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The Scoop: Picasso’s Coffee opens second St. Charles location

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015



Picasso’s Coffee hosts the grand opening for its second location at 1650 Beale St., in The Streets of St. Charles today, Nov. 24. The new location is only five minutes from the original shop in historic downtown St. Charles, but it offers a new opportunity for owner Chris Schulte.

“I started Picasso’s first store 13 years ago,” said Schulte. “The coffee industry is so dynamic and changing that this was an opportunity for me to open up Picasso’s a decade later with newer technology and explore the latest trends in the coffee industry.”

The menu is largely the same as the original location with a few updates. Since the new space boasts an oven, the staff is busy creating original pastries like a bread pudding muffin with cranberries. The 40-seat restaurant also allows for a 50-bottle wine selection including 10 available by the glass. Beer and specialty cocktails are also served.

A breakfast menu features a bagel and lox, as well as a veggie scramble with eggs, spinach, feta and sundried tomatoes. Other offerings include pastries baked both in house and brought in from La Bonne Bouchee. Grilled paninis like turkey and Swiss with pesto and red peppers and small plates like house-made bruschetta are available for lunch and dinner.

“We’re a coffee shop first and foremost and the quality of the coffee is important to us,” Schulte said. “We do a lot of things, but we try to do them all well.” He also stressed the shop’s community roots and emphasis on local sourcing, such as its coffee that comes from Goshen Coffee and Chauvin.


The Scoop: Fred and Ricky’s to serve plant-based fare in St. Louis County

Thursday, November 19th, 2015



A plant-based, grab-and-go concept is coming to St. Louis, as Fred and Ricky’s prepares to open in early 2016 in Westport and Creve Coeur.

Kathleen “Fred” Waidmann and husband Ricky Waidmann aim to “make plant-based food that is interesting and satisfying,” said Kathleen Waidmann, who grew up on a farm and has experience in food service. She will serve as chef, preparing a seasonal menu inspired by family recipes. Fred and Ricky’s will feature vegan, plant-based dishes with no added oils like Waidmann’s Plantasagna, a plant-based lasagna, the butternut squash soup and the chocolate pudding.

Fred and Ricky’s will have two locations. The Westport location at 64 Weldon Parkway will have a commissary kitchen and grab-and-go service when it opens in January. A retail location with grab-and-go products and a small, sit-down space with 10 to 15 seats is set to open at 11252 Olive Blvd., in Creve Coeur in early February. Both locations will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Ricky is an entrepreneur by spirit, so we’re extremely sensitive to what the market wants,” Waidmann said. “If more people want to spend time sitting in the restaurant to eat, we’ll put in more tables and chairs.”



The Scoop: The Live Juke Joint Dueling Piano Bar to rock out Maplewood

Monday, November 2nd, 2015



Dueling pianos will return to Maplewood with the opening of The Live Juke Joint Dueling Piano Bar. Co-owner Phil “Spanky” Manaois was part of the ownership group at The Jive & Wail piano bar, which occupied the same corner space at 7376 Manchester Road. After a division in management, The Jive & Wail closed its doors in 2010, and Manaois went on to launch Spanky Entertainment, which books piano entertainment at venues across the country.

However, co-owner Drew Graefe said Manaois always had an interest in returning to the Maplewood location. “A big reason we are back in Maplewood is that we really care about the community and have close relationships with lots of other great new businesses there,” Graefe said.

Set to open right before Thanksgiving, the bar will feature specialty cocktails, draft local beers and a list of wines and spirits, as well as a full kitchen serving classic American fare. Upcoming menu items include the Sweet Child of Mine maple-glazed wings and the Blame It On Texas burger with two beef patties, barbecue sauce, fried pickles and fried onions.

The venue will feature pianists from around the country, who will play everything from classical music to country to rap in request-driven shows. Thursday nights will be keyboard karaoke nights, and Sundays will be Junior Jukers, a family-friendly show featuring age-appropriate music and a lunch buffet.

The Scoop: Gluten-free, casein-free restaurant to open downtown

Friday, September 11th, 2015



A2 The GFCF Cafe & Restaurant is bringing gluten- and casein-free fare to downtown at 1330 Washington Ave.

The restaurant is named for co-owners Audrey Faulstich and Audra Angelique. Faulstich, a registered nurse, eschewed foods containing gluten and casein (a protein found in mammal milk) in early 2014. After noticing the positive health benefits it had for her friend, Angelique also began following a gluten- and casein-free lifestyle. Angelique experimented with recipes in her home kitchen before deciding to take her health-focused dishes to the masses with a new restaurant downtown.

Starting in early November, A2 will be open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a weekend brunch. The menu will feature gluten- and dairy-free pizzas and sandwiches served on freshly baked, gluten-free bread. The St. Louis Club will feature turkey, avocado aioli and fresh tomatoes on gluten-free, casein-free cheddar-bacon focaccia. Look also for creative takes on pasta salads, including a pad Thai salad with glass noodles and “spaghetti and meatball salad” using quinoa-brown rice noodles tossed in a sun-dried tomato dressing.

On the beverage side, A2 will offer a full espresso bar, as well as healthy, house-made soft drinks like the Audrey Temple with sparkling black cherry juice, cherry-infused water, black cherry-chia seed probiotics and honey-soaked cherries. They will also install an oxygen bar.

Angelique said she hopes to support as many local purveyors as possible. They plan to use produce from the Urban Harvest rooftop garden, coffee from Mississippi Mud and gluten-free sunflower-based flour from Think.Eat.Live. “I’m obsessed with St. Louis,” Angelique said. “I think it’s one of the best cities in the country, possibly the world.”






The Scoop: Co-founder to leave The Cup, partner to take over as sole owner

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015



After eight years, co-founder Nicole Puyear is leaving The Cup. Business partner Ericka Frank will take sole ownership beginning Sept. 15.

The duo launched The Cup in 2007 after Frank, a longtime baker, looked to expand beyond sister shop, The Cakery. She brought Puyear on to help with marketing, development and operations. What they anticipated as a little neighborhood bakery blossomed into four locations, including the Central West End, Chesterfield, Edwardsville and Springfield, Missouri.

Puyear said her decision to leave came after the recent adoption of her daughter. “Once Hattie came home, it became immediately clear I couldn’t give everything to the business. I love The Cup, but I realized I wasn’t giving Hattie the best of me,” she said. “My husband and I waited so long and tried so hard to have family, so I don’t want to miss anything.”

Frank said she does not anticipate any immediate changes to The Cup and is not looking to expand the business anytime soon. She is grateful for the eight years she and Puyear worked together and is looking forward to The Cup’s future. “I’m excited about the opportunity to take the lead on my own,” she said.

Puyear said she and Frank remain friends, and she looks forward to supporting the business as a customer. “I still need my favorite tuxedo cupcakes,” she said.

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