Blind Monk Celebrates Five Years on August 15: "We're a Second Living Room to a Lot of People Here"

Blind Monk, a bar and tapas joint flowing with both wine and beer expertise in West Palm Beach, is celebrating its fifth anniversary on the weekend of August 15 and 16. 

One- or two-year anniversaries are special, but it turns out that the five-year anniversary is a particularly important milestone in the restaurant business. If you can make it to five, odds favorable that it’ll last another five, according to a 2012 review by the Perry Group, a group of hospitality industry experts. Now that’s a reason to celebrate.

Besides serving gourmet tapas plates, a key to the Blink Monk’s success may lie in the fact that it’s the home of several sommeliers and cicerones, or people with advanced knowledge of wine and beer, respectively.

“It’s tough to do one thing really well,” says Blind Monk General Manager Jason Hunt. “It’s even more tough to do two things really well. We have a staff that's so committed to learning.”

On staff is Lauren Samson, a sommelier and manager who oversees the wine program. Owner Ben Lubin, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is also a certified sommelier.

It’s not just wine and beer. Hunt says the Blind Monk maxed out its beer and wine license to include ciders and sake. The bar also specializes in making light aperitif-style cocktails, like the Classico or the Spritz.

Hunt himself is a certified cicerone. Get into a deep conversation with Hunt about beer and it’ll likely go on for an hour or more, or until he busts out another brew for a customer. Give him a few more minutes and he'll start talking about Trappist beers

The growth of beer has been wildly successful in South Florida, Hunt says, and it's easier to find a lot of advanced beer styles thanks to new breweries opening every year. One of them, Boca Raton’s Barrel of Monks Brewing, is joining the Blind Monk for the birthday celebration and tapping a keg of its Raspberry White Wizard at 4 p.m. Saturday, August 15.

From 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, there will be an all-day music fest featuring a jazz brunch with Ric Pattison, followed by Paul Allen Christopher, Catlin Reed, Cameron Snow, and Jamie Rasso.

Sunday, the 16th, begins with a noon Barrel of Monks brunch paired with its abbey-style beers. Cost is $55. The real party begins at 6 p.m. with a DJ, contests, raffles, beer trivia, blind tastings, and bottle specials. Raffle tickets will be given out with each food or beverage order, with drawings every hour.

There will be some cool sidewalk art going on too.

The celebration is intended to be one big "thank you" to all the regulars at the Blind Monk, Hunt says, adding that having a highly trained and approachable staff also helps. 

"We're a second living room to a lot of people here," Hunt says. "It doesn’t really matter what day you come. There's going to be someone here to steer you to a tasty beverage." 

The Blind Monk is located at 410 Evernia St., Suite 107, in West Palm Beach. 

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