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Feb 23, 2018
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The Scoop: In The Wheelhouse

March 7th 12:03pm, 2013

Business partners Stephen Savage (pictured, far right), Lou Groff (middle right) and Jared Ater (middle left) are in their wheelhouse as they prepare to open an upscale sports bar The Wheelhouse, in Clayton. That’s because these owner-operators have opened other bars before – including the hotspot 10 Below in Columbia, Mo. The bar is located in the space at 15 N. Central Ave., most recently occupied by The Pasta House Co. They hope revamping the space into a high-energy sports bar will make patrons feel as much in a comfort zone as they do.

The Wheelhouse will be outfitted with 30 large screen TVs. “Your game will be on,” Savage assured sports fans – whether the must-see game is basketball, hockey, golf or cricket. The space is divided into three sections: a bar room with high-top tables; a main dining area; and a back room with a stage for live entertainment.

Drinkers looking to enjoy a game with a beer in hand will be able to select from 10 taps – all Missouri-made beers, plus Guinness – as well as bottled brews. Specialty cocktails at the Clayton establishment will focus on the use of fresh fruits and herbs. “We’re trying to keep it fresh and unprocessed,” said executive chef Nick Del Gaiso (pictured, far left).

Del Gaiso, who is leaving his position as sous chef at Scape where he has worked for the last 18 months, is just as excited about the menu that he developed for The Wheelhouse. Del Gaiso, a graduate of L’Ecole Culinaire and former employee at the Country Club of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and the Fox Theatre, explained that the fare at The Wheelhouse will not be “just fried and grilled like other bar food.” Smoking, poaching, braising, brining and curing are all part of his plan to distinguish his snacks, appetizers, salads, soups, burgers and entrees from that of other sports bars. “There will be a care that people who run bar kitchens don’t take,” said Del Gaiso.

The owners are shooting to open The Wheelhouse during the month of April. When doors are unlocked, the restaurant will open daily at 11 a.m. The kitchen will close at 10 p.m., but the bar will remain open until 1:30 a.m.

In the meantime, you can keep an eye on progress at The Wheelhouse via Twitter and Facebook.

By Ligaya Figueras

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