St. Augustine's Culinary Outfitters' waterfront dining concept anchored by closure

St. Augustine's Culinary Outfitters' waterfront dining concept anchored by closure

Culinary Outfitters, which launched as a trendy new restaurant in St. Augustine's burgeoning shipyards district in 2020, announced Sunday it has permanently shuttered its doors.

The news, which began circulating on social media over the last 24 hours, was confirmed by chef/owner of the establishment, Chase Pritchard, to The Record Monday.

Pritchard would not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the closure nor its future, only to hint that "new management" taking over the restaurant could choose to disclose more.

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Culinary Outfitters began in the 1990s as a catering business by family friend Chris Way until Pritchard’s mother, Mary, took it over in 1995. Pritchard eventually began working side-by-side with his mom at their original location on South Dixie Highway, which the restaurant eventually outgrew.

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In 2019, through a partnership with Gary Vose, then-manager of the St. Augustine Shipyards, Pritchard began a project to bring a 250-seat waterfront restaurant to front on San Sebastian River.

The restaurant opened in March 2020, encompassing 6,000 square feet of interior space, 8,000 square feet of outdoor dining space, and a patio with fire pits and docking space for up to 85 boats.

Despite its launch in the midst of a pandemic, the concept was wildly popular in St. Augustine and the restaurant garnered complementary critical reviews as well as positive word-of-mouth business for its "slightly elevated Florida cuisine," as Pritchard characterized his brand.