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Peculiar Pub pushes boundaries of flavor with unique beers and bites

Reinvention is on tap and on the menu at Peculiar Pub in Lakewood Ranch.

Peculiar Pub aims to surprise guests with outstanding beverages in a friendly environment.
Peculiar Pub aims to surprise guests with outstanding beverages in a friendly environment.
Photo by Lori Sax
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Peculiar Pub is a magnet for beer enthusiasts. 

The watering hole’s previous incarnation as Craft Growlers built that following with a diverse craft beer line-up, inventive cuisine and wicked-cool live music. The pub’s new owners are keeping close to that winning formula with more than 20 beers rotating on tap, hand-selected wines from small vintners, and a creative menu with small bites, sandwiches, tacos, salads and sides. 

We recently spoke with Evan Percoco, one of the owners. The taste of the new is both his passion and his specialty. As a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Percoco served as the executive chef at four diamond hotels across the United States. Adept at culinary reinvention, he’s on a constant odyssey to seek ways to perfect the hospitality experience. We spoke to him about his new adventure.

The name Peculiar Pub originated with …

John Breiner, the original owner. We liked the new name and decided to keep it. 

My partners Zach Zeller and Jay Saucier …

Are all peculiar in our own way. We all really get that “peculiar” brand. 

A culinary entrepreneur, Evan Percoco traveled the globe for years creating new concepts for hotels and restaurants.
Photo by Lori Sax
What makes Peculiar Pub “peculiar” is …

Our commitment to quality, our dedication to pushing the boundaries of flavor, and our unwavering belief in the power of community.

We keep about 23 microbrews on tap that come from …

Both close to home and across the nation. But what’s on tap today might be gone tomorrow. We rotate our tap selection so it’s never the same-old-same old. We like to mix it up. You’ll always find amazing lagers, brown ales, stouts, porters, and IPAs. Depending on seasonal availability, we’ll also have Oktoberfest German beer or English stout on tap.

I’ve traveled the globe for years …

Creating new concepts for hotels and restaurants. After a lifetime of experience, I’ve learned a thing or two. I can’t narrow it down to one big secret of why a restaurant works. Countless technical details go into creating the Peculiar Pub experience, and we have to pay attention to every last one. The guest doesn’t have to understand the details to enjoy it. We do.

My capsule description of Peculiar Pub is …

“Peculiar” as in “unique.” We take the road less traveled. We don’t want to follow a formula, phone it in, or repeat ourselves. Surprise and delight is our goal. Sometimes we’ll see a guest trying a lager for the very first time. Then they’ll get a big smile on their face. That makes us happy. 

Peculiar Pub offers classic pub fare infused with a modern twist.
Photo by Lori Sax
Don’t leave Peculiar Pub without trying …

Our hand-carved pastrami that’s super-tender and delicious. We slow-braise it for hours — until we can carve it like water. That’s just one of our hidden gems.

Peculiar Pub’s typical customers are …

Adventurers with good taste. They’re hungry for something new and different — and they know that’s what we serve. That’s why so many beer connoisseurs love to visit us. They come here for unique beers they’ve never had before. A lot of them keep track of all the beers they’ve tried in their lifetime. We help them try a few more.

Our favorite customers are …

The people who get who we are. They understand what we’re trying to achieve in the Lakewood Ranch community. We want to provide amazing food, great service, and outstanding beverages in a friendly environment. They know that’s why we’re here. That’s why they’re our customers. 

When I’m not at work, I love to …

Make Neapolitan-style pizza. I can’t do it here, so I make it at the house. We’ve got a beautiful pizza oven in the backyard. I also love hanging out with my two children, Stella and Nicholas, and my beautiful wife, Lori. They love pizza, too.

Correction: The article has been updated to correct names of Zach Zeller and Lori Percoco.



Marty Fugate

Marty Fugate is a writer, cartoonist and voiceover actor whose passions include art, architecture, performance, film, literature, politics and technology. As a freelance writer, he contributes to a variety of area publications, including the Observer, Sarasota Magazine and The Herald Tribune. His fiction includes sketch comedy, short stories and screenplays. “Cosmic Debris,” his latest anthology of short stories, is available on Amazon.

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