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Allelo team planning ‘eclectically beautiful’ new concept

Mark Parker



Juno & the Peacock and the adjoining Pluma Lounge will soon open at 400 Beach Drive in downtown St. Petersburg. Renderings provided.

A local husband-and-wife duo is following a successful recipe to breathe new life into the space that once housed 400 Beach Seafood & Tap House in downtown St. Petersburg.

Shawn and Jeanna Damkoehler, owners of the acclaimed Mediterranean restaurant Allelo, are transforming the location at the corner of 5th Avenue N. and Beach Drive NE into Juno & the Peacock. The new establishment will offer “New American coastal cuisine.”

An adjoining cocktail lounge, Pluma, will boast over 1,400 wines, primarily from New World Regions. Shawn Damkoehler said the couple wanted to add something “new and exciting” to an area that has grown by “leaps and bounds.”

“We’ve got people from all over the country coming to visit us now,” Damkoehler told the Catalyst. “We’re becoming a destination, and we just wanted to be a part of that and offer something a little different, something exciting.”

An interior rendering of Juno & the Peacock.

Steve Westphal opened 400 Beach in 2009, before the downtown waterfront’s current renaissance. North Straub Park is directly across Beach Drive from the location, and the recently remodeled Vinoy Resort & Golf Club is on the opposite side of 5th Avenue.

The Damkoehlers acquired 400 Beach in 2021 and operated under the same moniker until 2023. They also bought the former Annata and Alto Mare restaurants a tenth of a mile south on Beach Drive.

Those became Allelo in September 2022, and the Mediterranean neighborhood spot has garnered praise from critics and patrons. Michelin-starred chef John Fraser said the team was “killing it” in a June 2023 interview.

“We’re ecstatic for the enthusiasm we’ve seen from everyone with Allelo,” Shawn Damkoehler said. “We’re certainly not going to take our foot off the gas in that regard, and we’re beyond proud of the restaurant and our staff there. As well as that’s been received, we wanted to do something comparable.”

He noted that Allelo’s designer, architect and construction company would reprise their roles with Juno & the Peacock and Pluma. Creative studio Brand Bureau and award-winning design firm AvroKO are behind the restaurant’s more sophisticated atmosphere.

Juno & the Peacock – named after the Aesop’s fable, and for the splendidly-feathered bird  – will feature in-laid terrazzo and brass accents. Jeanna Damkoehler, a St. Petersburg native, said art showcasing the establishment’s namesakes would adorn the walls.

“It’s going to be really eclectically beautiful, I would say,” she added.

An interior rendering of Pluma Lounge.

The menu includes dry-aged steaks and a seafood tower with seared grouper and Maryland-style crab cakes, in honor of Shawn Damkoehler’s home state. However, he has lived in Pinellas County for over 30 years and considers himself a “diehard Floridian.”

In addition to its expansive wine list, Pluma will offer traditional cocktails, South and Central American-inspired innovations and light food. The two concepts will provide indoor and outdoor seating for up to 268 guests.

Damkoehler said Juno & the Peacock would offer private dining space for larger groups and a smaller champagne room. Despite the upscale aspects, he stressed that the restaurant is “for everybody.”

“If you want to get a nice hamburger or wrap for lunch – we’re still going to be accessible to the people who always went there and will continue to go there,” Damkoehler said. “We don’t want to just put ourselves out there like some high-end new restaurant everybody else is doing.”

He said their target demographic includes children, locals and tourists. Jeanna Damkoehler noted that many of her fellow St. Pete natives and longtime residents have anxiously awaited Beach Drive’s evolution.

“And so, I think the restaurant will be a really nice representation of what is to come in St. Pete,” she said. “I just think we’re kind of in front of it – and super excited about it.”

Juno & the Peacock and Pluma will open in “early summer.” The Damkoehlers pledged to announce additional details, including an executive chef, in the coming weeks.



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