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Dec 16, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop: New American eatery Olive & Oak to open in Webster Groves historic building

May 22nd 04:05pm, 2015

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Olive & Oak, founded by Annie Gunn’s veteran Mark Hinkle and business partner Greg Ortyl, will soon open in a century-old former boutique at 102 W. Lockwood Ave in Webster Groves.

Hinkle, who confirmed the opening tentatively for September 2015, will depart his management role at Annie Gunn’s in Chesterfield in June to focus on construction of the restaurant. Before moving to St. Louis, Hinkle worked in Chicago in both restaurant and beverage management for several companies, including Gibsons Restaurant Group. He said his pending departure from Annie Gunn’s would be bittersweet.

“I’ve learned a lot with this institution. It’s a hard place to leave, with Tom (Sehnert) and Lou (Rook III) and Glenn (Bardgett),” he said. “It’s one of those handful of places across the country that’s just lightning in a bottle.”

Olive & Oak’s menu is still under development, and Hinkle and Ortyl are also still in the process of choosing a chef. “Food-wise, we’re going to be American, very ingredient focused,” Hinkle said. “(We’ll) bring the best ingredients in and treat them the way they should be treated.” Current candidates for the menu include stout fare like oysters, steaks and pork.

Hinkle added that he’ll handle the initial beverage direction himself, arraying a selection of local beer, cocktails and “a good solid wine list, from affordable options to the big dogs.”

The restaurant will initially offer dinner only, opening for lunch and brunch service after the eatery finds its footing. The 2,600-square-foot space is being remodeled into an open concept with high ceilings and a rustic, exposed aesthetic.

Olive & Oak’s name has personal resonance for the owners, too. Hinkle and Ortyl both had sons who died at young ages of congenital heart conditions, and both have founded charitable organizations named for their children to fund further medical research. The restaurant, named in homage to Oliver Hinkle and Oakes Ortyl, is a continuation of this.

“Both of our families have gotten involved in charitable causes, that’s how (Greg and I) met,” Hinkle said. “We’re having a tribute to the boys and at the same time doing what we want to do, which is run a great restaurant … St. Louis has become a hell of a food town, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

 

 

 

 

By Garrett Faulkner

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