ST. PETERSBURG — Good Fortune, a new Asian fusion concept from local restaurateur Stephen Schrutt, is opening inside the bottom floor of the Station House in downtown St. Petersburg.
The space at 260 First Ave. S has sat vacant since the onset of the pandemic. Before that, it was home to the popular ramen spot Ichicoro Ane, which never reopened. That restaurant, which has locations in Seminole Heights and Tampa’s Armature Works, has several other expansions on the way, owner Noel Cruz said.
Schrutt’s hospitality company, Hunger and Thirst Group, also includes St. Petersburg’s The Avenue, No Vacancy, Park & Rec (with locations in St. Pete and Tampa) and the recently opened Cuban-inspired speakeasy Dirty Laundry. Construction and renovations on the Station House space began in fall 2021, but Schrutt said he’s been planning this restaurant for more than a decade.
“This concept was something that a friend and I talked about doing 12 years ago,” he said. “Are there other places to get sushi? Sure. But I feel like we’re still missing the sushi cocktail lounge experience that I feel is going to be the right fit down here.”
Schrutt said a big part of the appeal was the location’s prime spot in downtown St. Petersburg and its walkability to nearby businesses and homes.
Though the 6,000-square-foot space occupies the same footprint as its predecessor, there have been some major design changes. Once finished, the open-concept restaurant will feature “colors that pop,” a 12-seat sushi bar and a separate 14-seat bar and cocktail lounge, a private karaoke room and an outdoor patio.
Good Fortune will be the most upscale concept for the Hunger and Thirst Group to date, and Schrutt said the menu (designed by the group’s executive chef Tim Delaney) will be “sushi-forward” with small and shareable Izakaya-style snacks and dishes, like bao buns, dumplings and spare ribs. Larger entrees will include ramen bowls, steak and sea bass, among other dishes.
Like many of the group’s other concepts, the restaurant portion is only half the equation. A selection of Japanese whiskeys and sake will anchor the cocktail menu, which will feature a large selection of “light and refreshing” cocktails, Schrutt said. The bar will also serve a selection of wine, beer and bubbles.
Schrutt said he envisions the restaurant as a space where folks can pop in for lunch or dinner or stay for cocktails and snacks later in the evening. But it won’t have the same late-night club vibes as some of his other spots. There’s a karaoke room that can be privately booked, but no dance floor.
“We want to keep raising the bar for ourselves and our guests,” Schrutt said. ” I want each place to have their own lane but I want to do a good job at whatever concept (we) do.
Schrutt said he hopes to have the restaurant open by mid- to late July. Once open, the restaurant will be open daily, starting at 11 a.m.