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Inside Pearl & the Thief, a Southern Charmer in Stillwater

Bourbon, oysters and a Negroni milkshake are on the menu at Justin Sutherland’s new eatery

Vibrant light blue walls, white marble bar, and white table set inside the original Pearl & the Thief location
A table with a river view in Stillwater
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Pearl & the Thief is stocked to the hilt with bourbon and oysters in anticipation of the grand opening Tuesday May 29 at 112 North Main Street in downtown Stillwater. What was once an Irish pub is now a study in ocean blue and pristine white. The kitchen and menu were done by up and coming local chef Justin Sutherland, who also runs the kitchen at the Handsome Hog in St. Paul. He’s teamed with his friend, Pearl & the Thief’s general manager Joe Pirri to create their dream of Savannah charm with refined soul food.

That means that the menu has piles of oysters of all different varieties and a stunning array of dishes that sound familiar, but twist expectations. Creamy bisque is served with crawfish, a buttermilk and herb dressed salad with a massive hunk of bacon is a fine-dining version of ranch salad and fish and chips are a whole fried fish served with sweet potato chips.

There’s a lot of bourbon and more on the way
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Like Handsome Hog, which Sutherland and Pirri opened together (which is under different ownership), this is a bar fueled by bourbon, but not overly serious. There’s a negroni milkshake that’s served in stemware.

A modern twist on fish and chips: whole fried snapper with sweet potato chips and Cry Baby Craig’s aioli
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Pearl & the Thief is the latest in a boom of new restaurants in Stillwater, but the unique location and elegance set it apart.

A Tale of Two Joes
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

There are two rooms, a lower level dining room that overlooks main street and the river across the street and an upstairs lounge.

The room is mostly blue and white with large black and white photographs
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

The upstairs bar has been open occasionally already, Anyone in the area over Memorial Day weekend looking for a spot to cool off might be wise to check if the door is open.

An upstairs lounge with huge windows
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

While the downstairs, main dining room is a light and elegant restaurant vibe, upstairs is more like a downtown chic artist loft.

Hey, look, another bar!
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

With another bar.

The upstairs will also be available as a private event space
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Once open for regular hours starting Tuesday, Pearl & the Thief will serve lunch, dinner and late night.

Shuck yeah
Kevin Kramer/Eater Twin Cities

Pearl & the Thief

112 N. Main St, Stillwater, MN

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