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Jun 27, 2017
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The Scoop

The Scoop: New Craft Beer Cellar location to open in South City

Wednesday, June 7th, 2017


{ Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton }


A second Craft Beer Cellar is set to open in at 5760 Chippewa St., near the Hampton Village shopping center. Owner Brandon Nickelson is hoping to open doors at the beer-focused bottle shop by end of the year, as reported by Feast.

Nickelson, who co-owns the current Clayton location of Craft Beer Cellar with brother Ryan Nickelson, is helming this project solo. “[I] think South City is a really good fit and a very strong community,” he said. The Nickelsons opened in Clayton in May 2014; both brothers continue to own and operate that space.

Nickelson said South City is an underserved market for beer. As with its sister location, Craft Beer Cellar will carry hundreds of local, national and international brews for customers to purchase. It will also house more taps at the in-house bar – 15 to 16, Nickelson estimated – for customers to sample new or rare offerings.

“The new bar location should be a larger service bar with cozy seating,” he said. “It will definitely be a lot bigger.”

Nickelson said education will remain the backbone of the operation. “We do focus on education in our shops and we try to make sure everybody that comes into our shop has a wonderful time,” he said.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Bailey Synclaire is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Scapegoat closes in the Central West End

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017



Scapegoat Tavern & Courtyard, the more casual arm of fine dining restaurant Scape in the Central West End, has closed its doors. The restaurant ceased operations after Memorial Day, according to Bob Koplar, general counsel for Koplar Properties, which owns the space.

Koplar said though the restaurant was just starting to grow and find its audience, menswear retailer Bonobos Guideshop expressed interest in the space.

“It was a pretty new restaurant, obviously. We only opened it about a year ago,” Koplar said. “It was going fine, and it wasn’t something we were in a hurry to close.”

Koplar said Bonobos’ concept fit well with Suitsupply, which is taking over the space currently occupied by 10denza at 44 Maryland Plaza. Bonobos Guideshop will open in the space later this year, hopefully by the holidays, after renovations have been completed.

“We thought it was a great opportunity to really cement this area as a retail destination, and it would be just a perfect complement to Suitsupply,” Koplar said.

Koplar said Scapegoat’s closure wouldn’t affect Scape, where he said executive chef Andrew Simon, who came onboard late last year, continues to bring new flare to the menu.

“He’s been doing a remarkable job in the kitchen,” Koplar said. “He’s got a lot of energy and passion behind him, and we’re really excited about what he’s been able to accomplish.”

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Jilly’s to open second location in Edwardsville

Monday, June 5th, 2017



Popular sweets purveyor Jill Segal, owner of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Café, is heading east to open her latest project, Jilly’s. Segal expects to debut in late June at 222 E. Park St., in Edwardsville, Illinois, just in time for the flagship restaurant’s 10th anniversary in July.

The new location will be somewhat similar to the original location at 8509 Delmar Blvd., in University City. There will be full ice cream service, including trendy, over-the-top crazy shakes, and all 16 flavors of Jilly’s cupcakes.

The food menu will be more compact initially, limited to cold grab-and-go items, though Jilly’s chef and self-titled “food dude” Dana Holland said eventually, warm dishes may be available. Production will still occur at the Delmar location, and food will be delivered to the Edwardsville store.

Segal said she was looking at the Edwardsville area for a while but just couldn’t find the right location, until she learned about the new building project off Highway 157. The 1,400-square-foot space is situated on the first floor of the new Madison Mutual building, and will seat approximately 30 with an additional 18 picnic table seats outside, and a private event room with another 20 seats.

“I personally think we’re in the best spot in Edwardsville,” Segal said.

Holland said the new concept might also be used as a model for future expansion.

Photo courtesy of Jilly’s Cupcake Bar & Cafe

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Rick Lewis to open new restaurant in The Grove

Thursday, June 1st, 2017



A local favorite will soon put down roots in a classic St. Louis neighborhood.

Rick Lewis is stepping down from his role as executive chef at Southern to open up his own place with his wife, Elisa Lewis. The new venture will be located at 4270 Manchester Ave., the former home of Sweetie Pie’s in The Grove.

Lewis and Mike Emerson of Pappy’s Smokehouse opened Southern in June 2015 after he left his executive chef post at Quincy Street Bistro.

Lewis, who will no longer have an ownership stake in Southern, said he’ll stay on for as long as necessary to make the transition. He said they are still deciding who will take over the kitchen.

“This is our first endeavor as husband and wife,” Lewis said. “It’s exciting. Elisa and I have grown a lot over the last two years, and there have been lots of opportunities that have come our way. When we came across this building, it just felt right to us.”

Lewis is excited to open in a neighborhood like The Grove.

“One of the cool things we saw at Southern was how all walks of life would come together, and it was really a community-building thing. Everyone would be sharing plates together and sitting next to each other,” he said. “We want to convey that sense of fellowship and community at this place. We want it to be comfortable and inviting and give people a sense of coming into our home for a meal.”

Lewis said the idea is to stay true to the history of the building – and of course, there will be fried chicken. “It’s going to be our take on Southern meat and three,” he said.

Lewis said he expects the space will seat approximately 100, and very little work will be necessary before the doors open. “We’re hoping to open in late summer or early fall,” Lewis said.

And what will he call his new establishment? “The name is top secret as of now,” he said.

Photo by Greg Rannells

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: The Red Shack closes doors in Dogtown

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017



The Red Shack in Dogtown has shut its doors at 6401 West Park Ave. The Tex-Mex restaurant’s last day of service was Friday, May 26. It opened last year on Memorial Day weekend.

The restaurant was a joint venture between father-daughter duo Larry and Angie Lampert. Larry Lampert died on May 8, and according to Angie Lampert, his passing led to the closure.

“He and I started working together 12 years ago at our store Plush Pig Barbecue in Clayton,” Lampert said. “It was something fun that we could do together and without him here, it’s not fun anymore.”

Lampert said The Red Shack was her final foray into the restaurant business.

“The Lampert restaurant dynasty has come to an end,” she said. “We had a great run.”


Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.  

The Scoop: Edibles & Essentials launches french fry food truck

Friday, May 26th, 2017



Edibles & Essentials is hitting the streets this summer with a new food truck, Essentially Fries.

“I’ve always wanted to do a food truck,” said chef-owner Matt Borchardt. “I was going to do one before Edible & Essentials opened.”

After looking for a commissary, Borchardt opted to open his brick-and-mortar establishment first.

The truck will feature Edibles & Essentials popular classic hand-cut fries, along with an initial menu of other fry-based specialties. Look for beef bulgogi fries, Greek caprese fries, Carolina pulled pork fries and a poutine with duck confit. Borchardt said there would likely be some seasonal variations subbed out down the line.

Essentially Fries will be making the rounds of food truck events, as well as offering catering services once it’s on the road in late June. Follow the truck on Twitter at @essentiallyfry, and on Facebook and Instagram at @essentiallyfries.

Photo courtesy of Edibles & Essentials

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Taco Buddha to open in University City

Friday, May 26th, 2017



University City will soon be home to another taco spot. Taco Buddha is slated to open at 7405 Pershing Ave., this summer in the former home of short-lived Perjax American Kitchen.

“Taco Buddha is world flavors put into the vessel of a taco,” said owner Kurt Eller. Eller, who came to St. Louis from Austin, Texas, said his tacos are similar to those served in the Southwest. “It’s not strictly meat and lettuce and cheese,” he said.

Menu items will include a chicken tandoori taco with a mango chutney salsa and a Thai-influenced taco with beef marinated in ginger and red pepper flakes. Eller has property in New Mexico and brings back chiles from the area, which he plans to incorporate in his creations.

A variety of breakfast tacos will also be offered, as well as other dishes, like cilantro lime rice and beans and sopapillas.

Eller said he expects doors to open in late June or early July, and the counter service cafe will have 25 seats inside and 25 patio seats.

Initially, Taco Buddha will be open for breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday, and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday. Eller said he expects to expand hours and be open six days a week in October.

Photo courtesy of Taco Buddha

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Pita-focused restaurant to open Saturday in Bevo

Thursday, May 25th, 2017



The Bevo neighborhood welcomes a new Mediterranean eatery this weekend. Husband-and-wife duo Zamir and Josi Jahic are scheduled to open J’s Pitaria on Saturday, May 27, at 5003 Gravois Road, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

Josi Jahic said the space itself took about six months to get ready. “Electric, A/C, everything had to be redone,” she said. The result seats 35, and Jahic said that the restaurant would eventually offer delivery service. Initial hours will be Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

As the name implies, the menu is focused on pitas, made with Zamir Jahic’s phyllo dough recipe, rolled out thin by hand and filled with either savory or sweet ingredients. J’s Pitaria will offer six pitas: on the savory side, beef, spinach and cheese, potato and cheese will be available, while sweet versions include apple and a J’s Pitaria original, Nutella.

Other menu items include paninis, doner kebab, salads and uštipci, house-made balls of fried dough served with either Kajmak (a cheese spread) ajvar (a spread of roasted peppers and eggplant) or Nutella.

The drink list includes ayran, a traditional beverage made with house-made yogurt, sea salt and water, along with an array of coffee drinks, including espresso, lattes and cappuccino.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Tin Roof to open in former Joe Buck’s space downtown

Thursday, May 25th, 2017



Tin Roof, the Nashville-based chain of music venues/fast-casual eateries, is set to open up a St. Louis location this summer, and they’ve tapped a local culinary up-and-comer to helm the kitchen. Nowell Gata, formerly an executive sous chef for Baileys’ Restaurants, will assume the role of executive chef.

Tin Roof St. Louis will be housed in the former Joe Bucks’ space downtown at 1000 Clark St. The restaurant will have approximately 135 seats inside, 40 bar seats, 32 patio seats and 12 seats at the patio bar.

There will also be a rooftop event space as well as a VIP room, and Gata said the hope is for the doors to open in late June.

Tin Roof will be hosting local and touring musicians, as well as offering favorites like burgers, po’boys and house-smoked pulled pork. Gata said he hopes to include some regional favorites as well.

“I definitely want to do a slinger for brunch,” he said, adding that late night food will also be available.

Photo courtesy of Tin Room

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Chef Nick Blue lands at Sugarfire Smoke House

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017


{ Chef Nick Blue } 


Former Sardella executive chef Nick Blue has left fine dining behind and is headed in a more casual direction. Last week, he began a new chapter at Sugarfire Smoke House.

“After Sardella, I got reached out to by so many great chefs and restaurant owners and it was really a great feeling,” Blue said.

As The Scoop reported in April, Blue left Sardella and Pastaria executive chef Ashely Shelton added the eatery to her list of duties at Niche Food Group. During his hiatus, Blue met Sugarfire owner Mike Johnson, and something clicked. Both had backgrounds in fine dining and worked for chef Charlie Trotter in Chicago during their careers.

“Mike’s a great guy,” Blue said. “He’s got a lot of things happening, and he has a lot of fun with what he does.

So, Blue decided to give the fast-casual barbecue world a try.

“I’ve never done anything this casual, I’ve never done anything barbecue related,” Blue said. “I’m only a week in, but I’ve never experienced a culture in a restaurant like this. Everybody has fun with what they do, with their co-workers. It’s been great.”

Blue said he’s not stepping into a specific position at Sugarfire, but is working in a variety of roles and learning the ropes at Sugarfire’s Olivette location. Once barbecue competition season starts in earnest, Blue said he’d likely be helping out at other Sugarfires.

“I’m doing everything,” he said. “I’m trying to learn everything I can at the restaurant to be an asset.” That includes learning the pit, helping out with specials working the line and working the floor.

“I’m kind of along for the ride,” he said. “I’m willing to do whatever they need. I want to prove myself to them as much as I can and see where it goes from there.”

Photo by Ashley Gieseking

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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