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Oct 10, 2015
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The Scoop

The Scoop: Dooley’s Beef N Brew House to close Oct. 17

Friday, October 9th, 2015



After a combined 44-year run, family-owned Dooley’s Beef N Brew House is closing its doors for good on Saturday, Oct. 17. The original location operated in downtown St. Louis for 40 years, and the restaurant’s current location in Grand Center has been open since 2011. Citing financial issues, co-owner Sean Dooley said he was grateful to serve customers in St. Louis.

“My father started the restaurant,” Dooley said. “I was born and raised in the restaurant. I started cleaning table tops, then bartending and then was the general manager.”

Dooley said it was tough to maintain steady business in an area that competes with other entertainment districts. “The activities on Grand are so seasonal,” he said. “It’s a no-brainer when the Fox Theatre is open, but summertime is rough with all the other outdoor activities.”

While there are no immediate plans to reopen in another location, Dooley is keeping “feelers out.” In the meantime, he plans to focus on his full-time job as a firefighter and paramedic, as well as his role as swim coach at Christian Brothers College High School and Visitation Academy.

“We never were in business just to make a paycheck,” Dooley said. “It’s always been about the customer, and we’ve had a loyal customer base. When you come here, you feel like you’re coming to your restaurant. Our goal was not only to serve great food, but to serve it like we’re serving it to family.”



The Scoop: J. Buck’s and Joe Buck’s to close for good Oct. 30

Friday, October 9th, 2015




As the post-season gets underway, a longtime Caridinals-themed eatery prepares to bid farewell. Owner Doug Albrecht has decided to shutter both J. Buck’s in Clayton and Joe Buck’s in downtown St. Louis at the end of October. Lunch and dinner will be served for the final time on Oct. 30.

Citing increased operational costs, spokesperson Courtney Muller said the leases at both locations were due for renewal at the beginning of November and would not be resigned. “It is a good time to move forward,” Mueller said. “(Albrecht) felt like this was a good time to go out on a high note with another Cardinals post-season.”

Buck’s opened in Clayton in 1999, while Joe Buck’s opened downtown in 2008, the same year Albrecht took ownership. “We’ve had an incredible run of providing a wonderful gathering place for families and visitors to enjoy a great meal and create memories,” Albrecht said in a press release.

Gift card holders are encouraged to visit during the baseball post-season to redeem remaining balances. Those who cannot will be able to receive a refund of the balance after Oct. 30.

Albrecht was not immediately available for additional comment.


The Scoop: Seoul Taco to open first Illinois location in Champaign

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015



In three months, hungry Fighting Illini will have another way to get their Korean food fix. Owner David Choi announced that Seoul Taco will open its third brick-and-mortar location at 608 S. Sixth St., in Champaign, Illinois in January 2016.

Building on the success of its University City and Columbia, Missouri locations, Choi said he is ready to take on another college town. “It’s a vibrant campus town that already has Korean restaurants, so the flavors will be familiar,” he said.

The new space has downstairs and mezzanine levels that seat 100 people total. In the meantime, Choi said he will roll into Champaign with the Seoul Taco food truck prior to the January opening to introduce his Korean tacos, burritos and bowls.

-photo by Michelle Volansky 


Meatless Monday: Meatloaf

Monday, October 5th, 2015



This stick-to-your-ribs Meatless Monday meal is the perfect kickoff to October. A full pound of baby portobello mushrooms are cooked down, then combined with cooked brown rice, oat bran and wheat germ. Add an umami punch with a combo of mustard, ketchup, Heinz 57 and vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, then hold it all together with eggs and milk. Bake 45 minutes, then serve with buttery mashed potatoes. Click here for this meat-free meatloaf recipe.

-photo by Greg Rannells

The Scoop: Chef Sam Boettler steps into the kitchen at Planter’s House

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



There’s a new top toque in the Planter’s House kitchen. Chef Sam Boettler stepped into the role today, Sept. 29, replacing former chef Bradley Hoffmann, who fired his last dish at Planter’s Friday, Sept. 25.

“Sam brings a log of great experience managing a kitchen,” said Planter’s House co-owner Jamie Kilgore. “We’re looking forward to working with him.”

Boettler brings 23 years of culinary experience to the table, including six years as the executive chef at The Vine in St. Charles. He most recently spent two years at Element as one of four chefs helming that kitchen when it first opened in 2013.

Describing his cuisine as “simple comfort food” with some French bistro influences, Boettler aims to roll out the fall menu at Planter’s House by mid-October. “The staff at Planter’s House is amazing,” he said. “I’m super excited to work with them.”


Editor’s note: This post was updated at 2:45 p.m. to correct chef Bradley Hoffmann’s name spelling.  

The Scoop: Perennial takes gold at the Great American Beer Festival

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



{Some of the Perennial Artisan Ales team celebrate with a bottle of the winning Savant Blanc.}


Perennial Artisan Ales snagged a sweet win for its Savant Blanc sour ale at the Great American Beer Festival. The brewery took gold in the American-style sour ale category at the national beer festival, which took place in Denver last weekend, Sept. 24 to 26.

Perennial has previously won two silvers at GABF, but co-owner Phil Wymore said this is its first gold. “The win means a lot,” Wymore said. “We don’t expect to win a medal, so its validation that we’re making a good beer and our hard work is being recognized.”

Perennial brewmaster Cory King said it was an honor to be recognized from 85 other brews entered in this category. “There are so many beers and so many entries. It’s amazing to place let alone win,” King said.

Savant Blanc is Brettanomyces-fermented Belgian blonde ale aged with Chardonel barrels with Chardonel grapes. Wymore said St. Louisans can get a taste of this award-winning brew when the second batch releases in a month or two.



The Scoop: Bocci Wine Bar shutters in Clayton

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



Bocci Wine Bar in Clayton poured its last glass last Saturday, Sept. 26, as first reported by St. Louis Business Journal.

Owner Frank Schmitz, who also owns Barcelona Tapas and Coastal Bistro, said space at 16 N. Central Ave., in Clayton is up for renewal, and he is weighing his options. “I’m looking into different concepts for the Bocci space but don’t have details now,” Schmitz said.

This isn’t the first closure for the Bocci space. Schmitz shut the doors at Bocci Bar in January 2014 to reconcept the eatery, reopening as Bocci Wine Bar with an updated menu, decor and wine menu in April 2014. Schtmitz opened the restaurant in 2010.



The Scoop: Absolutli Goosed to close for good Saturday

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015



After 13 years of serving up martinis on South Grand, Absolutli Goosed announced it will shake and stir its final libation on Saturday, Oct. 3. The bar will host a farewell party on its final day of service.

In a press release, co-owner Robin Schubert said the decision to close was difficult and cited changing customer tastes. “When the bar first opened in 2002, it was one-of-a-kind for St. Louis, but over the years the bar business has changed and the martini craze has fizzled out,” Schubert said.

Managing member Staci Stift could not be reached for additional comment.

The Scoop: Chef Bradley Hoffman leaves Planter’s House

Monday, September 28th, 2015



Planter’s House chef Bradley Hoffman worked his final shift on Friday, Sept. 25 after heading the kitchen since its inception and opening in 2013. Hoffman is currently keeping mum on his new endeavor, but he said his departure from the Lafayette Square bar was an amicable split.

“I had a blast,” Hoffman said. “I learned so much from working with Ted (Kilgore), Jamie (Kilgore) and Ted (Charak). It was like family in the kitchen and in the restaurant. I’ll have nothing but great memories forever from working in that kitchen.”

Co-owner Jamie Kilgore said the Planter’s House team was sorry to see Hoffman go but wished him well. “Bradley was a real asset to Planter’s House,” she said. “He’s going to do great things. We are happy for his continued success and the continued success of Planter’s House.”

Planter’s House has not yet announced Hoffman’s replacement.


Editor’s note: This article was updated at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 29 to clarify information about a replacement chef at the time of publication.

-photo by Carmen Troesser 


The Scoop: Tommy Andrew to join kitchen at Byrd & Barrel

Friday, September 25th, 2015



The band is getting back together. Tommy Andrew is slated to man the line as sous chef at just-opened Byrd & Barrel. He will join co-owner and chef Bob Brazell, as well as fellow chefs and cooks Ryan McDonald, Drew Sedlack and Luke Cockson. Andrew and McDonald first met in the kitchen at Monarch, and their paths have since crossed at eateries around town including Juniper and Truffles.

Andrew, a member of this year’s Ones to Watch class, currently serves as head butcher and sous chef at Truffles Butchery under executive chef Steven Caravelli. Andrew and McDonald worked together at Butchery until McDonald left for Byrd & Barrel in June.

Andrew’s first day at the new fast-casual fried chicken shack will be around Oct. 8, and he’s anxious to get back in the kitchen. “I haven’t cooked in a year and I’ve missed it,” he said.

Byrd & Barrel currently uses Andrew’s Inappropriate Apiaries honey in its sweet chili honey sauce, but Brazell recruited his former co-worker for more than his culinary chops. “He’s an amazing chef,” Brazell said. “And his attitude is the best. He’ll do anything for anybody.”


-photo by Carmen Troesser

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