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Sep 21, 2017
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The Scoop

CWE, Delmar Loop restaurants rally after damage to storefronts

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

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In the wake of the not-guilty verdict against former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Friday, Sept. 15, in the shooting death of Anthony Lamar Smith, demonstrators have protested the outcome around the city, including the Central West End and the Delmar Loop. The demonstrations were largely peaceful, but some vandalism of area businesses, including several restaurants, occurred after the protests ended.

Evangeline’s Bistro & Music House manager Maggie Gomez said two windows were damaged at the CWE restaurant on Friday night, but no one was injured as a result. “It was better than it could have been,” Gomez said. “When they (hit) the glass, the band was on stage playing. Glass got in the piano, and the musicians had to get off stage.”

Gomez said the windows are made from shatterproof glass and remained largely intact with just some holes, and the restaurant stayed open for the remainder of the night and opened for business as usual on Saturday. She said Friday’s verdict affected business in the area over the weekend, even before the protests.

“We had a slow weekend. We were dead because of everything,” Gomez said. “We’re doing our normal hours, but I don’t think it’s going to be the same down here for a couple of weeks.”

 

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Vandalism occurred on the Delmar Loop, as well. Several establishments along Delmar Boulevard, including Salt & Smoke, Three Kings Public House and Ranoush, had windows broken on Saturday night after the protests there ended. Salt & Smoke owner Tom Schmidt said the damage occurred at approximately 11 p.m., after the restaurant closed for the night.

“No broken bones, just broken glass,” he said. “We lost about five or six windows. It could have been worse.”

The community spent the next few days decorating the boarded up businesses. Photos on the Delmar Loop’s Facebook page show volunteers painting murals depicting positive messages. Salt & Smoke also posted photos of the community cleaning up broken glass around its storefront in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Schimidt said he was able to reopen Sunday morning, and business didn’t suffer. “Sundays are always pretty crazy here, and we were full pretty much all day,” he said.

Photos courtesy of Delmar Loop Facebook 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Build-your-own poke bowl spot Poke Doke will open in the CWE

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

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Central West End will soon see its first build-your-own poke bowl restaurant, Poke Doke. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, siblings Andrew, Annie, Leon and Steve Shih will open Poke Doke at 8 S. Euclid Ave., in October.

While riffs on the Hawaiian raw fish salad have popped up on St. Louis menus for years, this will be the city’s first dedicated poke restaurant. Andrew Shih called the dish “the Chipotle of sushi bowls.”

After 10 years running Hot Wok Cafe in Chesterfield with his father, Shih said he and his siblings decided to start the restaurant after eating poke bowls nearly every time they traveled outside St. Louis. They also have family and friends who operate poke restaurants in Los Angeles.

Shih said frequent fresh fish deliveries will ensure quality at Poke Doke. “We fly [the fish] in that same day, the second it gets fished out of the water,” he said “Within 48 hours, it’s at our table. Our No. 1 job is to keep everything fresh.”

Customers will build their own bowls, starting with a base of white or brown rice, noodles or salad greens, then pick a protein such as tofu, octopus, raw tuna or salmon. Next, select they’ll choose a spice level for the sauce, and finally choose from toppings like cucumbers, pineapple, fried shallots, Sriracha and eel sauce. Other dishes such as pot stickers, miso soup and crab Rangoon will be available.

Shih said Poke Doke will seat about 30 inside with additional patio seating available. He hopes to be open daily for lunch and dinner service.

Photo: iStock

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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Knead Bakehouse & Provisions will offer fresh bread in Southampton

Monday, September 11th, 2017

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There’s a bun in South City’s oven, and it’s due this October. Knead Bakehouse & Provisions will open at 3467 Hampton Ave., the former home of Salume Beddu.

Owners AJ and Kirsten Brown said Knead will offer fresh bread and baked goods to the area. “Our goal is bringing that old world style of bread with a modern American flair,” AJ Brown said.

The Browns started small, selling their bread at farmers markets in St. Charles County. After launching a Kickstarter campaign three years ago and “a lot of different headaches,” they found a space to scale up their production and seat 25 in a breakfast and lunch cafe.

Brown learned his craft after college when he traveled to France for culinary school. His breads use the same sourdough starter, carefully tended for five years.

“I’ve always had a passion for food,” he said. “My family is full of men, and we weren’t into sports but during the holidays, we would be in the kitchen and be engaged in that way.”

Brown said he and his wife embrace “traditional bread roots,” sourcing the ingredients from Eat Here St. Louis, Missouri Grain Project and Heartland Mill. Kneads loaves will include a rich brioche-like loaf and a staple sourdough, Brown’s favorite. “It cuts back to the bare minimum, but it has so much character,” he said.

Guests can expect breakfast and lunch menus featuring doughnuts and sandwiches, respectively, alongside coffee and tea. Loaves and flour mixes for home baking will also be available for purchase.

“Bread is the centerpiece of what we do,” Brown said. “Everything we make is centered around how well it pairs with the bread.”

Photo courtesy of Knead

Caitlin Lally is an intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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Pizzeoli founder sells Soulard pizzeria

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

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 { Pizzeoli founder Scott Sandler } 

Pizzeoli in Soulard is now under new ownership. Founder Scott Sandler sold the popular vegetarian pizzeria to Kyle Weber, effective Tuesday, Sept. 5, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sandler said he sold Pizzeoli to focus his attention on his other pizza restaurant, Pizza Head, which opened at 3196 S. Grand Blvd., earlier this year.

“It came down to that it was too much work,” Sandler said. “I realized quickly after opening Pizza Head that I needed to make a change. We were doing fine, but it was like having more than two full-time jobs. I’ll be able to focus on (Pizza Head) and do some more creative things and also get some more time off.”

Weber, a Collinsville native, said he plans to make some changes to the restaurant, including adding some meat to the menu, but the vegetarian and vegan options won’t go away.

“My hope is to serve the Soulard community,” Weber said. “I’m taking things one ingredient at a time. I’m working with vendors to find local farms and looking to find the best quality.”

Weber said other upcoming changes include expanding the craft beer selection, adding a craft cocktail list and including apps and salads, among other items. Lunch hours will return as well.

Pizzeoli is Weber’s first foray into restaurant ownership, but he said Sandler has helped him transition into the role of restaurateur.

“Scott has been such a great mentor. He’s gone over and above what has been necessary to help me out here,” Weber said.

Photo by Dave Moore

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Mona’s on The Hill will close doors this Sunday

Friday, September 1st, 2017

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After less than a year in business, owner Brendan Marsden is closing doors at Mona’s – An American-Italian Joint on The Hill. The restaurant’s last day of dinner service will be Sunday, Sept. 3.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s a decision that I had to make and decided to focus on some more important things in my life, like family and my other job,” he said.

Marsden, who also owns Whitebox Eatery in Clayton, surprised the restaurant community in August 2016 when he closed Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant after 15 years. He opened Mona’s in the same space just a few months later. Now, Marsden is selling the 3,600-square-foot space as a turnkey restaurant.

Marsden now plans to focus his energy on his Clayton breakfast and lunch spot.“It’s all on Whitebox now. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on over there,” he said.

He hopes to expand catering operations, explore options for evening events and possibly even take the concept outside the St. Louis area.

 

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.

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St. Louis restaurants rally community support for Hurricane Harvey victims

Friday, September 1st, 2017

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In wake of the recent tragedy in Texas, St. Louis restaurateurs and customers alike have banded together to send aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Demun Oyster Bar’s Tom Halaska, Byrd & Barrel’s Bob Brazell, Ices Plain & Fancy’s Max Crask and state Rep. Bruce Franks Jr. organized the Babies & Fur-Babies Hurricane Supply Drive.

Halaska said dozens of St. Louis-area restaurants and bars have already volunteered to serve as supply drop-off points, including Guerrilla Street Food, Nudo House and 4 Hands Brewing Co. The drive has also partnered with Project Downtown STL, RukaNade and the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis. (A full list of drop-off locations can be found online.)

“It’s impressive that through the restaurant and bar community in St. Louis, you send a couple messages and make some calls and get this response,” Halaska said. “We’ve had a bunch of community support.”

Halaska and others will drive supplies down to Houston at the end of next week, so donors are asked to drop off all donations by Sept. 10, and to please stick to the list of suggested items for donations. Organizers are requesting supplies like diapers, cat and dog food, kitty litter, feminine hygiene products and baby bottles, with a full list of needed supplies available online.  People can also purchase products directly off an Amazon wish list and send them to Demun Oyster Bar.

“We’re trying to keep it condensed to a small amount of items,” Halaska said. “One thing we don’t want is to show up down there, and they won’t know what to do with everything. And we need everything new, nothing used.”

Additional restaurants interested in becoming drop-off locations can contact the organizers via the Facebook page. Halaska encouraged the community to give generously. “Even if we fill up three semi trucks, we still won’t have enough,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Nudo House 

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

Chef Carl Hazel takes over Gamlin Whiskey House kitchen

Thursday, August 31st, 2017

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Carl Hazel has quietly taken the reigns as executive chef of Gamlin Whiskey House. Most recently, he had been executive chef at West End Pub and Grill.

Hazel assumed the role in July, and since then, he has worked with Gamlin Restaurant Group’s corporate chef Ryan Cooper to get a feel for the kitchen and the organization.

Hazel said Gamlin Whiskey House’s focus meshes up well with his background, especially his lengthy tenure as executive chef at The Scottish Arms.

“Gamlin Whiskey House being big on meat and whiskey is right up my alley,” Hazel said. “And after talking with some industry friends that have worked for (owners) Derek and Lucas (Gamlin) in the past, I couldn’t find anyone who said anything negative about them at all.”

Hazel said he doesn’t foresee any big menu changes at Gamlin Whiskey House until after the company’s latest project, 1764 Public House, opens later this year at 39 N. Euclid Ave.

“We’ll do some tweaking when (1764 Public House) opens because a couple of the items here will probably fit the menu and environment down there,” he said. “We’ll be looking at more of a broad menu change in late fall or early winter.”

Hazel said he welcomes the challenges of working in a bigger, high-volume kitchen.

“The numbers we put up are astounding,” he said. “It’s quite an undertaking to keep up with everything and everyone, but I’m really enjoying it.”

Photo courtesy of Gamlin Whiskey House

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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New owner discusses the future of Cleveland-Heath

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

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 { pulled pork sandwich at Cleveland-Heath } 

Keith and Kari McGinness don’t plan to mess with success at Cleveland-Heath.

As The Scoop reported earlier today, the McGinnesses bought the popular Edwardsville restaurant from owners Jenny Cleveland and chef Ed Heath. The founders plan to return to Heath’s hometown of Salt Lake City. The sale is final Sept. 1.

Both McGinnesses grew up in the St. Louis area and come from restaurant backgrounds. Most recently, Keith McGinness was a director of operations for Applebee’s, overseeing 25 restaurants in the mid-south region, while Kari McGinness ran an Italian restaurant in Cape Girardeau.

Keith McGinness said everything about Cleveland-Heath attracted the couple. “My wife and I had been looking for a number of years, and seriously looking the last couple of years, for a restaurant. It was a dream of ours for a long time,” he said. “When we found Cleveland-Heath, we found what we were looking for, which was a place with a really strong tie to the community, upscale food and service but with a totally casual feel about it.”

McGinness understands why Cleveland-Heath fans might be concerned about the change, but he said they have no plans to mess with a winning formula.

“Our goal is, it’s going to stay Cleveland-Heath. Our plan is to run it as it is,” he said. “I’ve said this to a couple of guests and even the staff members, but in six months, if it feels different to the guests, I’m doing something wrong.”

As Cleveland confirmed earlier today, current chef de cuisine Rick Kazmer will step into the executive chef position, and Elijah Barnes (Ones to Watch class of 2017) will continue his role as general manager.

McGinness said Cleveland and Heath will continue to have a presence at their namesake restaurant.

“Jenny and Ed have been great to work in terms of the transition, but we don’t have a drop-dead date as to when they exit,” McGinness said. “Jenny’s from this area, and they’re always going to have ties here. We have several events booked out over the next 12 months, and they’re going to come back and help us work some of those events. This isn’t the end of Jenny and Ed in this restaurant.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Solera wine bar will open next month in Alton

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

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Illinois oenophiles will soon have another spot to enjoy their vino. Solera, a new wine bar, will open soon at 212 W. Third St., in Alton. Co-owner Chris Aldridge said he plans to open Solera by mid-September.

“We were in Mendoza, (Argentina) doing a wine tour, and they did such a nice job of educating us on winemaking and the different grapes and the history,” Aldridge said. “It was just inspirational, and I wanted to bring that back to Alton.”

While he wants to create a fun place to hang out, Aldridge said he also wants to help educate patrons on what they’re drinking, and bring in some bottles that are less commonly seen in the area.

Aldridge said the bar will feature wines by the glass and also a retail component. There will be 150 to 175 labels available to drink on site or take home. By-the-glass offerings will include four dry reds, four dry whites, four to six local wines from Illinois and Missouri, and a selection of sherries and ports. In addition to wine, Solera will also have a limited food menu.

“We’re going to try and focus on stuff that’s a little more local and a little less commonly found, at least on the Illinois side,” Aldridge said, including chocolate from Kakao Chocolate and charcuterie from Salume Beddu.

Solera will have approximately 38 seats inside with a few more outside and plans to be open Tuesday through Sunday.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Cleveland-Heath owners sell restaurant, will relocate to Utah

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

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Big changes are afoot at Cleveland-Heath. Owners Jenny Cleveland and chef Ed Heath have sold the restaurant to Keith and Kari McGinness, restaurant industry veterans who have roots in the area, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The sale takes effect Friday, Sept. 1.

Cleveland said she and Heath will relocate to Salt Lake City, where Heath is from.

“We’ve been here for seven years with my family, so it’s time to go out there and do the same for him,” said Cleveland.

Cleveland said she and Heath will work with The Pub Corp., where they both have history – the two actually met while working at one of the company’s restaurants.

“They’ve got four restaurants in the Salt Lake area,” she said. “We’ve been consulting with them for some time; Ed spent quite a bit of time out there last year. Early on, we’re just going to be getting to know the restaurants and working on some new projects eventually.”

Read More: New owner discusses future of Cleveland-Heath

While the transition will be bittersweet, Cleveland said she and Heath would remain connected to the area; she still has family and property in the Metroeast.

“The last thing we want is for people to think we’re just leaving,” she said. “I don’t want to say goodbye. This is our baby, and it’s grown into something that we could never have imagined.”

Heath will remain for the next month or so helping with the kitchen, and Cleveland will make frequent trips back to help with the transition. “If they call me in January and say they need help with something, I’ll be there,” she said.

The Edwardsville eatery has received much acclaim since opening in November 2011. Heath earned national nods as James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef: Great Lakes in 2015 and 2016, and Sauce readers have frequently voted Cleveland-Heath among their favorite restaurants in the Readers’ Choice poll.

Cleveland said the intent is to keep up those high standards and make the transition as seamless as possible.

“I want people to understand, the faces here are still the same,” she said. “Rick (Kazmer), our chef de cuisine, is getting bumped to executive chef. He’s been in the kitchen with Ed for years. And Eli (Barnes) will still be general manager.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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