Sebastian Huber is no stranger to business in the Burg. He had previous experience with Tastings (fine wine bar) and Paddy Burke's (Irish pub), but those businesses were merely stepping stones to push Huber into the position he's in today, he said.
Huber and business partner, Jennifer Hickey, brainstormed a plan that would prove to be both unique and pragmatic. Huber says that Hickey approached him with an idea for an upscale tequila bar and the rest just snowballed into existence.
Hickey went to her father for advice about opening a business. "He asked me, 'what are your two favorite things?'" remembered Hickey. After she responded with "beer and tequila" her father replied, "Well, do what you love and it will never feel like work."
Despite the fizzled success of Double Wide Saloon at 1235 Central Ave., Taps and Tequila opened last week and is continuing to chug along at the location. Hickey and Huber agreed that they are not worried about the past and they do not compare Taps and Tequila to any other business in the area.
"That would be like trying to compare an athlete's success five years ago to where they are now," explained Huber. "It's a whole different theme."
Even with the popularity of Ferg's Sports Bar (located across the street), the duo is confident that Taps and Tequila has the potential to be a staple on Central Avenue. Hickey, a diehard Rays fan, said that she is a regular at Ferg's while Huber added that Ferg's has been "supportive" of the rebuilding process.
The indoor lounge is a modern combination of southwestern flare and historic St. Pete with more than 40 high-end tequilas up for grabs. A large outdoor seating area, also known as the beer garden, boasts a full bar complete with 25 craft beers and 50 different bottles.
Within a month or so, Taps and Tequila will offer a food menu to match the atmosphere. Grilled pizzas, organic salads and an array of appetizers will be available for purchase. All of the fruit mixers used in the cocktails are from fresh, hand squeezed juices.
The rebuilding of the space has taken months, but Huber and Hickey say that they can't imagine doing anything else.
In the words of her father, "it's been hard work, but it certainly hasn't felt like it," said Hickey.
Taps and Tequila is located at 1235 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg.