Owner gives sneak peek at pier restaurant venues

The owner of The Birchwood Restaurant, Chuck Prather has earned his reputation as being among the best when it comes to creating a fine dining experience in St. Pete.

His biggest project yet is visible from his venues on Beach Drive.

“Anytime you go into business, there’s a risk,” Prather told FOX 13. “I know I’m going to put the very best product I can on the table.”

The city of St. Pete awarded him a 10-year lease, where he will pay $162,000 annually, to operate a café, restaurant, and rooftop bar on the city’s new pier.

“The momentum is building, there’s excitement,” Prather said.

Visitors will be able to enjoy coffee, ice cream and other tasty treats at a café.

“You walk up the grass lawn to the second floor and then you’re in Driftwood Café,” he said.

Then there’s a formal dining restaurant on the fourth floor called Teak Restaurant. Prather says it will open at a later date from the other two venues – either late spring or early summer.

Above the restaurant will be a rooftop bar, offering amazing views of St. Pete’s skyline and Tampa Bay.

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“I’ve been up there. It is spectacular. You’ve got a tiki God that’s probably 10-feet-tall for photo opportunities. You’ve got two large bars, six tiki huts up there, fire pits,” he said.

The pier is set to open in early 2020. Mayor Rick Kriseman said he would like for the $87 million project to be complete before the Grand Prix races in March.