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Mar 28, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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First Look

First Look: The Dark Room at Grandel Square 

Monday, March 6th, 2017

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The Dark Room Wine Bar & Photo Gallery has reopened in its new location at 3610 Grandel Square in the Grand Center Arts District. As The Scoop reported in November, the bar is now housed in the Grandel Theatre building. The bar is now designated as a nonprofit under the umbrella of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation, with about 40 cents from each dollar going to support local arts.

The space, menu, hours and stage have all expanded with the new location. The Dark Room now seats more than 70 with better acoustics for live music, ample standing room and increased gallery space, so patrons can enjoy rotating photography exhibits without standing over seated diners.

“Most brands don’t get this kind of opportunity to evolve and get a second start,” said director of hospitality Denise Mueller. She hopes the bar will become a neighborhood staple and nightlife destination with its new lunch and brunch menus and late-night happy hour deals. The bar also plans to open an extensive patio with an outdoor bar this May.

The Dark Room is now open Wednesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Happy hour deals from 3 to 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday brunch is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Get a First Look at The Dark Room’s new home:

 

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Editor’s note: This post was updated at 4:50 p.m. to adjust hours of operation.  

Photos by Michelle Volansky

Related Content
The Scoop: The Dark Room to move to Grandel Theater 

The Scoop: Chef Samantha Pretto joins The Dark Room

Review: The Dark Room

 

First Look: Mac’s Local Eats in Dogtown

Monday, March 6th, 2017

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Last year, a broken sewage line during Game 7 of the World Series shuttered Tamm Avenue Grill for several months, during which the Dogtown bar and restaurant underwent a total renovation. During the hiatus, co-owner Bob Brazell (who also co-owns Byrd & Barrel and upcoming Good Fortune) said he and his partners decided to up the bar’s food game.

They approached Chris “Mac” McKenzie of local food distributor Mac’s Local Buys to start a new concept that would a step or two above the usual bar food. McKenzie partnered with Completely Sauced owner Bob Komanetsky to operate an independent kitchen inside Tamm Avenue Grill. And so Mac’s Local Eats was born on Thursday, Feb. 2.

Mac’s menu features items made with premium ingredients like dry-aged beef for the smashed burgers (which come in single, double, triple and quadruple patty versions), sausage links and boudin balls. Most everything at Mac’s is made in-house, and since Mac’s buys whole animals, the menu frequently changes.

McKenzie said sometime before May, he’ll open Mac’s Local Market in the same building, where he’ll offer fresh cuts of meats and other local products. The market will also serve as Mac’s Local Buys HQ for CSA and meat share pickups.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Related Content
The Scoop: The Corner Cup coffee shop opens in Dogtown

The Scoop: Chef Bob Brazell launches catering business, revamps The Corner Cup menu

First Look: New Day Gluten Free in Clayton

Friday, January 27th, 2017

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New Day Gluten Free has a new home in Clayton. After closing their Ellisville location three months ago, co-owners Garrett and Kelly Beck have reopened their gluten-free, peanut-free restaurant and bakery at 7807 Clayton Road on Monday, Jan. 16.

Kelly Beck said the kitchen is twice as big as the Ellisville location, which makes it possible to hire more staff and expand its offerings. The menu is currently the same as the Ellisville location, though with the addition of a deep-fryer, Beck has added house-made chips and is developing recipes for gluten-free doughnuts.

The 3,800-square-foot space seats 40 inside and will seat an additional 25 when the weather warms. “It’s almost triple the seating we had in Ellisville,” Beck said. “We learned a lot at the other space, but [the new space] is what I always envisioned when we first started talking about opening a gluten-free cafe.”

New Day Gluten Free is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here’s what you’ll find when you visit the new space:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Related Content
Wheatless Wednesdays: Gluten-free recipes

The Scoop: New Day Gluten Free closes doors, intends to open new location this year

• The Scoop: New Day Gluten Free to open Clayton cafe in December

First Look: Hi-Pointe Drive-In

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

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Hi-Pointe Drive-In opens today, Jan. 5, at 1033 McCausland Ave. As The Scoop reported last July, the minds behind Sugarfire Smoke House tore down the former Del Taco building for the colorful, new 3,000-square-foot burger and sandwich joint.

The menu will satisfy both traditionalists and trend-seekers: Classic griddled burgers and fries are offered alongside a taco burger seasoned with Cool Ranch Doritos and Chili Cheese Fritos, and creative sandwiches like The Abaconing, an indulgent take on a BLT, made with fried tomatoes and collard greens.

Milkshakes are available in a few classic flavors as well as Dreamsicle, butterscotch and a seasonal Strange Donuts collaboration shake. Add booze to any of those, or order a boozy slushie, wine or one of the 8 beers on tap. Excel sodas are also available.

Hi-Pointe Drive-In will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here’s what to expect when you walk in:

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

Extra Sauce: Top 10 Sneak Peeks of 2016

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

From new arcade bars downtown to long-awaited breweries in Maplewood, here are the 10 places you couldn’t wait to check out before they opened in 2016.

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce Magazine on Facebook and Twitter to get Sneak Peeks and First Looks of the latest St. Louis-area restaurant, bar and shop openings.

 

 

1. First Look: Start Bar downtown

2. Sneak Peek: Farm to You Market in Washington

 

 

3. Sneak Peek: Sardella in Clayton

4. Sneak Peek: The Sliced Pint in downtown St. Louis

5. Sneak Peek: Wicked Greenz in Clayton

 

 

6. Sneak Peek: Side Project Brewing in Maplewood

7. Sneak Peek: Yolklore in Crestwood

8. First Look: Catrinas in Edwardsville

 

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9. First Look: Nathaniel Reid Bakery in Kirkwood

10. Sneak Peek: Nixta in Botanical Heights

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Related Content

10 Best New Restaurants of 2016

Extra Sauce: Top 5 Dishes of 2016

Extra Sauce: Top 10 Scoops of 2016

 

 

First Look: Gezellig in The Grove

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

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The Grove continues to step up its beer game with the recent addition of Gezellig Tap House & Bottleshop. As The Scoop reported in July, owner Brandon Cavanagh closed his music venue, The Demo, to open a beer bar at 4191 Manchester Ave., partially inspired by his travels to Amsterdam.

The Dutch word “gezellig,” Cavanagh explained, refers to a cozy, convivial environment or a sense of togetherness among loved ones. It’s a concept he hopes his bar embodies with its dark wood, Edison lighting and the soft pop of vinyl albums playing over the speakers.

The space can seat up to 80 and serves as both a bar and bottle shop with a wall of refrigerators organized by region. Two are dedicated to local Missouri and Illinois brews like Schlafly, 2nd Shift, Perennial, Logboat and Boulevard. Several national labels are available, as well as international offerings from Belgium, Denmark, Sweden and more. Bottled and canned brews can be purchased for onsite consumption or to-go.

Twenty-eight taps are available, and Cavanagh hopes to keep the selection rotating frequently by only featuring seasonal and special release beers. Local barman and assistant manager Joel Clark supports the beer averse with wine, bottled cocktails and spirits available neat or on the rocks. Look for a tight selection of mostly whiskey, mezcal and gin. Cavanagh said he is currently working with area restaurants Sauce on the Side and The Gramophone to coordinate food delivery, and customers can bring their own carryout to Gezellig.

Gezellig is currently open Tuesday to Thursday from 3 to 10 p.m., Friday from 3 to 11 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 11 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect at The Grove’s new beer bar:

 

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Related Content
Gezellig Taphouse & Bottleshop to open in The Grove

First Look: Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods in The Grove

First Look: Intoxicology in The Grove

Photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: LuLu Asian Kitchen in Olivette

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

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LuLu Seafood and Dim Sum has gone fast-casual with its first LuLu Asian Kitchen location, now open at 9626 Olive Blvd., in Olivette. As The Scoop reported in July, another LuLu Asian Kitchen location will soon open at 9737 Manchester Road in Rock Hill, with more locations in the works.

Popular staples from Lulu Seafood and Dim Sum will be rotating entrees at Lulu Asian Kitchen, along with more traditional Chinese dishes and some exclusive to the new concept, like the caramelized bourbon chicken, which makes use of the new kitchen’s grill.

Entrees can be ordered in different combinations as bowls, plates or platters, or folded into Asian burritos with rice and toppings. There are also soups, salads and lighter to-go options like spring rolls and sushi. Fountain drinks are joined by a handful of beer and wine offerings.

“The quality is the same as the main location. We just have more limited options and faster service,” said co-founder Julia Li.

Lulu Asian Kitchen is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. There will be a grand opening event on Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 3 to 9 p.m. with free food and drink. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Olivette’s new fast-casual spot:

 

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More about LuLu Asian Kitchen
• The Scoop: LuLu Asian Kitchen to open in Olivette and Rock Hill

What I Do: Julia Li of Lu Lu Fresh Express

• First Look: LuLu Chicnese and Dim Sum Truck

Photos by Michelle Volansky

 

First Look: Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods in The Grove

Monday, November 28th, 2016

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Just in time for holiday shopping, Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods has opened doors at 4180 Manchester Ave., in The Grove. The space that formerly housed Rise (fear not – the coffee shop moved to a larger location next door) has been transformed into a small retail shop showcasing home goods and accessories.

This isn’t owner Beth Styles’ first foray into retail. As The Scoop reported in August, she also owns Parismonia, a vintage clothing store on South Grand Boulevard. At Lemon Gem, Styles turns her attention to cookware, knives, baking tins and more. The shop features a mix of brands like OXO, Cuisinart and Victorinox alongside local artisans like Sprouted Designs, Collin Garrity woodworking and Conscious Apothecary. Styles also offers products new to the St. Louis market, like Skinny laMinx textiles and Short Stack Editions, a single-ingredient-focused cookbook series.

Styles is still putting finishing touches on the upstairs space, which will feature a small children’s play area, an event space and a cookbook nook filled with donated copies of everything from The Joy of Cooking to Cooking Light. Customers can peruse the options and copy down their favorite recipes for inspiration at home.

Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Styles will host a grand opening celebration Dec. 11. Here’s a first look at what to expect at The Grove’s first kitchen goods store.

 

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Related Content
• The Scoop: Parlor to open in The Grove
First Look: Intoxicology in The Grove
• The Scoop: Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods to open in The Grove
The Scoop: Rockwell Beer Co. announces location in The Grove

 

Photos by Michelle Volansky 

First Look: Intoxicology in The Grove

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

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A new cocktail supply and spirits shop is now open in The Grove. Intoxicology opened doors Friday, Nov. 18 at 4321 Manchester Ave. As The Scoop reported in August, co-owners Andy Foerstel and Melissa Pfeiffer aim to supply small batch spirits, bitters and barware to cocktail enthusiasts.

In addition to liquor and an extensive collection of bitters, Intoxicology sells tools of the trade, right down to Kold-Draft ice cubes by the bag. “We were sick of having to go around to multiple stores to find everything we needed to make a cocktail,” Pfeiffer said. “We wanted to create a place where you can find everything you need in one place.”

Foerstel and Pfeiffer credited Planter’s House co-owner Ted Kilgore with introducing them to a proper drink. “Ted really got us into cocktails about 12 or 13 years ago, back when he was at Monarch,” Foerstel said. “He’s been really encouraging and helpful during this whole process.”

Intoxicology is open Tuesday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect:

 

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Read more about The Grove
• The Scoop: Parlor to open in The Grove
• The Scoop:Rockwell Beer Co. announces location in The Grove
• The Scoop: Intoxicology spirits and bar supply store to open in The Grove
• The Scoop: Lemon Gem Kitchen Goods to open in The Grove
• The Scoop: Gezellig Tap House & Bottleshop to replace The Demo in The Grove

-photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: Cibare at River City Casino

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

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Italy came to River City Casino last week when Cibare Italian Kitchen opened on Thursday, Nov. 3. Located in a 3,644-square-foot space inside the casino, Cibare offers 83 seats where patrons can enjoy a menu of fresh pastas, Neapolitan-style pizzas and Italian entrees.

Though River City is most well known for its casino, “We’re a restaurant destination, too,” said executive chef Josh Schlink. Cibare’s chef de cuisine Pierpaolo Pittia, who is from Udine, Italy, said the kitchen is focused on the simplicity of Italian cuisine, using just three or four ingredients in dishes.

Fresh pasta is made for dishes like the classic bucatini all’amatriciana, featuring San Marzano tomatoes and a hint of chile, or the strozzapreti made with braised beef, pancetta and caramelized onions. The 6-foot-tall Wood Stone oven towering in a corner of the dining room can turn out seven to eight Neapolitan-style pizzas at once for lunch or dinner. The shorter lunch menu also features panini sandwiches.

Executive pastry chef David Laufer prepare sweet treats, which are available from the attached coffee shop and bakery beginning at 6 a.m., daily. Laufer, who previously worked at The Preston in The Chase Park Plaza, moved to River City for the chance to showcase more desserts in a retail outlet alongside his restaurant menu. “It’s the best of both worlds,” Laufer said. Customers can pick up whole cakes, pies or an assortment of cookies and pastries from the attached bakery, along with Laufer’s house-made gelato.

Cibare is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. Here, a first look at River City Casino’s newest restaurant:

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky

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