Born from a historically culinary family, a new landmark restaurant with 250 seats and a sustainably sourced seafood-inspired menu amid coastal modern décor is preparing to open doors this spring. With 6,000 square feet of interior space overlooking the water in a stunning new location, outside, 8,000 additional square feet of open-air dining, fire pits, and docking slips for up to 85 boats beckon.
Chef/Owner Chase Pritchard and his mother Mary have crafted delectable culinary and memorable occasions for social and corporate clients during countless weddings and showers to business functions, holiday parties and beyond for the past decade. Mary purchased the business from Chris Way in 1999. Now, Chase is taking the helm after a return from New York where he found his culinary sea legs at top restaurants including Le Cirque, Public & Double Crown, and a sous chef position with Union Square Hospitality Group. He purchased the business last September with help from investor Gary Vose who previously owned the shipyard and has served as a primary investor. “In New York, you don’t really live there; you survive there. It isn’t until you leave St. Augustine that you truly appreciate the quality of life when you return,” says Chase.
Culinary Outfitters‘ modular design and central kitchen enable it to operate various events simultaneously. Two private dining rooms offer the perfect semi-private retreat for rehearsal dinners or corporate events. The northside of the property can be transformed into a venue all its own without interrupting the main dining room. It will include a limited menu and a full bar with outdoor games (think chess, cornhole and more).
With rope-laden lighting fixtures to custom-made teak furnishings from Nicaragua, the coastal location seeks to be approachable to everyone. A buyout for $5K includes all rentals, tableware, linens, flatware along with more parking than downtown. “We saw an opportunity to be in town without the traffic and challenges of being downtown,” says Chase.
Chef Kris Sullivan comes on board to manage the multi-faceted kitchen. He and Chase were friends at R.B. Hunt and reconnected while in New York when Kris was sous chef at Le Bernadine. Ribs, Dixie Chicken, and smoked items are huge elements of Culinary Outfitters’ 9-year history. Now, an eye toward sustainable seafood focusing on Florida sourcing leads the menu inspiration.
Ferry service and dock access will be available along with a Boater’s Menu allowing captains to place advance orders for a picnic basket filled with a variety of entrees from fried chicken and potato salads, canned beers, wines, mixed drinks nestled in a biodegradable cooler delivered to the boat without the need to step foot on shore. Expect live bands, outdoor games and other engaging activities.
Learn more about Culinary Outfitters’ new waterfront spot by visiting www.culinaryoutfitters.com.