Engine No. 9 is a neighborhood sports bar with a friendly atmosphere and melt-in-your-mouth burgers, located in the heart of Downtown St. Petersburg.
Restaurant owner Jason Esposito at Engine No.9.
Bringing the big city burger joint to the small town of St. Petersburg
Restaurant owner Jason Esposito wanted to bring a “big city burger joint” to St. Petersburg, creating a welcoming bar where you can watch hockey games, socialize with familiar faces and eat high quality food at a decent price. The hockey interest runs in the family: Jason’s father and uncle Tony and Phil Esposito are in the hockey hall of fame and founders of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The restaurant has been very successful and the growing traffic (+250% in the first year) has called for an expansion of the dining area, as well as the opening of a sister restaurant called Engine Rose. News of the great burgers travel fast and some customers come travelling from out-of-state while others drive for several hours to get a bite of their favorite burgers.
“If you don’t have quality – you have nothing”
Jason Esposito stresses the need of staying true to quality ingredients: “If you don’t have quality – you have nothing”. The patty served at Engine No.9 is specially developed with 76% meat and 24% fat classified as USDA Prime, produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. “The patty is the most important part of the burger, together with the bun.” Engine No.9 recently changed bun to Euro-Bake’s Brioche Bun, a process that took several months. “I very rarely make changes to the menu, as many of our customers are returning guests. Especially a big move like switching out the bun needs testing and attention to detail in order to get it right. The bun should have a flavor that works in balance with the meat without taking over. It also needs to hold up to juicy burgers without getting soggy, while still deliver a moist and soft texture.” The guests have responded well to the switch and keep coming back for their favorite burgers. With all the traffic flowing to the bar in late afternoons and evenings, it becomes a true engine for downtown St. Petersburg.
Check out Engine No.9’s innovative menu here. Although we have to warn you – it will make you hungry!