Another themed pop-up bar is open in the old Oyster Bar space.
Blitzen Bar, the third rotating themed concept by Crafty Hospitality Group, debuted Nov. 29 at 249 Central Ave. The space had been transformed into Sleepy Hollow in October, and Lumberjack Lounge in November.
“Sleepy Hollow was a big hit,” said Joe Di Donma, General Manager at Blitzen Bar and other local Crafty Hospitality Group establishments. “Lumberjack Lounge, not so much. We were hoping for better – but it wasn’t a disappointing round. It’s been a bit tougher because the whole block has been slow overall, so we’re hoping for a home run this month.”
Customers visiting the new pop-up concept can purchase holiday-themed craft cocktails and small bites crafted by executive chef Jason Cline, including fig BBQ ribs, glazed bacon-wrapped scallops and “Santa’s Cookie Plate,” which includes an assortment of warm cookies and a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur.
Crafty Hospitality Group enlisted Frank Clemente, an experiential architect and design strategist, to ensure customers step into a unique environment with each iteration of the pop-up bar, using distinctive smells, sights and tastes that correlate with the corresponding season.
“People are looking for something fresh all the time, so if you change it out every six weeks, every two months, that’s going to keep people interested,” said Di Donma. “We give them something that’s refreshing that looks cool. They take pictures and send it out, talk about the concept, and that draws attention.”
The Blitzen Bar concept will be open through Dec. 31. In 2024, Di Donma said, the parent brand behind the rotating concept, Random House Party, will become a stand-alone concept in the space on Central Ave. and will no longer change over to new themes each month.
In a previous interview with the Catalyst, Clemente noted that as a dining destination, Oyster Bar became somewhat out of place in an area known for its lively nightlife atmosphere. It will reopen at 2245 Central Ave., in the old Zoie’s location in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District.