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Mar 20, 2018
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The Scoop: The Purple Martin to close Dec. 23, may reopen under new ownership

Thursday, December 15th, 2016




Nearly three years after business, The Purple Martin will close after service on Friday, Dec. 23. Owner Brooke Roseberry is selling the Fox Park restaurant and bar and is currently in negotiations with potential buyers.

Roseberry opened The Purple Martin in 2014, intending for it to be a community hangout. “I live in the neighborhood, and I wanted a place where I could walk to and have my kids fed and not worry about dishes,” Rosenberry said. “There was no place here like that when we opened.”

Roseberry said she plans to focus on her career in banking. “I’m not a manager, really,” she said. “The Purple Martin just needs to be in better hands, and there are people coming forward who are experienced [with running] restaurants and managing people.”

While no contract has been signed yet, Roseberry is hopeful that whoever ends up purchasing the restaurant will keep it going in some form. “So far, everyone I’ve talked to seems to want to continue with the restaurant and all of them seem to be community-minded, which I like,” she said. “They just want to make it better.”


The Scoop: Local Harvest Catering under new ownership as Seed Sprout Spoon

Friday, October 28th, 2016



The former catering arm of Local Harvest Grocery is under new ownership, emerging as Seed Sprout Spoon. Erin Wiles and The Civil Life’s former chef Brendan Kirby quietly purchased the business in August, finishing up existing catering contracts before making the transition.

Seed Sprout Spoon will stay in the old Local Harvest Catering space at 3137 Morgan Ford Road, keeping the focus on local ingredients and offering plenty of the former business’ favorites like pan-seared Troutdale Farms trout and a Three Spring Farm beef tenderloin with Illinois horseradish cream.

“Ownership has changed, but what we are doing is essentially the same,” Wiles said. “I managed Local Harvest Catering for three years and managed the front of house at the cafe before that. We will have the same philosophy for local foods, and we are just revamping the menu a bit and rebranding.”

Wiles also plans to bring back counter-service Sunday brunch next month. Look for a limited, rotating menu featuring Local Harvest classics like chorizo or vegan burritos, pot pies and chili. The new brunch will also see a mimosa and bloody mary bar.

Seed Sprout Spoon will continue to focus on catering events and weddings, expanding catering service offerings, and stocking prepared food in cases at Local Harvest Grocery, St. Louis MetroMarket and TechArtista’s Silo Cafe.

The Scoop: Chef Chris Ladley to depart Quincy Street Bistro after two years

Friday, October 21st, 2016



After two years, Chris Ladley is departing Quincy Street Bistro. His final dinner service is today, Oct. 21. Ladley had been executive chef since Chris Tirone departed in November 2015.

Ladley said he plans to take a break from the fast-paced workload of a chef, take a vacation and help some of his friends with restaurant projects. “I just realized that I’m not getting any younger,” he said. “I’ve been at Quincy for two years now, and they’re at a really good place with the menu so I decided to take a little break,” he said. Ladley’s resume includes time as executive chef at Herbie’s Vintage ’72, as well as PastariaBrasserie and The Dubliner.

Ladley said Quincy Street Bistro owners Mike and Sue Enright will continue business as usual this weekend, and he anticipates a smooth transition to a new, yet-to-be-named chef. “A lot of people here have been here for years, and we’ve become this functional family, so I’m kind of bummed to leave, but at the same time I’m looking forward to recharging the batteries,” he said. “I’m stoked about the dining scene that has been evolving in the city, and I want to stay a part of it for sure.”

Co-owner Mike Enright declined to comment on the transition at this time.

The Scoop: Benton Park Cafe to find a new home in old Jax Cafe space

Friday, October 7th, 2016



After nearly 10 years at 1900 Arsenal St., Benton Park Cafe is moving – but not too far. Owner Jessica Lenzen is relocating the restaurant to 2901 Salena St. (the former home of Jax Cafe) at the end of October.

“I had been looking for over a year, but had done actual shopping for about six months,” she said. “Then all of the sudden, Jax closed, and I had been looking at that place for years. I think they literally closed on a Sunday, and I was knocking on their door on Thursday.”

Lenzen rents Benton Park Cafe’s current location, and she said the ability to own the new space appealed to her. She plans to move her growing family to the apartment above the restaurant. “I’m so excited to not come to work and pull weeds and do the flowers and have to go home and pull weeds and do the flowers all over again,” she said.

Lenzen said the space’s contemporary design and flow were also good selling points. “I like the mix of old and new: I like the exposed brick, but I also like a new espresso machine,” she said. “The space is designed to be like a kitchen in someone’s home … where people naturally gather.”

Benton Park Cafe will keep the same hours of operation and menu for now. Lenzen plans to do some rebranding and is currently working on a new logo with help from local artist Phil Jarvis. While the new location is comparable in size to the old space, the Salena Street location will have 90 seats to fill, about a dozen or so more than the current spot. Lenzen said she hopes to open up an outdoor bar and patio space in the backyard area behind the restaurant in the spring.

Brunchers won’t have to wait long to check out the new space. Lenzen will close the current location on Oct. 24 and hopes to reopen at the new spot the last weekend of October.

The Scoop: VietNam Style aims to bring traditional Vietnamese fare to The Loop

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016



A new style is coming to the Delmar Loop in early October. Owners Thao Truong and her husband, Yun Vu, are finalizing plans to open VietNam Style, Delmar’s newest Vietnamese restaurant, at 6100 Delmar Blvd., as reported by the Riverfront Times. Truong will run the front of house and a fresh fruit smoothie bar, while Vu will helm the kitchen with Truong’s mother assisting.

Truong said VietNam Style’s food will reflect authentic cuisine she grew up with in Vietnam. “My mom helped teach me to cook,” Truong said. “Since I was 10 years old, and she always chose the best ingredients to cook with. She would send me to the markets, and when I chose one (ingredient) that was not fresh enough, she sent me back to get a better one.”

Look for traditional Vietnamese dishes like pho or grilled pork with a sweet-and-sour fish sauce served atop rice vermicelli and herbs. Truong also hopes to bring tastes of more modern Vietnamese cuisine like Sizzling Steak, a thin sliced beef dish cooked on hot cast-iron that Truong said has risen in popularity in Vietnam.

“Delmar is a place for mostly international students and people. Customers come there to try new things,” she said. “I can’t think of a better spot for my restaurant.”

When its doors open, VietNam Style will offer daily lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and it will open back up at 5 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant will close at 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

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