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Bar review: Fashion and adult beverages at Bartique in St. Petersburg

Like many people, I treat holiday shopping as a terrifying last-minute ordeal — a scramble to fill out gift lists with a number of items that, despite a complete lack of planning, will somehow seem thoughtful.

You know what would make this whole thing a lot better? I'll bet you can guess.

Booze. Sure, you can have three too many drinks and wind up with a mysterious Amazon Prime package on your doorstep the next day, but it's not quite the same as doing a bit of local shopping with the benefit of a cold one as you browse.

The trouble, of course, is that your average retailer isn't going through the trouble to acquire a beer and wine license just so you can drink while you shop, no matter how many times you ask the Toys "R" Us manager to do just that.

But St. Pete's Bartique is one step ahead of you, offering not just beer, and not just wine, but an actual bar to enjoy them at, right inside a clothing and gift boutique on Central Avenue's 600 Block.

The concept is brilliant in its simplicity. Alcohol and shopping, together at last, wrapped into a catchy portmanteau that comprehensively describes the entire thing in just two syllables. How was this not already a thing?

Bartique, admittedly, is not necessarily one-stop shopping; it's primarily a clothing boutique (not just women's clothing). There are some barware items available, appropriately enough, as well as a selection of goods from various local producers.

It is, however, part of a block that is a microcommunity of sorts, and you probably could get all of your shopping done on the 600 block alone. Cue interbusiness tie-ins, like the recent listening party for the reissue of Metallica's Master of Puppets, co-hosted by Bartique and neighbor Daddy Kool Records.

There's a bar at the front of the shop that's not a bad standalone drinking spot. There are six beers and four wines on draft and just under a dozen canned and bottled beers. If you'd prefer something like a Bloody Mary or Cape Cod, wine-based cocktails are also available. And, of course, mimosas are big on the weekends.

Local brews are represented pretty heavily in the mix, with some deeper cuts than you might expect to find in a relatively modest beer bar. I was surprised to find Hidden Springs' Zero F-cks Given — hey, I didn't name it — on tap. It's a fantastic zero-IBU pale ale (dry-hopped only, with no bittering hops added) that I haven't yet seen anywhere else outside of the brewery's tasting room.

Part of this could be due to Bartique's regular brewery-partnered events, like trivia Thursdays, which are generally tied-in with a particular local brewery, featuring swag giveaways, tap takeovers, gift card prizes and the like. Featured breweries have included names like Coppertail, Angry Chair, Islamorada and Green Bench.

Aside from trivia nights, Bartique is also popular for featuring live music on the weekends and for being dog-friendly. Want to bring your dog to a concert (not the loud kind — avoid the Metallica listening parties) while you sip local beer and buy a cool new hat? Bartique's the spot.

Now, you may be reading this on Black Friday, so hopefully you got your $20 flat screen or whatever goes on over at Best Buy. But don't forget about Small Business Saturday. The 600 Block will have all sorts of stuff going on, and it's a great opportunity to support small businesses like Bartique and the local artists, manufacturers and brewers whose wares comprise its inventory.

Whenever you decide to pop in, I'm sure you'll appreciate the novelty of being able to order a drink in a retail establishment. Or heck, maybe you'll just get a kick out of being able to boost your wardrobe during a trip to your local bar. Either way works, and that's pretty neat.

Contact Justin Grant at [email protected] Follow @WordsWithJG.

Bartique

648 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 827-2914; centralbartique.com

The vibe: A hip clothing and gift boutique with a handy beer and wine bar up front.

Booze: Beer and wine. Beer, $4 to $6; wine, $7 to $8. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday from, featuring $5 draft beer and wines.

Specialty: While you're supporting local retailers, support local breweries, too. Bartique stocks plenty of these, and it regularly partners with bay area breweries for tap takeovers on its Thursday trivia nights. If you're afraid that a few beers might induce a fit of overshopping, you can even get an alcohol-free kombucha from St. Pete's Mother Kombucha.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.


TWO-FOR-ONE

Bartique

648 Central Ave., St. Petersburg; (727) 827-2914; centralbartique.com

The vibe: A hip clothing and gift boutique with a handy beer and wine bar up front.

Booze: Beer and wine. Beer, $4 to $6; wine, $7 to $8. Happy hour is 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday from, featuring $5 draft beer and wines.

Specialty: While you're supporting local retailers, support local breweries, too. Bartique stocks plenty of these, and it regularly partners with bay area breweries for tap takeovers on its Thursday trivia nights. If you're afraid that a few beers might induce a fit of overshopping, you can even get an alcohol-free kombucha from St. Pete's Mother Kombucha.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

   
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