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Oct 21, 2017
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop

Twisted Ranch will move to larger space in Soulard

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

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After just a little more than two years in business, Twisted Ranch will soon move to a new, larger location just a block away. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the ranch dressing-themed eatery, located at 1730 S. Eighth St., will relocate to 1731 S. Seventh St., the former home of Soulard Restaurant & Bar, which closed earlier this year after a fire.

Twisted Ranch co-owner Jim Hayden said he hopes to make the move sometime in January. He said the new space, including the outdoor dining area, is almost three times larger than Twisted Ranch’s current location, and though the layout isn’t complete, he estimated there would be approximately 120 seats.

Twisted Ranch was the subject of a BuzzFeed video this summer that Hayden said caused an “exponential” increase in business. “We struggle with wait times right now, so it’ll be nice to let people in a little quicker,” he said.

The move not only means more space for seats, but a significantly larger kitchen as well.

“The current kitchen is so tiny. With a larger, properly functioning kitchen, with space for storage and prepping, we will be expanding the menu,” Hayden said. “We may not do that day one, we might transition with the current menu and work out the kinks and then get some more options available.”

He said he doesn’t foresee the transition interrupting service significantly.

“We are going to attempt to stay open as much as possible [during the move],” he said. “There’s a chance we’ll have to be closed for a day or two, but it should be a pretty easy move.”

Photo by Elizabeth Maxson

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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• Ranch dressing-themed restaurant to open in Soulard

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Four STL breweries medal at Great American Beer Festival

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

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 { from left, Side Project bartender Megan Knaus, co-owner and brewer Cory King and brewer Tommy Manning; Perennial Artisan Ales co-owner Phil Wymore and brewer Chris Kinast } 

 

The St. Louis craft beer scene continues to be recognized at the national level. Four area breweries earned medals at this year’s Great American Beer Festival last weekend, Oct. 5 to Oct. 7, in Denver. GABF is one of the craft brewing industry’s largest annual events.

Perennial Artisan Ales took home two medals: a silver in the wood- and barrel-aged strong stout category for Maman 2017, and Perennial also took a bronze in the Belgian- and French-style ale category for Working Title. It’s a familiar feeling for the South City brewery; Perennial has picked up five other GABF honors, including a gold for its Savant Blanc in 2015.

“There were over 2,000 breweries that entered beers in the competition,” said Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore. “It’s a great honor, and St. Louis was really well represented.”

 

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{ Schalfly brand specialist Wil Rogers }

 

Charleville Brewing Co. garnered its second GABF win: a bronze medal for its Barrel-Aged Barleywine in the wood- and barrel-aged strong beer category. Charleville director of operations Tait Russell did not return requests for comment. Schlafly’s Pumpkin Ale won a silver medal in the pumpkin/squash beer or pumpkin spice beer category. This is the first GABF win the brewery.

“I think it’s a big deal for anyone who wins a medal there,” said Schlafly founding brewer Stephen Hale. “I would say collectively we’re feeling very good about it. “

Side Project Brewing’s Blended 2017 was awarded a silver medal in the Belgian-style lambic or sour ale category. It was also the first GABF honor for Side Project.

“The GABF is the largest U.S. competition,” said Side Project co-owner Cory King. “To be recognized for pretty much our bread and butter was really cool. We knew there’s be some serious competition in that category, and for ours to take second was pretty awesome.”

Photos courtesy of Perennial Artisan Ales and Schlafly 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Civil Life will expand brewery, tasting room in 2018

Monday, October 9th, 2017

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Civil Life Brewing Co. is poised to expand its operations. As reported by NextStl, owner Jake Hafner has announced plans to build an additional facility next door.

As The Scoop reported in October 2016, Hafner purchased the former auto body shop last year with the intent to tear it down, though he wasn’t sure what he’d do with the land at the time.

A year later, Hafner’s plans have evolved. He said the entire project will include two new bars, a canning facility and a small retail space, along with improvements to the existing Civil Life location. The surrounding property will also include new sidewalks, curbs and streetlights. The current Civil Life location will remain open during construction.

Hafner said demolition of the structure should take place in April or May 2018, and he’s still determining how much of the expansion project to tackle at once. If he decides to start with the canning facility, Hafner said it could be completed as early as fall 2018. The entire expansion will take at least nine months.

“We know we’re doing something, we’re just not sure if we can afford to do the whole project at one time,” he said. “Whether or not we do the whole project or we phase it in – that’s the decision to be made.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Chef Tello Carreón will leave Nixta after Oct. 21

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

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{ from left, Tello Carreón and Ben Poremba } 

 

Big news from Botanical Heights – executive chef Tello Carreón will leave his position as executive chef of award-winning Mexican restaurant Nixta. His last day of service will be Saturday, Oct. 21. The initial announcement came today, Oct. 4, via a post on Carreón’s Instagram account.

Nixta owner Ben Poremba confirmed the departure in a statement and thanked Carreón for his work.

“As Nixta approaches its first anniversary, chef-owner Ben Poremba, along with his team at Bengelina Hospitality Group, will continue to passionately showcase Mexican fare as among the most exciting cuisines in the world,” the statement read. “Poremba is proud of the success Nixta has attained – both in St. Louis and nationally – during Carreón’s tenure. He thanks him for his immense contribution, and wishes him continued success in his future endeavors.”

Carreón said he’s not sure what his next move will be. “I just want to finish strong in these last few weeks, the way I started,” he said. “I contributed as much as I could to Nixta, and I gained as much as I could from the experience. I think it’s time for me to move on. It’s been a wonderful journey.”

Poremba said via text message that he did not know who will replace Carreón yet. He will helm the kitchen in the interim. He declined further comment.

Nixta opened in November 2016 and was named one of Sauce’s Best New Restaurants that same year. It has garnered local and national accolades since opening, most notably as one of Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurants in America.

 

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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Five Star Burgers closes Kirkwood location

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

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The 5 Star Burgers location in Kirkwood at 312 S. Kirkwood Road has closed. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the restaurant served its last burger on Thursday, Sept. 28. The 5 Star locations in Clayton and Creve Coeur remain open.

According to owner Stephen Gontram, upcoming scheduled roadwork on Kirkwood Road and a new double drive-thru at a nearby Starbucks location helped him make the decision to close.

“(Starbucks) does a lot of business, and they create a lot of traffic. I was really concerned that the combination of construction project plus the long-term congestion on Kirkwood Road was really going to hurt business,” he said. “We had a good four years and did good business, but sometimes you see the writing on the wall. It’s kind of a side step for us. I wasn’t happy to have to do it, but I felt like I had to do it.”

Gontram said he’s sold the building and is in the process of putting the equipment in storage. Though he’s not actively seeking out a new 5 Star location, Gontram said ultimately, he’d like to do a project in St. Louis city.

“I’m a city kid at heart, and I’d love to be able to put something in the city,” he said.  “And I don’t even know if it’d be a 5 Star Burgers. It might be something else.”

 

Editor’s Note: This article originally stated in the incorrect location of Starbucks. It was updated at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 4 to correct this information. 

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Chef Rob Connoley will open Squatters Café in Grand Center

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

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Chef Rob Connoley will open Squatters Café in the KDHX building at 3524 Washington Ave., in Grand Center on Nov. 1. The restaurant will take the place of KDHX’s Magnolia Café.

“The kitchen already exists. It’s already inspected, so that’s why we’re able to open so quickly,” he said.

Connoley, a St. Louis native and James Beard semifinalist for 2014 Best Chef: Southwest, said the breakfast and lunch cafe will feature house-made and locally sourced ingredients. The menu is still a work in progress, but he plans to announce dishes soon.

“If we had opened this in June, and I would have had more access to local produce, I could give you a menu today,” he said. “I have a strong draft. I’m just working out some kinks.”

The restaurant will offer a grab-and-go and carryout options and will seat 20 to 24. Connoley said he will also have access to the attached performance space for additional seating.

Connoley returned to his hometown last year with plans to open Bulrush, a fine-dining concept highlighting local and foraged ingredients. He said Squatters Café is not replacing Bulrush, but will augment it.

“All along, the master plan was to have a nighttime and a daytime concept that were separate, because I think they both require certain attention that I didn’t think could be done in the same space,” he said. “With the delays [with Bulrush], it just made sense to switch it instead of waiting and waiting.”

Connoley said that despite the delays, he has his eyes on a location for Bulrush and hopes to announce the address by the end of the year.

“It’s the perfect space, so it’s worth waiting for,” Connoley said. “Bulrush is a one in a lifetime gig. I’m not a chef who jumps around and opens up a place every two or three years. It’s going to be my baby, and if it’s going to be my baby, it’s got to be perfect.”

 

Editor’s Note: This article originally said Bulrush would be open by the end of the year. It was updated at 1:25 p.m. on Oct. 3 to correct the error. 

Photo courtesy of Rob Connoley

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Good Fortune finds another home in Botanical Heights

Friday, September 29th, 2017

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Good Fortune, the long-anticipated modern Chinese-American eatery from Bob Brazell, Ryan McDonald and Hannah Chung of Byrd & Barrel and Corey Smale, former co-owner of Strange Donuts, has found a new home once again.

Smale said Good Fortune will open for business at 1641 Tower Grove Ave., in the Botanical Heights neighborhood – just across the street from its former announced location at 1654 Tower Grove Ave.

“This is the third location we’ve said it was going to be at,” said Smale. “It’s been a long road. Although I would’ve liked to have been making money awhile ago, I’m thankful for the way that it’s going. I have so much confidence in this location and in the team.”

As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the building, which formerly served as the headquarters of Hoffmann Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning Inc., was recently purchased by restaurateur Ben Pormeba, who owns several restaurants in the area, including Elaia, Olio and Nixta.

Poremba said there eventually will be a total of three or four businesses calling the location home, though Good Fortune is the only tenant to have signed a lease so far. He said that construction is set to begin on the space next week. Poremba said as of right now, he has no plans to open another restaurant in the building.

Smale said the 1,500-square-foot space will have approximately 30 seats and should be ready to open by the end of the year.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Good Fortune finds a home in Botanical Heights

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1956 Utah will bring vegetarian, vegan pub fare to Benton Park

Friday, September 29th, 2017

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More vegetarian and vegan options will be available in Benton Park this fall. As reported by NextSTL, a new veggie-centric restaurant, dubbed 1956 Utah after the address of the building, is set to open in the South City neighborhood in November.

“I’ve been vegetarian, almost vegan, for 25 years,” said executive chef Christopher Bertke. “It’s definitely better now, but St. Louis hasn’t always had a lot of vegetarian options.”

Bertke, who owns No Class Catering and has worked at area restaurants like Harvest in Richmond Heights, has put together an 80-to-90-percent vegetarian and vegan menu. A few meat-based dishes will also be available, and he hopes to make all dishes GMO-free.

Bertke said 1956 Utah will serve traditionally meat-heavy elevated pub or diner food. The centerpiece of the menu is a plant-based meat substitute he’s developed and refers to as his “science project.”

In addition to vegetarian versions of dishes like fried chicken and meatloaf, the menu will include non-meat variations of such fast food favorites as Big Macs and White Castle sliders. “I hate fast food for what it is, but I love fast food for the way it tastes,” he said.

The kitchen will also have a brick oven for pizzas, and the restaurant will have a full bar as well.

The building, originally constructed in 1937, was a service station in its former life, but has been unoccupied in recent years. Bertke said there would be just less than 40 seats inside, and an extensive outdoor seating area with another 50 to 60 seats, along with an organic garden.

Photo courtesy of Chris Bertke

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Cupcake bakery The Cup launches a Tiny Truck

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

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Fans of The Cup can now seek out their favorite buttercream-topped treats all over town.

The Cup Tiny Truck joined the ranks of St. Louis’ food trucks in August, selling gooey butter cake bars and a variety of buttercream cupcakes. The truck travels between St. Louis city and soon, St. Louis County, and is available for corporate and private events.

The Cup owner Ericka Frank, who owns shops in the Central West End and Edwardsville and The Cakery Bakery in Dogtown, said launching a food truck has long been a part of her plan. As The Scoop reported in October 2016, The Cup closed its Chesterfield location, in part to further The Cup’s transition to a more mobile cupcake business.

“The truck we have we’ve used in the past for delivery,” said Frank. “For quite a while we’ve been wanting to use that as a food truck, and we were able to do that recently.”

The cupcake selection at The Cup Tiny Truck includes the popular confetti cupcake with French vanilla cake, vanilla buttercream frosting and confetti sprinkles. Seasonally offered cupcakes such as the Pumpkin Harvest – a pumpkin spice cake with cinnamon buttercream frosting and autumn bark from Kakao Chocolate – will also be available.

Frank said The Cup is also expanding into retail sales, selling vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting by the pint in her shop and in local markets. “It’s really good even just dipping it in pretzels,” Frank said. “It fits perfectly in my cup holder in my car.”

Find The Cup Tiny Truck’s location on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of The Cup

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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• The Cup to close Chesterfield location, expand delivery and retail options

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St. Louis restaurants to raise additional aid for hurricane victims

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

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St. Louis-area restaurants are coming together once again to provide aid for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria victims.

The Hamilton Restaurant Group hosts the Saint Louis Restaurants Hurricane Relief Fundraiser tomorrow, Sept. 29, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Moulin Events. Proceeds from this ticketed event will be split between nonprofits AmeriCares and the Love for Love City Foundation.

Hamilton Restaurant Group co-owner Paul Hamilton said his family owns property in the Caribbean and wanted to support that community. “We have friends and family there,” he said. “Everyone from the Caribbean to Florida is in this, and there’s just so many people affected.”

Tickets are available online or at the door. Admission includes food tastings from Hamilton’s restaurants Vin De Set, PW Pizza, Eleven Eleven Mississippi and 21st Street Brewers Bar and Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern, as well as 11 other restaurants, including Polite Society, SqWires, Cunetto’s and LoRusso’s. and there will be live and silent auctions and live music. Heidi Glaus of “Show Me St. Louis” will emcee the event.

Two of the newest additions to Baileys’ Restaurant Group will also participate: Hugo’s Pizzeria and the upcoming L’Acadiane. “Beyond [the fundraiser] being a good cause and there being people in serious need, we’ve been in the neighborhood with Paul and Wendy Hamilton for several years and we respect them,” said owner Dave Bailey. “They reached out to restaurants in the neighborhood, and the credit really goes to them.”

Lafayette Square neighbor Square One Brewery and Distillery will also provide food and drink at the fundraiser. Owner Steve Neukomm also owns property in Florida and understands Irma’s overwhelming effects on the community. “I’ve been dealing with our condo down there,” he said. “It’s really affected us all.”

Photo courtesy of Hamilton Restaurant Group

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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