challenge to play the ukulele at 5 a.m. (Harry’s is no longer a 24/7 establishment.)
With the onset of World War II, and before the Nazis arrived to occupy Paris, McElhone shut down the bar and moved back across the Channel. But once the Germans were driven from the city, he was quick to return.
According to a story I was told over a Bloody Mary (which may or may not have been invented at Harry’s in 1924), after Hemingway “liberated” the Ritz Bar in August 1944 , he came around the corner, opened up Harry’s, and started a free pour. McElhone, soon hearing of this, told British authorities that Hemingway was depleting his stores, and persuaded them to let him be among the first businessmen from the U.K. back into the City of Lights.
A veteran magazine correspondent used to tell the story of interviewing Humphrey Bogart as a young reporter in the 1950s. They met at the Ritz, but Bogart wanted to go to Harry’s. Hours later, the interview over, the reporter realized he couldn’t read his own notes. He pleaded for another interview, and at Harry’s, but Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall, would only let that happen if neither man would drink.
Laurent Giraud, 46, has been tending bar at Harry’s for the last 18 years, and has seen a lot of celebrities come and go: Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, and Quentin Tarantino among them. He’s also watched a lot of fashions in clothes, in food, and in drink come—and go. But Harry’s has always been above fashion, if not indeed opposed to it. In the 1920s and ’30s, when Le Dome, Le Select, and La Rotonde advertised themselves as “American bars” in Montparnasse on the Left Bank, Harry’s stood out as the very model of one on the Right Bank, complete with its wood paneling, university crests, and eventually a panoply of university pennants. None of that has changed.
And there are certain things you can get at just about any café, that are, well, not so easily obtainable at Harry’s—a glass of wine, for instance.
But, there’s a loophole. If you order a hot dog—and the hot dogs here have been served from the same steamer since 1925—you can get a glass of red wine with it. Go figure.
Christopher Dickey/The Daily Beast
“This is not a wine bar, it is the oldest cocktail bar in Europe,” Giraud explained one afternoon after he’d finished his shift. “The bar remains the way it was in 1911, which means that there are no fridges.” In fact, the bar itself dates to 1849, having done a good 60 years of service in New York before it was shipped here. If Harry’s started serving red wine by the glass (without the hot dogs), they’d have to serve chilled white—a slippery slope, according to Giraud.
“We are being new by being ancient,” says Franz Arthur MacElhone, Harry’s great grandson—yes, this bar is a family business. “If you go around Paris, you will see people trying to be ‘old.’” (Indeed, the French bistro scene has a lot of Ye Olde ersatz lost generation decor these days, after an earlier spurt of Philippe Starck-ness.) “The cornerstone of our existence is that being what we are is being fashionable,” says MacElhone. “We are not changing anything.”
Consider the Harry’s Bloody Mary: You’ll never find a celery stick in it. The original recipe is simpler, and is pretty much the same as it was in 1924.
And maybe most important, consider the man who makes it. Harry’s doesn’t have “mixologists,” it has barmen.
“There is a big gap,” says MacElhone. “The mixologist today in some fashionable places will be somebody listening to himself. When you are a barman you shut up and you listen.”
Share All sharing options for: How one suburban bar is linked to two federal criminal cases
DaVinci’s Gaming Bar in Chicago Ridge has links to two federal criminal cases. Brian Ernst / Sun-Times
A former video store three blocks south of the Chicago Ridge police station, revived as a video gaming bar, has gotten caught up in two federal criminal investigations in the past three years.
As Terry Ferguson and his son Timothy Ferguson were working on converting the shuttered video store into a bar, he already was the target of a sting operation in which a federal agent bought guns from a food truck owned by Ferguson, who also had been peddling cocaine.
Ferguson’s arrest in October 2018 ultimately led to the end of his son’s dream of opening the bar.
It’s now in the hands of Rosemary Kowalski, an 80-year-old widow. She’s been the owner since December 2019 of what’s now called DaVinci’s Gaming Bar, which features six video gambling machines on which patrons can place legal bets.
Kowalski’s son and daughter are targets in another federal case. Robert M. Kowalski and Jan Kowalski have been charged with hiding more than $500,000 embezzled from a small bank in Bridgeport, Washington Federal Bank for Savings, that federal regulators shut down in late 2017 over a “massive fraud” scheme they said involved $82 million.
Shortly before the bank was closed, its president was found dead in the master bedroom of a bank customer’s Park Ridge mansion as a result of what the authorities labeled suicide, though his widow disputes that.
Federal authorities have said they’ve been trying to determine whether Rosemary Kowalski bought the bar with money they believe her son has been hiding from regulators trying to recover the bank’s missing millions.
When Rosemary Kowalski took over the bar, she agreed to pay nearly half of the $23,642 in rent that the Fergusons owed the bar’s landlord, according to an eviction lawsuit the landlord has filed to evict her over nearly $24,000 in unpaid rent.
The Kowalskis and the Fergusons aren’t talking.
“Mr. Ferguson has no comment other than to make clear that he never received any funds related to the bar from the Kowalskis,” according to Beau Brindley, Ferguson’s lawyer.
Robert Kowalski entering the Dirksen Federal Courthouse on March 4. Ashlee Rezin Garcia / Sun-Times
A few weeks ago, Brindley said in court that Robert Kowalski wanted to hire him to defend him against the bankruptcy fraud and embezzlement charges he faces over the collapse of Washington Federal, but they couldn’t agree on legal fees and how Kowalski would pay them.
Probe of failed Bridgeport bank now involves suburban gambling parlor
Once home to a Hollywood Video store, the twin storefronts at 10721-23 S. Ridgeland Ave. in Chicago Ridge then sat vacant for years until March 28, 2018. That’s when Ferguson Entertainment LLC — which is in Timothy Ferguson’s name — signed a three-year lease with the landlord, Sona Chicago Ridge Realty Inc., which is owned by Nimesh Patel.
Chicago Ridge village officials issued business and liquor licenses to Ferguson’s company and building permits showing the father and son would do work including carpentry, painting and installing drywall for the business, which they planned to call the Gaming Spa.
Village officials apparently didn’t know Terry Ferguson was a convicted drug dealer who also had been under investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives since November 2015 over the sale of cocaine and a couple of dozen guns — including a rifle with no serial number — that were transported in Ferguson’s food truck, which he operated as Chicago’s Finest Deli on Wheels LLC, court records show.
Terry Ferguson. | Chicago Police Department arrest photo.
As the Fergusons were preparing to open, Ferguson Entertainment made a $1,000 campaign contribution on Sept. 25, 2018, to Chicago Ridge Mayor Chuck Tokar, who had approved the company’s liquor license months earlier. Tokar didn’t return calls seeking comment.
A month later, on Oct. 29, 2018, Terry Ferguson, 56, of Willowbrook, and two associates, Jesus Dominguez and William Walsh, were charged in the ATF sting.
And federal authorities subpoenaed Ferguson’s former business partner, who hasn’t been identified, to testify before a grand jury.
Days after getting the subpoena, the former business partner got a visit on Nov. 7, 2018, from Ferguson’s son Timothy Ferguson and two others, warning him not to testify in the case, authorities say. The Fergusons and another man subsequently were charged with attempting to intimidate a federal witness.
Timothy Ferguson, 35, of Chicago, pleaded guilty on April 18, 2019, to obstruction of court orders and later was sentenced to 30 days in jail to resolve his part in the case.
Food-truck gun deal leads to Chicago drug case and witness threats, feds say
On Sept. 16, 2019, the Illinois Gaming Board rejected his bid to be licensed to operate video gambling machines, finding that he wasn’t a suitable gaming operator because of his arrest and his failure to obtain a liquor license from the state of Illinois.
“You attempted to persuade a witness not to cooperate with law enforcement officials and interfered with an ongoing narcotics and weapons investigation involving your father,” gaming board administrator Marcus Fruchter told Timothy Ferguson in a Sept. 17, 2019, letter.
That left him with no state licenses to sell drinks or take bets — and 21 months remaining on his lease for the storefronts he and his father invested money in remodeling.
Less than three months later, on Dec. 4, 2019, Rosemary Kowalski established a new company, called Nosy Rosie’s LLC, and signed a five-year lease to take over the bar — a deal contingent on “the successful termination” of Patel’s lease with “Ferguson Entertainment LLC along with Terry Ferguson and Timothy Ferguson,” according to the lease.
DaVinci’s Gaming Bar. Brian Ernst / Sun-Times
Rosemary Kowalski also agreed to assume $11,643 of the $23,643 the Fergusons owed Patel’s company and to be responsible for any money the Fergusons owed the village, the lease says.
With help from her daughter Jan Kowalski, who is a lawyer, Rosemary Kowalski applied to the village and state for licenses to sell drinks and take bets at the bar that she renamed DaVinci’s Gaming Bar.
By that time, Jan Kowalski, who had unsuccessfully run in 2018 for Cook County clerk, had been charged with helping her brother hide $567,200 from his bankruptcy creditors, mainly the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which is trying to recover money to repay depositors of the failed Washington Federal Bank.
Authorities have said the bank lost more than $82 million in a “massive fraud” scheme led by bank president, CEO and major shareholder John Gembara, who was found dead, seated in a chair with a rope around his neck, inside the master bedroom of bank customer Marek Matczuk on Dec. 3, 2017. The bank was shut down 12 days later.
Click here to read the initial Sun-Times investigation of fraud-ridden Washington Federal Bank for Savings.
Robert Kowalski — a lawyer and developer who was a friend of Gembara — worked with bank officials to embezzle at least $29 million, according to a federal indictment. Kowalski has said he didn’t steal anything and that he was a victim of Gembara’s scheme.
DaVinci’s opened in early March 2020, as the Illinois Gaming Board was still considering Rosemary Kowalski’s application for a video gaming license. The bar closed because of the coronavirus pandemic but resumed selling liquor last summer, according to its Facebook page.
4 employees of clout-heavy, failed Bridgeport bank charged with $29 million embezzlement conspiracy
Feds find massive fraud at shuttered Bridgeport bank whose prez was found dead
DaVinci’s drew the attention of Robert Kowalski’s ex-wife Martha Padilla, a former candidate for alderman in Chicago’s 25th Ward. Padilla got a Cook County judge to appoint an attorney, Neal Levin, last summer to determine whether her ex had any hidden assets that she could recover as part of their ongoing divorce case, which began seven years ago.
Levin got a court order and took temporary control of the bar and its contents, including boxes of documents stored in a backroom Jan Kowalski used as her law office. She has, at times, represented her brother in his divorce and bankruptcy cases.
Federal investigators obtained those boxes of records under a subpoena from the grand jury investigating the bank’s collapse. Prosecutors recently said in court they are copying the files in those “eight or nine boxes” and will then return them.
Robert Kowalski – who says he has no financial interest in his mother’s bar — has said that Levin shouldn’t have provided those records to investigators, saying they contained legal files that are protected by attorney-client privilege. He also argues the seized records include the computer thumb drive given to him by federal investigators who are legally required to share their evidence in the investigation of Washington Federal.
DaVinci’s Gaming Bar in Chicago Ridge has six video gaming machines that have taken in more than $435,000 in wagers from gamblers who won nearly $400,000, state records show. Brian Ernst / Sun-Times
Meanwhile, the legal troubles continue for some of those currently and previously involved with the bar continue.
Patel is suing to evict Rosemary Kowalski and Nosy Rosie’s “because they haven’t paid me rent for several months.” In a lawsuit filed last Oct. 23, Patel said he was owed $23,925 in rent — a figure he now says is up to nearly $40,000.
And Terry Ferguson faces the possibility of 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced after pleading guilty March 12 in the ATF sting case, admitting he distributed 1.5 kilograms of cocaine in 2016 and 2018 and that he illegally possessed firearms that the federal agent bought from his food truck.
2 thoughts on &ldquo Bank Bar Offers History Lesson, Too &rdquo
Finally, a fantastic place downtown for adults to hang out without reeking like an ashtray. It is like Cheers! This is the type of place you can go to after the gym or a wedding. Everyone is welcome and you can honestly feel that in the atmosphere.
The owners are kind and very active in our community. Go support them!
Thanks, Gayle. Jeff, Rich and Josh (behind the bar) bring knowledge and enthusiasm that you can, umm, bank on!
The Bank: A Bar, a Club, a Bank - Recipes
Patrizia&rsquos has been a family owned and operated establishment for over 25 years. Our family is involved in every aspect of the day to day activities to make sure that your dining experience at Patrizia&rsquos is always great. As with Italian tradition, every single customer is treated like family. Each dish is prepared with fresh organic ingredients that use the family&rsquos recipes dating back over 150 years. Aside from dining in, we also provide pick-up, delivery and catering for all occasions. Superb food, impeccable service, and a unique family atmosphere distinguishes Patrizia&rsquos from any other restaurant and makes it a one of a kind experience. With locations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, East Tremont & Woodlawn, The Bronx, Staten Island, Long Island (Hicksville, Massapequa & Hauppauge), Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan, Maspeth Queens, Red Bank, New Jersey & our newest location in Fort Lauderdale Florida. Amazing family style dining is just around the corner. Be sure to stop by and experience Patrizia&rsquos for yourself!
First look: South Bank Seafood Bar
Burger restaurants seem to be all the rage in Houston. And as popular as a burger joint concept may be, it can sometimes exact a toll.
Which is the situation the owners of Refinery Burger found themselves in. After a five year run Refinery needed a new jolt of energy. Instead of tweaking the menu, however, owners Michael Collins and Jason Lowery decided to completely recast their property at 702 W. Dallas. New construction, new patio, new menu entirely new concept.
And last month the fruit of their labors revealed itself as South Bank Seafood Bar, a casual restaurant and bar "on the south bank of Buffalo Bayou," hence the name. About the only thing that hasn't changed is its terrific view of the downtown skyline. South Bank is an entirely new concept, and one that makes sense in the neighborhood, Collins said.
"Refinery had a good five year run. Then there were just too many burger places popping up," he said. "There were no casual seafood places around here. We've always wanted to do a seafood concept because we know seafood and source it very well."
While a casual seafood restaurant/bar might be welcome news in Midtown, the site has its challenges, Collins said: it's locked tight in the shadow of the Gulf Freeway on the fringes of downtown but still a bit of hike for office workers. Collins said he prefers to think of South Bank as a destination restaurant and drinking spot. And destination restaurants, by definition, have to offer something unique.
The owners are confident, they said, that their menu &ndash created by chef Harold Wong -- will do the trick. They've worked hard, Collins said, to ensure the food and drinks are "spot on."
The menu's sharable starters include raw oysters, grilled oysters, a generous seafood campechana served with tortilla chips, shrimp balls with sweet chili sauce, lobster quesadilla with avocado lime dressing, stir fried salt and pepper calamari, and clam chowder fries -- like a poutine but smothered in creamy seafood stew and topped with bacon and chives.
There are also fried seafood po'boys, lobster roll served on a toasted garlic roll with house-made pickles, crab roll served with house-made chips, fish tacos, peel-and-eat shrimp, steamed snow crab legs, and fried seafood baskets.
Draft and canned beer selections are available as well as craft cocktails such as Old Fashioned, mojito, Sazerac, and a Floridita Daiquiri. Don't overlook the list of cocktails on tap that include Strawberry Mule, Sandia Fresca (tequila, mezcal, fresh watermelon juice, and agave syrup), and a Hurricane.
With more than 10,000 square feet of space, South Bank offers generous seating including a new extended patio that sports a bar fashioned from a shipping container. Rustic tables and repurposed lighting fixtures are juxtaposed against walls of white subway tile, rough-hewn wood, and pops of color such as yellow and turquoise. The open-air feel is perfect for communal dining at long wood tables.
With South Bank up and running the partners can now turn their attention to the other concepts under the Eighty Six'd Hospitality Group (Bovine & Barley, the Fish, HTX Fan Tavern, and Rose Gold Cocktail Den) and a new project, Lowery suggests, possibly in EaDo.