By Ashley Goodman | email@example.com
Photos by Ashley Goodman
Video by Ian Foe
After a year of waiting, the Ice Plant on Riberia Street has finally opened its doors.
Patricia McLemore, general manager, had her eye on the building for a long time. She opened The Floridian with two friends after graduating from Flagler College, but sold her share a year ago to begin working on the Ice Plant with partner, Ryan Dettra, another Flagler grad and former owner of Cafe 11 at St. Augustine Beach.
The structure, located in Lincolnville, was built in 1927 to aid St. Augustine’s growing fish industry. The Ice Plant allowed fresh catch to be easily transported all over. McLemore and Dettra have restored the building in every aspect. This means traveling up and down the East Coast in a U-Haul for a week hunting for doors, windows, sinks, signs and other items at salvage yards to fit the time period of the building.
“Every finish has been picked out by us and I think that makes all the difference,” said McLemore. They even stripped the walls to uncover the original interior paint. “It’s so easy to tell the attention to detail we put into the building.”
At the Ice Plant, ice is hand-cut for many of the cocktails. Each cocktail calls for a different type of ice — pebbled, shaved, sphere or long rock. Owners invested in a Clinebell ice machine, which makes 300 pound blocks of crystal clear ice every three days.
Most restaurants and bars just have your average cube maker. The ice is then hand cut accordingly to what type of cocktail you have. “It’s really great not having to use a blender and deal with the noise,” said McLemore.
There are 19 cocktails on the menu. Stem-ware is almost just as important as the drinks themselves. The “Low Country” is the most complicated to build. It is made with cucumber, sage-peppercorn syrup, bitters and gin.
The Ice Plant serves food as well, mostly southern dishes like shrimp n’ grits and bourbon pulled pork sandwiches. They even have hand-cut fries served with their own homemade ketchup.
The Ice Plant is located on 110 Riberia St. in Lincolnville, in St Augustine, Fl.