St. Petersburg, Fla. — Sample bourbon, craft cocktails and American bistro cuisine at Urban Stillhouse, a massive restaurant in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Pete that is the tasting and education facility for Horse Soldier Bourbon.
The 16,000-square-foot space consists of the main dining room, full-service bar, an outdoor patio and the tasting room downstairs with a second bar, private dining areas and a library with a pool table on the second floor.
The decor and architecture of the restaurant draws a lot of inspiration from Kentucky, Scotland, Montana, Wyoming, Canada and Ireland with large fireplaces, woods and heavy metals.
"We like to joke that this is not Florida, so you exit Florida when you enter the Urban Stillhouse," said restaurant owner Meredith Koko.
Fine Dining Made for Bourbon
The cuisine at Urban Stillhouse is made to compliment bourbon and the craft cocktails on-site.
"A lot of the food is...I would say, driven towards big strong flavors to go up against bourbons," said execute chef Kenneth Tufo.
Dishes are made with simple ingredients presented in an artful way. The wood fire grill in the kitchen is used for many of the restaurant's dishes to add some smokiness, which goes great with Horse Soldier Bourbon.
"What they're trying to put forth in that bottle is what we try to put forth on the plate," said Tufo.
Due to COVID and the restaurant recently opening, reservations are required in order to offer guests the best and safest experience. Reservations can be made online or by calling 727-440-8040.
Bourbon Tasting and the Distillery
The tasting room at Urban Stillhouse is designed to educate people about Horse Soldier Bourbon. Each session will be lead by a distiller who will walk the participants through the nosing and tasting of bourbons. Tastings are currently reservation only.
For anyone looking for a wider selection of bourbon, the upstairs bar is dedicated to brown spirits from around the world, featuring more than 200 options.
Urban Stillhouse has a fully functional distillery for their rum, vodka and gin, but bourbon will not be made on-site due to the the constantly hot climate of Florida.
After the pandemic, guests will be able to tour the distillery before making and packaging their own clear spirits to take home.
The Story Behind Horse Soldier Bourbon
Urban Stillhouse was created by Horse Soldier. The national bourbon brand was started by a small special operations team that was one of the first units to be sent into Afghanistan following the 9/11 attack. They were nicknamed the "Horse Soldiers" after their time riding on wild Afghan horses (all but one of the soldiers had never ridden a horse before) through the mountainous terrain to help the Northern Alliance successfully overthrew a Taliban stronghold.
The Horse Soldier brand is a dedication to the bronze statue located in Liberty Park at “Ground Zero” New York City.
"When you come here, you will get to meet some true American heroes," said Koko, who is the daughter of one of the Horse Soldiers. "They are always here, they are always happy to talk to people, to share their stories."
Urban Stillhouse is located at 2232 5th Avenue South in St. Pete. To learn more about this tasting facility/restaurant and their private event options, click here.