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2 new rooftop bars, restaurants opening soon in St. Johns County

River & Fort is set to open in downtown St. Augustine in the coming weeks, with Pesca by Michael's coming to Vilano Beach later this year.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — What's better than grabbing a delicious bite and sipping on a tasty drink? Elevating that experience with a rooftop view, of course.

Visitors and locals in two St. Johns County communities will soon have two new options for rooftop drinking and dining.

Crews are putting the finishing touches on River & Fort, a spinoff restaurant of River & Post in Jacksonville's Riverside neighborhood. River & Fort will offer views of the Castillo de San Marcos as well as the Bridge of Lions and St. George Street.

The menu will feature a Southern continental inspired menu with local seafood, steaks, wine and craft cocktails, according to the restaurant's website. It is located at the corner of Avenida Menendez and Charlotte street, with second- and third-floor rooftops and a walk-up bar off Cuna Street with 48 outdoor dining tables.

There will be a hiring event Saturday, with plans to open in the coming weeks.

In Vilano Beach, well known chef and restaurateur Michael Lugo is bringing a new restaurant concept to the Hyatt Place. Pesca By Michael's will feature bold Latin flavors combined with Florida's coastal influence, according to a news release.

Featuring an elegant dining room inspired by Miami's Art Deco style, a rooftop bar and grill offering live music and panoramic coastal views, Pesca by Michael's will also work toward a Fresh From Florida designation by sourcing local ingredients whenever possible, the release says.

Some of the menu items will include escabeche with pickled rainbow carrots, cauliflower, peppers, onions and shishito peppers; scallop crudo with hazelnut salsa macha, mint and orange segments; and a seasonal selection of oysters, grilled lobster, filet mignon, lamb chops and burgers.

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Credit: Provided
Chef Michael Lugo is opening Pesca by Michael's in the third quarter of 2022 in Vilano Beach.

Lugo is well known as the chef and owner of Michael's, an upscale downtown St. Augustine restaurant focusing on steaks and coastal Spanish-inspired cuisine, the release says.

The restaurant and rooftop bar are slated to open in the third quarter of 2022, the release says.

For updates on Pesca by Michael's, visit the restaurant's website here.

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