Lush Lounge bar opens at the old Vine & Barley in downtown Stuart

Amanda Bussett and Janelle Bremer have always wanted to go into business together.

Best friends met 15 years ago while on a study abroad program in Italy.

Bussett, 35, from Connecticut, started as a bartender at 2nd Street Bistro in downtown Fort Pierce and started his own online marketing business. Bremer, 34, from upstate New York, moved to the Treasure Coast in June from Hawaii, where she still has a food delivery service.

“I’ve always loved being a bartender,” Bussett said. “I wish there wasn’t such a negative connotation about it. I like the fast-paced environment. I like to entertain people.

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Co-owner Amanda Bussett speaks to guests at the Lush Lounge in downtown Stuart on Wednesday, November 17, 2021. “It's a vibe.  People come to thank us for bringing West Palm to Stuart, ”Bussett said.  The Lush Lounge opened on November 4, 2021 and serves wine, craft beer, selected cocktails and cold cuts.

In August, Bremer was on a date at Vine & Barley in downtown Stuart when she learned it was closing in a few weeks. The friends made a business plan, sent it to the owner, and signed a lease two weeks later for the Lush Lounge.

“The way it all happened, it’s so meant to be,” Bussett said. “Even though it was a lot of work, it went well.

New atmosphere for the old space

They spent six weeks renovating the space, which Bussett said looked more like an Irish pub. They painted the ceiling black green, put up wallpaper and modernized the bathrooms.

“We just made the whole place more modern,” Bussett said. “It’s kind of like a boho-chic-palm kind of vibe now.”

They have been occupied since the opening on November 5th. Bussett said she was shocked when customers thanked them for the opening.

“People wanted a space like this,” Bussett said. “It’s a place where you can come and relax. I really wanted to create a space that has its own vibe.

Scenes from the Lush Lounge in downtown Stuart on Wednesday November 17, 2021. The Lush Lounge opened on November 4, 2021 and serves wine, craft beer, selected cocktails and cold cuts.

The menu includes wine, beer, snacks

The bar menu offers a wine list from all over the world: California, Oregon, Italy, France, Chile, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Australia and New Zealand.

“We really wanted to get different wines, which you can’t find in Publix or Total Wine,” Bussett said.

While they carry bottles of local beer, they wanted their 24 taps to focus on craft beer, especially local beers. Taps include beers, cider and soda water from all over the Treasure Coast:

The bar also offers charcuterie boards with meats and cheeses, as well as sweets like Key lime pie or a French macaroon platter.

“We’re either going for that pre-dinner crowd or for that dessert and after-dinner drink,” Bussett said. “We really wanted to create an experience for people, not just another bar to go to. … It’s so different from everything else here.

Lush living room

Laurie K. Blandford is TCPalm’s entertainment journalist and columnist dedicated to finding the best things to do on the Treasure Coast. Follow her on Twitter @TCPalmLaurie and Facebook @TCPalmLaurie. Email him at [email protected] Sign up for her weekly What To Do in 772 newsletter at

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