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The Scoop: Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade to open in St. Charles

Wednesday, December 14th, 2016



St. Charles is slated get a new brewery early next year when owner Robert Schowengerdt and brewer John Simon open Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade at 2236 First Capitol Drive.

“After moving back here a couple years ago [from the city], I realized that I was constantly going across the river to get any craft beer. Same with my partner, John, who’s handling all the brewing,” said Schowengerdt. “We were always going over for events and things and realized that we’re going over there with a lot of people from St. Charles, and it just seemed like the perfect area to bring some beer to.”

Simon will focus on beers influenced by English styles. Their flagship brews include a honey blond and an English brown ale brewed on a two-barrel system. “Every batch is small batch,” Schowengerdt said with a laugh.

The approximately 85-seat tasting room will have 10 taps, six of which will carry Two Plumbers beer and four that will feature local guest taps. Customers can also sip on wine, cider and soda. The space will also feature ’80s arcade originals at ’80s arcade prices: 25 cents for video games, 50 cents for pinball. The throwback arcade theme is central to the brewery’s identity; its name references Super Mario Bros. (Mario and Luigi are plumbers.).

Though food won’t (at least for now) be available for sale at the brewery, Schowengerdt and Simon encourage patrons to bring carryout in from nearby restaurants.

Schowengerdt anticipates Two Plumbers will open in early 2017. “I swear, every time I pick a month, I curse myself, so I’m not going to say anything,” he said. “First quarter next year.”


Related Content
Guide to Beer 2016
First Look: Gezellig in The Grove
Drink This Weekend Edition: 3 Big Black Friday Beers
• Guide to the Holidays 2016: Bottles of Good Cheer


The Scoop: Matt McGuire to open Louie in former Jimmy’s on the Park space

Monday, November 28th, 2016



{Matt McGuire}

Niche Food Group alum and owner of the former King Louie’s Matt McGuire will open Louie (without the King) in part of the former Jimmy’s on the Park space, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. Jimmy’s closed after more than two decades in the DeMun neighborhood. 

McGuire was drawn to the approximately 2,800-square-foot space because of its size, but more importantly because it’s located in the DeMun neighborhood. 

“That stretch of DeMun has always been a community that feels really good, it has a neighborhood feel. The same people go to the same coffee stores, the same wine bars — it’s been that way for a very long time,” said McGuire. “There’s a number of things that sort of just came together at the right time. My kids are a little older now, [so it] makes it easier for me. … There are just a lot of pieces, both personal and business, that felt like the timing was right.”

McGuire is still in the early planning stages and is currently working on shaping both the design of the space, as well as his specific vision for the restaurant. He wants it to be a true neighborhood spot rather than a destination restaurant. With plans still in the relatively early stages, he’s waiting for work on the space to progress before setting a timeline for an opening. 

Related Content
• The Scoop: Jimmy’s on the Park closes after more than two decades
 A Chat with Matt McGuire

Photo by Ashley Gieseking 

The Scoop: Baileys’ Range to open second location in the Shaw neighborhood

Friday, October 14th, 2016



Owner Dave Bailey announced today, Oct. 14, that he will open a second, smaller Baileys’ Range at 4175 Shaw Blvd. Construction will take nearly a full year, so Bailey is eyeing a late 2017 opening date.

“I wanted to be in the neighborhood. I wanted to try a different model of Range and the property itself just came available,” Bailey said. The building is a 1,700-square-foot former gas station and car repair shop, and the location will also feature an outdoor garden space as well as walk-up windows for placing carryout orders.

While the menu will largely remain the same as that of the original downtown location, Bailey and his team will also add several Shaw-specific items tailored to the feel of the neighborhood. “Downtown we do plenty of to-go business, but it’s not a main focus of what we do,” he said. “But over here, with proximity to the [Botanical] Gardens and the fact that it’s a very densely populated residential neighborhood instead of a business district, we’re going to have a greater emphasis on to-go.”

The new location will be led by Bailey’s core team of executive chefs and sous chefs, which will be the plan at each of Bailey’s new properties going forward.

-photo by Jonathan Pollack

The Scoop: Companion’s Clayton Cafe to close Oct. 30

Friday, October 7th, 2016


After 16 years, owner Josh Allen is closing doors at Companion‘s Clayton cafe on Oct. 30. The cafe in Ladue and baking campus in Maryland Heights will both remain open.

“Our lease was expiring and we had to make the decision as to whether we wanted to re-up on a longer term lease,” he said. “Looking at our business, we’re seeing a lot of growth from our national distribution. We’re seeing quite a bit of growth in catering. We just decided to put our energy into the parts of the business that have been growing and expanding,” Allen said.

Since Companion will vacate the location entirely, Allen wasn’t sure what the future of the space will look like. He encouraged Clayton regulars to visit Companion at its other two facilities.

“We’re incredibly thankful and appreciative to the Clayton community, most specifically, and to St. Louis for all their support in that space and we hope that folks will come and see us in West St. Louis and Ladue,” said Allen. “We’re not going away completely, but we’re just closing that one chapter in our company history.”

This is the latest in a series of big business moves for the hometown break bakery. Companion opened its massive new Maryland Heights campus in February, after closing its original Dutchtown bakehouse and Early Bird Outlet in November 2015.

The Scoop: Chefs Kevin and Britt Pellegrino launch BK Catering

Friday, July 15th, 2016


Husband-and-wife duo Kevin and Britt Pellegrino, both formerly of Five Bistro and Olive & Oak, are starting their own catering company, BK Catering, Feast Magazine reported. BK Catering will focus on smaller private events in clients’ homes.

“We wanted to do something different and try to work on our own thing,” Britt Pellegrino said. “We’re trying to do something on a smaller scale, a little more specialized, (and) I think it is nice for us and for the guest.”

The Pellegrinos also want to do in-home cooking classes for small groups. “I’ve gone to one of those parties and it’s nice to have somebody come in, it’s like girls night out (and) everyone has wine and we teach them something fun,” Britt Pellegrino said.

While they’re still pulling parts of the company together — they don’t have a website yet — Kevin and Britt have done several events together already. Additionally, Kevin is working at Claverach Farm in Eureka, Britt is a private chef for two families and they are catering together whenever they can.

Eventually, the two hope to open a fast-casual Filipino spot—Britt’s family is Filipino. Even when the restaurant opens, catering will remain a part. Until then, track down Kevin and Britt through email at bkcateringstl@gmail.com or give them a call at 314-435-1068.

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

Cooking the Classics: Caesar Salad

Monday, November 30th, 2015



Few salads are more iconic than Caesar. We turned to chef Kier Puckett at Mike Shannon’s Steaks & Seafood for his take on this steakhouse classic. Step one: Put down that bottled dressing. This umami-packed DIY version uses raw egg yolks, white anchovy fillets, roasted garlic and cold olive oil – Puckett’s secret to a thick, rich dressing. Step two: Give the emperor of salads a proper throne. Add the dressing to a nonreactive wooden or glass serving bowl (We like Narcise natural wood salad bowls.), then toss with crisp romaine. Hail, Caesar!

Caesar Salad
Courtesy of Mike Shannon’s Steaks & Seafood’s Kier Puckett
4 servings

2 to 4 slices grilled baguette, plus more for serving
4 white anchovy fillets,* coarsely chopped
3 roasted garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Dash Worcestershire sauce
½ cup cold olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 heads romaine lettuce, chopped

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the baguette slices to create about cup breadcrumbs. Add the anchovy fillets, garlic, egg yolks, Parmigiano-Reggiano, lemon juice, mustard and Worcestershire and puree until well blended. With the machine running, add the oil in a slow stream to emulsify. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour the dressing into a serving bowl. Add the romaine and toss to coat. Serve with grilled baguette slices.

*Available at Straub’s in Clayton

-photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: Louie’s Wine Dive to open location in Clayton

Monday, October 12th, 2015



There’s a brand-new wine spot coming to Clayton. Louie’s Wine Dive will open in the old Tani Sushi Bistro location at 16 S. Bemiston Ave., as first reported by the St. Louis Business Journal. Owner Whitney VinZant said he’s looking at an early 2016 opening.

The 90-seat restaurant will be the seventh Louie’s location nationwide, the first of which opened in Des Moines, Iowa in April 2012, and the first St. Louis-area location. “We’ve wanted to be in St. Louis and have looked at real estate there for a long time,” VinZant said. “Traditionally, we built our company on being unique to the neighborhoods we serve. We plan on doing the same thing in Clayton.”

Because each location is set up to partially reflect the area it’s in, about half of the menu will be left to the chef. The other half of the menu will include tried and trues from Louie’s Wine Dive’s other locations. The Clayton location will also feature ingredients sourced from local farms, a weekly weekend prix fixe three-course dinner and various wine dinners

Louie’s Clayton location will also feature local Missouri wines on their extensive wine list. “We try to focus on smaller, more undiscovered vineyards, in general, with an emphasis always on quality,” VinZant said. “We seek to make wine accessible … We will also open any bottle if a table purchases two glasses.”


The Scoop: Bootleggin’ BBQ owners take over The Pour House, to relaunch as Brew-‘n-Que

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015



Bootleggin’ BBQ, which took over the kitchen at The Pour House in March, has now taken over the entire space. The restaurant closed today, Sept. 1, for renovations and will reopen quietly as Brew-’n-Que this Friday, Sept. 4. After about a month, the restaurant will celebrate a grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The new concept will allow owners Brenton Brown, Eddie Belter and Shane Hale to feature more signature menu items and an array of local brews. In addition to an expanded bar, the seating will almost double and there will be more TVs for watching games. “We’re still going to have a fun atmosphere,” Brown said. “We’ll still have the opportunity to play bags. Giant Jenga isn’t going anywhere.”

Along with Kansas City-style barbecue staples, the menu will feature pulled pork nachos and “pigs in a dilla,” pulled pork-stuffed quesadillas. Drew Carter will be in charge of the kitchen. “He’s our general manager/head chef/all around do anything we need him to do,” Brown said.

The Pour House location was desirable partially because of its placement in Midtown, slightly separated from the hubbub of downtown Washington Avenue. Hoping to cultivate a neighborhood hangout vibe, the ownership team will cater to the students and young professionals living nearby, as well as tourists.

Brown said they hope to introduce a brewery some day. “Because what goes better with barbecue than beer?” he said.

The Scoop: Lumiere Place reopens Sundeckers downtown

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015




Less than a year after closing its doors for good, Sundeckers Bar & Grill has reopened on The Landing under new ownership.

Lumiere Place purchased the property and several blocks around it a few years ago and decided to reopen the casual downtown bar and grill this summer. Though no longer involved, the former owner struck a deal with Lumiere that allowed them to keep the name, according to manager Branko Popovic. “We actually opened two weeks ago with a liquor license. We opened about a month ago just for lunch because we were waiting on the liquor license,” Popovic said.

Sundeckers is also currently looking for a new brewing home for its signature beer, Bases Loaded, after its former collaborators closed up shop, but they’ll continue to feature local and national options. “We have, obviously, Schlafly, Fat Tire. We have a Budweiser, Shock Top, Goose Island IPA, and we’re looking at a couple other small breweries,” Popovic said.

The menu has also undergone some changes. Sundecker’s ever-popular half-pound burger remains a menu staple, and Popovic estimates that the Philly Cheesesteak sandwich is the second most popular item.

The property got a bit of a facelift prior to reopening, receiving a new kitchen and some cosmetic updates and additional TVs. One thing that absolutely wasn’t touched, however, is the historic bar. There are more renovation plans in the mix – Popovic said that the hope is to have the back patio completely redone either by the end of this year or early next spring.

The Scoop: West End Grill & Pub owners take over Onesto

Thursday, August 13th, 2015




There’s a new ownership team at Onesto Pizza & Trattoria. Neill Costello, Henry Arciniega, William Roth and Benet Schaeffer, the ownership team behind West End Grill & Pub, took ownership of the St. Louis Hills Italian eatery Aug. 1.

“We’ve been looking, not aggressively, but passively, at other opportunities,” Costello said. “We’ve done pretty well at West End Grill & Pub, and I think it’s just a natural outgrowth of that to expand the business.”

Roth has played hockey with former owner Craig Stenson for several years, and the owners regularly ate in each other’s restaurants. Stenson and chef Vito Racanelli opened Onesto in 2008 and ran the operation together until Racanelli left in January 2012 to devote more time to his now-shuttered Clayton eatery, Mad Tomato.

“Craig approached us and after a couple months of ironing out the details, we were able to get the deal done,” Costello said. “He liked what we were doing over here and when he decided to sell it, he kind of wanted us to be the ones to get it.”

The new team doesn’t plan to make major changes to the current Onesto operation, Costello said, noting that the menu and much of the staff will remain the same. Costello and Arciniega will continue to be the boots on the ground at West End, while Costello goes back and forth between the two.


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