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Sep 05, 2015
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The Scoop

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.

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: McArthur’s Bakery Café relocates in Kirkwood, revamps breakfast and lunch menus

Monday, August 31st, 2015




McArthur’s Bakery Café will host the grand opening of its relocated Kirkwood cafe on Sept. 11 at 210 N. Kirkwood Road, a space formerly occupied by Amici’s Italian Restaurant. The new space features more seating and expanded breakfast and lunch menus.

“We have the traditional bakery and wanted to make it about the food with the cafe as well,” said owner Scott Rinaberger. “Here, we have more space to build out our food program.”

That food program will see breakfast sandwiches featuring fresh-cracked eggs with a choice of bacon, ham or sausage or the Tango sandwich that includes spicy chipotle sauce and jalapenos.

The lunch menu focuses on freshly made soups, salads and paninis served on McArthur’s house-baked bread. Ingredients like half-sour pickles make an appearance on the sweet-and-sour Cuban sandwich, as well as on the simple salami sandwich with Kenrick’s salami served on a baguette. The cafe will also use Intelligentsia Coffee for its espresso drinks. “We want to use high-end ingredients but take away the pretension,” said Ben Abel, executive director of food service.

The new location will seat 94 diners and also includes a separate room for private wedding cake consultations. Rinaberger, whose ownership group purchased McArthur’s in November 2014, said customers can still enjoy the same baked goods and breads customers have come to expect from the nearly 60-year-old establishment.


The Scoop: New bottle shop, Cork & Rind, to open in St. Charles

Friday, August 28th, 2015




A new boutique bottle shop is coming to St. Charles. Cork & Rind is opening in the 1,060-square-foot space at 555 First Capitol Drive. Manager Ben Wood said owners Michael and Elizabeth Kinney both grew up in St. Charles and saw an unfulfilled need for this kind of retail in the area.

Wood aims to carefully curate Cork & Rind’s selection of artisan and natural wines such as Theresa Airen and Feudo di Santa Tresa Frappato. “We can tell you the name of the person who made the wine in pretty much every case,” he said. Look also for local craft beer, many of which will lean toward sour with wild fermentation, as well as select spirits and small-batch cheese.

Wood will also offer monthly wine classes like Wine 101, along with periodic specialty classes such as an introduction to French wine.

Cork & Rind will host a soft opening in early September and a grand opening Sept. 18. Regular hours will be Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.

The Scoop: Michael David Murphy named beverage director at Bar Italia

Friday, August 28th, 2015



On the heels of Brandon Kerne’s departure, Bar Italia has found a replacement for its now-vacant beverage directorship: Michael David Murphy, who oversaw the beverage program at Gerard Craft’s empire of restaurants, will fill Kerne’s shoes beginning this week.

“This is a really exciting opportunity,” Murphy said, citing the more than 600 bottles now amassed in Bar Italia’s wine library. “The cellar runs deep. There’s not many places in St. Louis that you can go to have wine that is correctly aged and served in its prime for $60 to $70.”

Since April 2014, Murphy worked for Robust Wine Bar, following stints as wine director and, later, beverage director for the Craft Restaurant Group from 2010 to 2011 and 2012 to 2013. In between, he was a wine manager for a distributor in Kansas City. Under Murphy’s watch, Craft’s Niche earned a spot among Wine Enthusiast’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants in 2013. He will continue to flex his sommelier muscles in his position at Bar Italia.

“This really is, from a sommelier’s perspective, a dream. Brandon did a phenomenal job elevating this into a prestigious program,” Murphy said. He plans to broaden the regional representation of the wine list and continue to evolve the 30-year-old restaurant’s monthly wine dinner program. Yet for the most part, he said, he just wants to keep an already flourishing program going strong.

Mengesha Yohannes, co-owner of Bar Italia, said Murphy’s laidback approach to beverage service differs from Kerne’s, but is no less apt. “He’s very quiet, but there’s a lot of substance,” Yohannes said. “Every time I have a chat with him, I’m always surprised, the hidden passions boiling under the surface. He’s very, very engaging and has a deep passion that comes out in surprising ways. More of a Zen master approach.”

Kerne, who worked with Murphy for several months before his departure to facilitate the transition, was equally enthusiastic. “I cannot recommend (Michael) enough as a professional,” Kerne said. “He is undoubtedly one of the top talents in the city.”





The Scoop: Edibles & Essentials to open in St. Louis Hills

Thursday, August 27th, 2015




St. Louis Hills will soon see the opening of Edibles & Essentials, a counter service cafe and market at 5815 Hampton Ave. Chef-owner Matthew Borchardt said the 1,600-square-foot space will include an artisan market and a counter-service cafe showcasing dishes from around the world.

Borchardt most recently served as a consulting chef for Taze Mediterranean Street Food, along with previous roles at Cafe Provencal, Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge and a program director position at L’Ecole Culinaire. For his first independent venture, Borchard is opening his shop on home turf.

“My wife and I met as next-door neighbors in Clifton Heights. My parents’ house was in the Lindenwood Park area right up the street from Mom’s Deli. I love the St. Louis Hills area,” Borchardt said.

On the market side, Edibles & Essentials will offer a variety of imported and locally sourced goods including oils and vinegars, breads, cheeses, wine and spirits, spices, cured meats, cookbooks, cookware, kitchen utensils and kitchen gadgets. A small butcher counter will also feature a selection of hand-cut steaks, chops and seafood.

The cafe will feature globally inspired cuisine and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Standard menu items will include small plates like french fries, sauteed spinach or crab cakes and larger entrees such as a roasted pork sandwich and grilled meats. The menu will also feature charcuterie boards paired with jams, jellies, cheeses, pickles and breads. Both international and local bottled brews and wines by the glass or bottle will also be available for customers. Borchardt hopes to seat 20 inside and an additional 30 under a covered courtyard.





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: Josh Charles is named executive chef at Element

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015


{From left, Josh Charles and fellow Ones to Watch alum John Fausz}

Area rising star Josh Charles has just landed his first exec chef gig. Beginning Sept. 1, Charles will helm the kitchen at Element.

For the last three years, Charles, a member of the Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2014, has worked at restaurateur Ben Poremba’s Elaia, where he quickly climbed from garde manger to chef de cuisine. Charles announced he planned to leave Poremba’s restaurant group earlier this month, but his next move had not been determined.

“(Element) owners Carol and Stacy Hastie had seen that I didn’t have a landing zone yet. They called. We sat down and talked about it. It seemed like a good fit,” Charles said. He was impressed by the restaurant’s design, and as an avid rock climber, he appreciated the restaurant’s close proximity to Climb So Ill, a climbing facility in the same building.

Charles said he will have full autonomy in the kitchen, unlike when Element first opened in fall 2013 and multiple chefs collaborated. “They are leaving it in my hands to decide the menu,” he said. “I’ll still do comfort food, but expand on it a bit. I want to use the flavors from across the world to really define comfort food.”

Look for a new dinner menu to launch the second week of September and a revamped lunch menu to follow soon after. Charles also anticipates adding a separate bar menu.

Element co-owner Carol Hastie was not immediately available for comment.

-photo by Carmen Troesser



First Look: Six Mile Bridge in Maryland Heights

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015



Six Mile Bridge opened its doors Friday, Aug., 21, at 11841 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights. As The Scoop reported in July, owners Ryan and Lindsay Sherring started brewing beer in Cape Town, South Africa before moving to St. Louis.

Though focused on distribution, Six Mile Bridge also has a 2,000-square-foot tasting room fronting its 4,000-square-foot brewing space. For now, the tasting room will offer popcorn for snacking, but the Sherrings hope to partner with local chefs on a food menu and open a kitchen soon.

The sleek industrial, high-ceilinged space boasts a glossy wood bar, a chalk art mural depicting the brewing process by local artist Sarah Doriani and ample seating to enjoy a pint. Six Mile Bridge is starting with three beers: an Irish red ale brewed with honey, a Bavarian hefeweizen with banana and light spice notes and a session IPA. Look for a stout this fall, as Six Mile Bridge slowly expands its offerings. Pull a pint at the bar, bring a growler home or look for its brews around town at local bars and restaurants.

Six Mile Bridge is open Fridays from 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturdays noon to 11 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you head to Maryland Heights:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: The Garden on Grand to open this fall

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015



{Chef Kore Wilbert and his children}


South Grand will welcome its newest eatery this fall when The Garden on Grand, a progressive, fresh dining restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner opens its doors at 2245 S. Grand Blvd. Hoping to appeal as much to the neighborhood as to the health conscious, chef Kore Wilbert will put organic, locally grown ingredients into meals for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

“You can serve things like pork that aren’t traditionally considered healthy, but in the right portion size and paired with something healthy, you can have balance,” said Wilbert who came aboard eight months ago after serving as executive sous chef at DePaul Health Center.

Owner Cevin Lee was inspired to open the restaurant following his own journey into “raw, almost vegan” eating, which he said all but freed him from debilitating arthritis pain. “In three months of going cold turkey, I was basically able to get my immune system back to normal. It’s a lifestyle commitment and removing things from your body that shouldn’t be there and putting things in that your body needs,” said Lee whose family has owned neighboring Hong Kong Express for nearly 25 years.

Drawing on Lee’s Asian heritage and Wilbert’s affinity for Mediterranean cuisine, the menu is shaping up to be a house take on a variety of international classics like chop suey-style dishes, bahn mi and assorted Italian dishes. “We’re trying to do dishes that will please the neighborhood but are also healthy and wholesome,” Wilbert said.

Some of those wholesome ingredients include locally sourced produce including heirloom zucchini and zucchini blossoms, which will be grown specifically for The Garden on Grand. The restaurant will also include a fresh juice bar and will seat up to 55 diners.

Editor’s note: This post was updated Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. with the correct name of The Garden on Grand and an additional quote from owner Cevin Lee. 

-photo by Ashley Gieseking


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