Table Talk

Dining at the Plaza — A Jazzy New Hot Spot


It’s been many years since St. Augustine has opened its arms to a great new restaurant on the Plaza de la Constitution at the foot of the famous Bridge of Lions.

On Friday the 13th, a lucky day dawned for Melissa Schroeder and Troy Wollenbecker and their jazzy new hot spot Bourbon & Boards. It’s a sparkling, snazzy and sumptuous collection of sensory excitement that has been perfectly designed and impatiently waiting to bring a distinctive experience to their guests.

Schroeder and daughters have been wildly successful with their Ancient City Brunch Bar that opened in 2021, another innovative, yet tiny, culinary phenomenon only steps from the new Bourbon & Boards. Schroeder and Wollenbecker are present to share their “love story” that focuses on “… loving their staff, appreciating the locals and showing off to their visitors.”

Taking centerstage in the restaurant is the jazzy music. From the longest running jazz ensemble in St. Augustine to the international joie de vivre of classical guitars … each night from Wednesday through Sunday the bandstand will surprise and thrill music lovers with high class sounds. Bourbon & Boards is one of the fiery new venues that musical celebrities are anxious to appear in.

The excitement and delicious experience only begins with the music — until you take a cocktail journey that features familiar flavors with new expressions. The bar faces a lighted wall of bourbons and each top-tier name liquor. The giant glassed-in wine cellar is another photo phenom. Let yourself be seduced by a “Paper Plane,” which 007 would sip that’s shaken, not stirred. Or “Amanda Midnight” that reminds you how much fun it is to stay out late. If you’re a purist, the “Boulevardier” is a classic bourbon Negroni for the sophisticate.

Executive Chef Joseph Randle has been blazing his culinary concepts that aren’t just words on a menu. He has no “food rules” and creates unforgettably beautiful boards and dishes that come to the table that are “ooo-able” — yes, you hear guests expressing their “ooo”! He’s well-known in culinary circles, so don’t hurry when making menu choices. You may order too many selections that won’t disappoint.

Bourbon & Boards is proud of their élite staff, who are excited to bring colorfully appealing charcuterie boards, cocktails and tapas to your table. On opening weekend, they wore fresh flowers in their hair and floated through this “jazzy junction” enjoying the music and vibe as much as the guests.

The big surprise is coming soon. We’re watching for Melissa and Troy’s new Ancient City Cooking Experience only a few steps away — making ‘Dining at the Plaza’ the real deal!