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Apr 20, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop: Chef Chris Bolyard’s sights set on opening a butcher shop

February 3rd 12:02pm, 2014

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Sidney Street Cafe’s chef de cuisine Chris Bolyard is making plans to venture out on his own – but not with a restaurant. Bolyard wants to go whole hog, literally, and open a butcher shop. If all parts line up as planned, doors would open this fall.

“It’s going to be an old-school, artisanal, whole-animal butcher shop,” Bolyard said. “We’ll source all our animals from the Midwest – Missouri and Illinois, a 240-mile radius. [The animals will be] pasture-raised from smaller family farms.” The shop would sell everything from retail cuts to house-made items, he said, such as fresh sausages, charcuterie, smoked meats and house-made condiments. Since Bolyard plans to use the entire animal, he expects to also prepare items not for human consumption, like dog food and soap made from the tallow.

“I’ve always loved charcuterie,” explained Bolyard, a 2000 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, an alum of Cardwell’s at the Plaza, and a right-hand man for Sidney Street Cafe chef-owner Kevin Nashan. “I started with getting pigs at Sidney Street, but I’d never gotten whole sides of beef or cow. [So] I’ve taken myself to stage at [butcher] shops,” Bolyard said. “Over the past six months, I’ve bought sides of beef and broken them down to get practice and try out the meat that these farmers are raising.”

Bolyard noted that there is still some way to go before his vision can become a reality and he leaves the kitchen at Sidney Street. He is two-thirds of the way to securing necessary financing and has yet to settle on a space, though a location in downtown Maplewood is an “ideal pick.” He and his wife Abbie Bolyard are residents of Maplewood, where “people are very supportive of small boutique-y businesses like the one we want to do.”

Bolyard expressed his desire to open a butcher shop in a 2011 interview with Sauce when he was featured as a member that year’s Ones to Watch class: “I don’t see myself as doing anything as big as Sidney Street,” Bolyard said in the article. “Maybe something along the same style of food, though, or even a butcher shop – something that offers premade items, a little market of sorts, where we sell cuts of meat, fresh sausages, stocks.”

Since then, the butcher shop idea has taken a firm hold in his mind. “The more I thought about it, it was something I wanted to do,” Bolyard told The Scoop. “It’s something St. Louis doesn’t have. With the direction that food is going, [I think] it would be well accepted by St. Louis.”

-photo by Carmen Troesser

By Ligaya Figueras

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2 Responses to “The Scoop: Chef Chris Bolyard’s sights set on opening a butcher shop”

  1. Cherie Blue Says:
    February 3rd, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Congratulations and good luck!!! Can’t wait for your awesome shop, but we will miss seeing you when we come to Sidney Street. (Poor Kevin). Happy hunting for a location.

  2. Denise Says:
    February 14th, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    We are so excited for this to come to Maplewood. My husband and I live there and love it! This will be an amazing addition to Maplewood’s unique and vibrant economy.

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