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Dec 04, 2016
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The Scoop

The Scoop: Guerrilla Street Food to open second STL location in new Trops

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

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 { 800-pound gorilla }

 

Guerrilla Street Food has found a second home – inside the new Tropical Liqueurs. As The Scoop reported in June, Tropical Liqueurs is moving from its current location in Soulard to at 4104 Manchester Ave., in The Grove. Its last day in Soulard is this Sunday, Dec. 4.

At the time, Billy Thompson, a co-owner of the frozen cocktail bar, spoke excitedly about the neighborhood, the building and the possibility of partnering with a local restaurant at the new space. This possibility became reality when Trops decided to join forces with Brian Hardesty and Joel Crespo of Guerrilla Street Food. The new space is slated to open in early March.

“We hadn’t thought that a new location in St. Louis was what we wanted to do before,” said Hardesty. “We really didn’t have a serious conversation about a second St. Louis location because we were focusing on Chicago, but this is a cool new development, and we’re excited about this partnership.”

While Tropical Liqueurs will cover the beverages, Guerrilla Street Food will handle all the food. “The location is going to have its own chef and its own specials, but people can still expect to see some of the old-school classics like The Flying Pig, the chicken adobo and the lumpia,” said Hardesty.

Guerrilla Street Food will offer lunch and dinner, as well as weekly brunch service. Hardesty said he looked forward to the fun combination of tropical slushy drinks and Filipino fare. “I think it will be a good addition to the neighborhood and that it will integrate really well with what is already there,” he said. “We’re just really excited to get it started.”

 

Related Content
The Scoop: Tropical Liqueurs to move to The Grove

The Scoop: Tropical Liqueurs to stay open in Soulard, looking for new location

The Scoop: Guerrilla Street Food to open Chicago location

Eat This: Chicken Adobo at Guerrilla Street Food

Olivia Dansky and Brianna Velarde contributed to this report.

The Scoop: The Dark Room to move to Grandel Theater

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

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A new space for nightlife is developing at 3601 Grandel Square as The Dark Room Wine Bar & Photo Gallery prepares to move from its current location at 615 N. Grand Blvd., to the Grandel Theater. The Kranzberg Arts Foundation is renovating the Grandel, and in February 2017, the lobby and commons area will be home to an new Dark Room.

“This is a great opportunity to expand our programing and capacity and to double down on our commitment to supporting the arts,” said Chris Hansen, Kranzberg Arts Foundation executive director.

Hansen said those expansions include extended hours, 30 percent more seating inside and another 50 seats on the patio. The Dark Room will also serve as the food and beverage provider for the theater. A newly designed and installed kitchen will be under the direction of chef Samantha Pretto, who came on board in December 2015.

Patrons can expect an expanded cocktail menu designed for theater-goers who need to get to the show on time, as well as a new late-night food menu following productions. Private dining rooms will also be available.

Customers who enjoyed the live jazz and visual arts exhibits at The Dark Room can expect the same vibe with rotating installations.“The Dark Room meets (Kranzberg Arts Foundation’s) mission to invest in infrastructure and systems that support the arts,” said Hansen. “Its programs can be the backbone of the Grandel Theater.”

He plans to announce new menu details closer to opening.

 

Related Content
Nightlife: The Dark Room

The Scoop: Chef Samantha Pretto joins The Dark Room

Sneak Peek: The Dark Room

The Scoop: The Dark Room wine bar and photo gallery to open in Grand Center

The Scoop: Death in the Afternoon closes

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

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Citygarden is minus a lunch spot (at least for now) as Death in the Afternoon served its last bowl of ramen on Wednesday, Nov. 23. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, owners TJ Vytlacil and Adam Frager decided not to renew Death in the Afternoon’s lease in order to continue to grow their point of sale software company, Brigade Society, which publicly launched last year.

“We’re choosing to put all our energy into Brigade Society, and we’re doing well,” said Frager. “Knowing we’ll be traveling a lot in the immediate future, it would have been unfair to the staff, guests and Citygarden if we weren’t here to support the restaurant. We never wanted to be absentee owners.”

Unlike Blood & Sand, which Vytlacil and Frager sold earlier this fall, Death in the Afternoon’s building was leased, and the timeline was shorter. It took nearly nine months to close the sale of Blood & Sand.

“Selling a restaurant is a time-consuming process,” said Frager. “Citygarden has been fantastic and a pleasure to work with. When we started there was some skepticism about the location, but that’s never been an issue. We’ve always been profitable, so I hope we’ve proved that the location is not a hindrance but a benefit. We just didn’t have the luxury of time to put it up for sale.”

The restaurant had been open just more than two-and-a-half years, and Frager said will miss the diners and relationships.

“That was the hardest part of the decision,” he said. “Knowing how many friends have supported us in this. But it is out of respect for them that we closed. If there isn’t a strong leadership or ownership presence, then it’s hard to maintain the experience people had come to enjoy.”

 

Related Content
• The Scoop: New owner discusses vision for Blood & Sand

• The Scoop: Blood & Sand owners put downtown bar up for sale

The Scoop: Nick Martinkovic parts ways with Death in the Afternoon, Blood & Sand

The Scoop: Death in the Afternoon to extend hours for evening service

• Power Lunch: Death in the Afternoon

 

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

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

Monday, November 28th, 2016

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{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: Rock & Brews now open in Chesterfield

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

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Rock & Brews, the restaurant franchise founded by KISS members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, opened an 8,000-square-foot restaurant at 17258 Chesterfield Airport Road in Chesterfield a few weeks ago.

Franchise owner Kirk Williams said he is excited to bring the first area Rock & Brews to St. Louis. “People will love our food, and they will be able to tell immediately that we make our food from scratch,” he said. Chef John Sydow, who previously worked at Sugarfire Smoke House, serves classic American fare like burgers and pizza. Many dishes are named after classic rock bands or songs like Ring of Fire wings and Hotel California Cobb Salad.

Area beer lovers will find two bars: one with 52 craft beers on tap, and another Missouri-focused bar with 16 taps featuring breweries like Schlafly and 4 Hands Brewing Co. Wine, cocktails and sangria are also available.

Rock & Brews is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

The Scoop: Di Olivas to open third location in CWE

Friday, November 18th, 2016

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Owner Robert Palleja has set plans in motion to open a third location of his olive oil and tasting vinegar specialty shop, Di Olivas. Located at 115 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End, the shop is slated to open sometime between mid-December and early January.

This will be the Palleja’s first move into St. Louis proper. The two other Di Olivas locations are located in St. Charles and West County. “My wife and I had been looking to make this move for a long time. It was just a matter of timing and of finding an appropriate location,” Palleja said.

The Central West End location will offer the same products as the other two, which includes roughly two dozen different olive oils (flavored and unflavored) and about three dozen vinegars. The shop is also going to feature hand-painted ceramic tanks used for pressing olive oil from Deruta, Italy, and a designated space for cooking demonstrations.

“What makes this store so special is our commitment to finding and buying the best products. Not only do we sell award-winning olive oils, we also try to participate in the actual production of the products as much as we can,” Palleja said.

 

Read more on Di Olivas
• The Scoop: Di Olivas dips deeper into olive oil market
• The Scoop: Di Olivas to bring premiere olive oils, vinegars and more to historic St. Charles

The Scoop: Parlor to open in The Grove

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

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A new arcade bar is coming to The Grove as five co-owners prepare to open Parlor in next spring or summer at 4170 Manchester Road. As reported by Feast, the hangout will feature pool tables a rotating selection of classic and modern pinball and cabinet games, as well as a drink menu of local craft beer and classic, straightforward cocktails.

“We want to be the neighborhood bar,” said co-owner Sean Baltzell. “There are a lot of party bars in The Grove to dance in until 3 in the morning, but there’s a lack of places with that neighborhood bar feel.”

Baltzell also owns Tower Classic Tattoo in The Grove and Knife & Flag aprons, and has ownership stakes in Union Barber Shop, City Tattoo and Alton Tattoo. Fellow Grove business owner Mike Cracchiolo of The Ready Room, veteran barman Casey Colgan, Casey Watson and Josh Martin round out the ownership team.

While Parlor will not have a kitchen, the bar will team up with Byrd & Barrel by way of a food truck, which will be parked adjacent to the 50-seat patio on Kentucky Avenue. Byrd & Barrel owner Bob Brazell is currently looking for a school bus to convert into the Nug Bus. In addition to serving the South City restaurant’s chicken nuggets (aka Nugz), Brazell plans to offer some of the same sides his brick-and-mortar does, including the tots and mac and cheese, as well as some funkier offerings.

“We’re still working on it,” Brazell said. “But I can see people eating fresh pork rinds with hot sauce and playing video games.”

While the design has not been finalized, Brazell plans to have a service window facing Kentucky Avenue so that Parlor patrons – and others walking by – can get a bite.

Parlor hopes to join booking forces with The Ready Room and offer music and live DJs to an after-show crowd. Look for Parlor to be open from 3 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. daily.

 

The Scoop: Fleur de Lilies closes in Soulard

Friday, November 11th, 2016

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{The Creole-Korean fusion Wagyu bulgogi burger at Fleur de Lilies}

 

After nearly a year-and-a-half in business, Fleur de Lilies has closed its doors for good in Soulard. Its last day in business was Saturday, Nov. 5, as reported by the Riverfront Times. The Creole-Asian fusion restaurant was the brainchild of owners Misha Sampson and Lina Kim. Sauce reviewed the restaurant in January.

Sampson said while the cultural culinary mashup proved successful, there were “difference in direction” that the business partners could not overcome.

Kim said in addition to creative differences, financial mismanagement also led to the closure. “It was a big loss for me and everybody else (who) was working,” Kim said. Sampson declined to comment on the issue.

Kim said she was grateful to former executive chef Michael Gipson and front of house manager Jeremy Deloach for their work. While she entertains the idea of a new project, she will focus on BBC Café & Bar in the Central West End, which she has owned for 10 years.

Sampson said she is going into business with Fleur de Lilies’ most recent executive chef Ceaira Jackson. They have launched a catering company called Culture Movement that will also provide consulting projects for other restaurants. They are toying with the idea of opening a food truck.

“Most of the dishes at the restaurant were my family recipes,” Sampson said. “People will be able to order these dishes, and others, at Culture Movement.”

 

Editor’s note: This post was updated on Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m. to include comments from Lina Kim.

 

-photo by Jonathan Gayman

The Scoop: Pi Pizzeria’s Chris Sommers to open new pizza concept, ’Zza

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

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Pi Pizzeria co-owner Chris Sommers is branching out on his own to open ’Zza, a counter-service pizza spot at 282 N. Skinker Blvd. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the 1,600-square-foot space is slated to open early next year.

Sommers said the menu will consist of personal-size pizzas, salads and a combo plate called a pizzata: a pizza with the center cut out and replaced with a salad. Customers can choose from set topping combinations and salads, or create their own.

Don’t expect the pizza to be a rehash of Pi’s offerings. Sommers developed his own recipes for its new concept. “The dough has higher gluten content, has more chew to it,” he said. “It’s not as thin and crispy as Pi’s [thin crust pizza], but not as deep as its deep dish.”

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for years,” Sommers said. “I finally found the right oven, and there’s better access to better quality food for the speed, price and quality that didn’t necessarily exist a few years ago.” He said he’s already in talks regarding additional locations.

 

The Scoop: Nathalie’s to close Nov. 5  

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

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After nearly three years in business, Nathalie’s is closing doors at 4365 Lindell Blvd., in the Central West End. Owner Nathalie Pettus said the restaurant’s last day will be Saturday, Nov. 5, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

Pettus, who also owns the 327-acre Overlook Farm in Clarksville, said operating two businesses so far from each other was too difficult to maintain. “It’s so bittersweet,” she said. “It’s just too much with two endeavors 65 miles apart.”

Pethus will sell the building (which also saw life as Salt and Savor) to focus on operations at Overlook Farm, which raises and sells chicken, beef, pork, duck, tilapia and catfish, and grows produce in 26 hoop houses. It also serves as a popular weekend getaway destination and event venue. “It’s really hard,” she said. “I expected to be walking around in the space when I’m in my 90s. “But I hope to one day come back and eat someone else’s food in the space.”

Nathalie’s opened in December 2013 and hosted regular entertainment acts, too. “The best part is getting to know the people,” Pettus said. “We’ve had some incredible guests and incredible musicians, some of St. Louis’ finest. It’s been very special getting to know them and getting to showcase them.”

 

 

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