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Mar 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Atomic Cowboy’

Readers’ Choice Bartenders of the Year

Thursday, June 1st, 2017


{from left, Elijah Barnes, Terry Oliver and Tony Saputo at Frazer’s }

What has been your most awkward moment on the job? 

“I had to cut off two guys who I’ve known for a long time as regulars [on different nights]. One I coaxed into drinking some coffee and eating something, but the other guy didn’t take it well at all. He stood up and got huffy. They decided they were never coming back. I felt bad, but at the end of the day you’re just trying to look out for them. They did eventually come back, though they didn’t mention what happened. Everyone’s on good terms.” – Winner, Elijah Barnes at ClevelandHeath

“One of the regulars at a bar I worked at was a call girl, and she met all of her johns at the bar. She’d come and go several times a night. I think she knew that I knew. Making small talk was really hard. You couldn’t really ask her, ‘How’s tricks?’” – 2nd Place, Tony Saputo at Atomic Cowboy

“We had a group that came in for a few hours and had a good time. One woman went to the bathroom and came back out, and their server came up to me and said, ‘That woman isn’t wearing any pants.’ I told him she was probably just wearing flesh-colored tights or something. He came back and said, ‘Nope, she’s not wearing any pants.’ Sure enough, she was buck-naked from the waist down. I went to the one woman in the group I knew and told her about it. She pulled her friend aside, and her friend said, ‘Oh my God, who took my pants?’ Thankfully all of the other guests were gone.” – 3rd Place, Terry Oliver at Frazer’s

Photo by Jonathan Gayman 

Related Content
Sauce Magazine: Readers’ Choice 2017

Ones to Watch 2017: Elijah Barnes of ClevelandHeath

Top Shelf: 5 bartenders you should know 

The Scoop: Firecracker Pizza and Beer to open in The Grove

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016



{From left, Firecracker Pizza and Beer owner Chip Schloss, chef Wil Pelly and beverage director Tony Saputo}

With the goal of putting pizza and beer on the same footing, Atomic Cowboy owner Chip Schloss has teamed up with chef Wil Pelly and barman Tony Saputo to open Firecracker Pizza and Beer at 4130 Manchester Road in late summer. “The focus will be to match the quality of the pizza with the quality of the beer,” Schloss said.

The menu is still in development. While neither Schloss nor Pelly (who was most recently corporate executive chef at Sugarfire Smoke House and oversaw culinary operations at In Good Company restaurant group before that) will divulge specifics, they said their pizza style will be unique – “the opposite of thin, wood-fired pizza” – and will incorporate ingredients also used in beer, such as brewer’s yeast or spent grains. Available by the slice or as whole pies, the pizzas will feature a variety of toppings, some with an international influence.

“If somebody wants a pepperoni pizza, we can do that, but we will have mostly nontraditional options,” Pelly said

Schloss, Pelly and Saputo plan to have a large selection of craft beers on up to 60 taps, half of which will feature local options. The remaining 30 will be divided between regional and national brands. “We want this to be a place for beer drinkers, a craft beer house,” said Saputo, who also helms Atomic Cowboy’s beverage program.

Schloss has sustainability in mind which is why any bottle program would likely be limited. “The best recycling is to not use (bottles or cans) in the first place,” he said.

Once complete, Firecracker will accommodate 80 guests inside with an equal capacity on the back patio, which will also include space for yard games. Late-night Grove-goers can look forward to an eventual window service that will offer pizza by the slice. “We want a place that feels comfortable, where people can stop before or after a concert or just hang out,” Schloss said.

Best of Brunch: Atomic Cowboy, The Restaurant at The Cheshire, SoHo

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

When the weekend rolls around, our minds are on one thing: brunch. We can’t wait to pass away a lazy Sunday at a spot where the people are friendly, the bloody marys are strong (and sometimes bottomless) and pretty much everything is crowned with a sunny egg or served with a short stack. That’s why our June issue celebrates the very Best of Brunch, our top 11 places to indulge in the best meal of the week.

Here, find out why Atomic Cowboy, The Restaurant at The Cheshire and SoHo Restaurant & Lounge made our list:



Atomic Cowboy: 4140 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.775.0775, atomiccowboystl.com
Brunch: Sun. – 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Although this well-known restaurant and watering hole in The Grove opened in 2005, Atomic Cowboy’s brunch menu is a new innovation – which is good news for you, since the masses haven’t caught on yet. When we stopped in on a Sunday afternoon things felt a little empty, as if tumbleweeds might drift by.

But Lonesome Dove, Texas this ain’t, and whether you hitch yourself to the barnwood-and-brick saloon inside or the Quonset hut-shaded cabana out back, rest easy, partner – you’ve drawn a bead on one of the finest brunches east of the 100th meridian. Order the horchata iced coffee (pictured)– spiced with Grand Marnier and Kahlúa – and try the kitchen’s kinda-sorta border-country take on eggs Benedict, which sneaks grilled toast under crabcakes – carne asada and smoked salmon are also options – streaked with citrusy hollandaise and chipotle mayo.

Twenty-somethings, scenesters and those on a budget take note: You can be out the door for under $20 with a cocktail and brunch under your belt buckle. But don’t rush off – this place was made for the young and iconoclastic to gather. Saddle up and get out to your new Sunday brunch home on the range. – G.F.



The Restaurant at The Cheshire: 7036 Clayton Ave., Clayton, 314.932.7818,
Brunch: Sun. – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

When you brunch at The Restaurant, here’s what to order when:

You’ve got Paul Bunyan’s appetite.
The prime rib hash with roasted potatoes is sauced in a flavorful, savory au jus, complete with poached eggs and horseradish hollandaise. You’ll be full until tomorrow.

Your mother-in-law is at the table.
The Bloody Caesar, a bloody mary with a shrimp garnish and gazpacho flavor, could be passed off as a meal, and after drinking one you’ll be too content to get defensive.

You’re gearing up for “Downton Abbey.”
Strawberries served with sweetened clotted cream, mint and honey is delightful. Combined with Sister Schubert’s biscuits, served to your table at brunch, it’s a smorgasbord fit for nobility.

You’re a grits snob.
Seared Alaskan halibut and over-easy farm eggs (pictured) is a stunner. The fish is perfectly cooked, the eggs are easy, the grits are cheesy and there are mushrooms and asparagus dressed in a citrus vinaigrette to make it healthy but magically delicious.

You have a sweet tooth.
The brioche French toast with lemon curd ricotta is a study in sweet. Roasted dates and vanilla syrup are tamed by tart strawberries and sharp, citrusy cheese. Or just get the bananas foster waffle – dessert disguised as brunch. – M.N.



SoHo Restaurant & Lounge: 4229 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.5554,
Brunch: Sun. – 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

New York’s skyline may gird the logo of SoHo Restaurant & Lounge, but the name means “Southern hospitality,” and the kitchen has assembled a menu to prove it. Though it operates as a nightclub after 10 p.m. on weekends, SoHo pulls out the stops for its Sunday brunch, a stellar procession of traditional Southern food crafted by executive chef Ceaira Jackson.

Skip the stark interior that caters to the club scene. Instead, make a beeline for the patio that overlooks Manchester Avenue and even features a couple shade-giving pagoda tents. The pacing of the service is a bit lax, but remember this is a lounge, people – plan to stay awhile. Kick back and listen to the music. Don’t neglect to order a mimosa (pictured) – brightened with a splash of pineapple juice, it’s one of the best we’ve had – while you wait for an order of catfish and grits (authentic, battered in cornmeal), red velvet pancakes (divine – they include vanilla cream frosting) or the chicken and waffles (crispy and sweet). SoHo is surely the biggest indicator that The Grove is the place to be on brunch day. – G.F.

-Atomic Cowboy photo by Elizabeth Jochum; SoHo photo by Carmen Troesser



Matt Berkley’s Top 5 Cocktails of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Matt Berkley works some odd hours as Sauce’s Nightlife critic. In 2013, he spent many a late night] sipping crafted cocktails around St Louis on a hunt for the very best. Here, Berkley names his top five cocktails of the year: 


No. 5: Smoke and Fire from Mission Taco Joint
Hellfire bitters set off hints of peach and serrano syrup in this refreshing, mezcal-laden masterpiece.



No. 4: The Rattlesnake King at The Fortune Teller Bar
Smooth-drinking W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon is reinforced with a hit of apple brandy and fresh orange.

No. 3: House Manhattan at Gamlin Whiskey House
Robust oak and sweet vanilla flavors mingle in the Knob Creek Single Barrel whiskey that was handpicked for this standout take on a classic Manhattan.



No. 2: Pimm’s Cup at Bar Les Frères
This easy sipping, warm-weather drink is fashioned with fresh cucumber and sprigs of mint.


And my No. 1 cocktail of 2013 is…



Beetnik Margarita at Atomic Cowboy
Fresh beet juice substitutes for lime juice in this potent little drink. My exact words in September: “Though I’m indifferent to beets, beet juice and actual beatniks, I love this drink. It’s a savory-sweet monster of a cocktail with a surprisingly tangy kick and a healthy wallop of tequila.”

And an honorable mention goes to moonshine cocktails from Hendricks BBQ. Subtle and smooth at first, these white whiskeys cocktails serve delightful a knockout punch of rich flavor.

-Bar Les Frères and Atomic Cowboy photos by Jonathan Gayman



In This Issue: Nightlife – Atomic Cowboy

Thursday, September 19th, 2013


It’s 9:15 p.m. on a Friday, and Atomic Cowboy’s juicer is on the fritz. It’s busted. Inoperable. Man down.

The bartender shrugs. I sulk.

Under normal circumstances, I could care less about the functionality of a kitchen appliance; however, tonight its out-of-order-ness means that I can’t get one of the bar’s signature beet juice or Beetnik margaritas, which, though it may sound froufrou as all hell, has become a personal obsession.

Though I’m indifferent to beets, beet juice and actual beatniks, I love this drink. It’s a savory-sweet monster of a cocktail with a surprisingly tangy kick and a healthy wallop of tequila. It blissfully blurs all thoughts of spreadsheets and TPS reports. It makes my cheeks red. I want one again. Now, even.

As sad as the juicer fiasco is, I’m not surprised. This is the second time Atomic has deprived me of one of my favorite cocktails on its new drink menu (Last time they were out of beets.). Much like Atomic itself, this reimagined take on a classic is still somewhat under construction.

To read more of what our reviewer thought of this revamped staple in The Grove, click here.
-Photo by Jonathan Gayman



Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Enchilada at Atomic Cowboy

Monday, July 8th, 2013


The sweet potato enchilada at Atomic Cowboy is rich and satisfying. Hunks of sweet potato are rolled up in a tortilla and topped with a creamy, savory poblano sauce. A final crown of melted cheese finishes things off. For $3.75, this a la carte item is a steal. Go ahead, spring for two.



This week, Allyson Mace is obsessed with…

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

{The ginger sake martini at Mai Lee combines three of my favorite things: ginger, green tea vodka and sake. I usually don’t drink martinis with dinner, but this smooth cocktail pairs surprisingly well with the food at Mai Lee and, um, goes down nicely!}


{Food truck food that’s super healthy for you, and it tastes good? When faced with so many food options in my position, it is refreshing to find something as tasty and simple as the sweet potato falafel at Lulu’s.}


{Fish tacos have become my new obsession. I have tasted a lot of them around town, but this crispy morsel featuring grilled or fried tilapia and newly added to the Atomic Cowboy menu is quickly becoming my go-to taco!}


The Scoop: Atomic Cowboy riding high

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Have you visited Atomic Cowboy lately? If so, you’ll notice that the longtime restaurant, bar and nightclub in The Grove is in the midst of change.

Last fall, owners Jim Kellogg and Chip Schloss asked former Lola co-owner Chris Hansen to help give Atomic Cowboy’s concert venue The Foxhole a makeover. The venue is now named The Demo, and Hansen has since become general manager of Atomic Cowboy. “It’s an institution,” Hansen said of the restaurant and bar. “We’re a big part of the evolution of The Grove. We’re in a good position to take it into the future.”

The kitchen is one place where changes were made. Derek Holthaus came aboard as executive chef in late February, while Paco Diaz, whom Hansen called one of the restaurant’s “most tenured employees,” was promoted to sous chef. The pair are turning out cuisine that Hansen described as “Texas roadhouse barbecue meets fresh Mexican.” From appetizers like sweet potato empanadas with jalapeño cream to entrees such as a barbecued chicken chimichanga, Holthaus and Diaz are giving some longtime Atomic dishes a fresh twist and transforming the back-of-the-house into a scratch kitchen where condiments and sauces, smoked meats, desserts and more are prepared in-house – when that isn’t possible, the chefs are looking to source locally.

On the beverage side, Atomic will soon see the addition of Lucas Ramsey, who is leaving his post as bartender at Blood & Sand to helm Atomic’s bar program beginning in early June. According to Hansen, Ramsey, who worked at Atomic Cowboy some years ago, has been asked to retool the cocktails, creating drinks that merge “the craft side with consistency and high volume.” Atomic Cowboy does brisk business at all three of its bars: the main bar (which is being expanded), an outdoor bar (whose massive patio is being renovated), and the bar inside The Demo.

Found: The best veggie burger in town

Monday, November 12th, 2012

I try not to pack the Meatless Monday column with tired, vegetarian staples like the veggie burger. Yet, when I find a good burger, and I mean great, I can’t help but tell you every last tasty detail. Surprisingly, I found the veggie burger I speak of at the fun-and-funky Atomic Cowboy in The Grove. Before I could even mutter the word enchilada at this Mexican eatery, my stomach spoke louder, and the house-made Veggie Burger appeared on my plate.

Hand-packed and full of tender veggies such as meaty squash, piquant peppers and sauteed onions, this patty retains a burger-like consistency with the help of chunky, salty breadcrumbs. The burger is toasted on the grill and placed between a plump vanilla bun, which provides a sweet bite to balance a few dashes of hot sauce (or more, depending on whether you assumed the burger would be bland before tasting). One side of the bun is smeared with a tangy chipotle mayo and the other side, which glues the bun to the thick veggie burger, has some sticky Chihuahua cheese.

Still needing a hint of Mexican? Substitute the chips and salsa, which come with the burger, for the refried beans. Not only healthier, these creamy beans pack that extra protein punch to top off a well-balanced Meatless Monday meal.

Oh loyal readers, I promise I won’t bore you with too many more tales of veggie burger dining, but let it be known, in my 13 years of being a vegetarian, this is the best veggie burger I’ve ever had in The Lou. Don’t believe me? Well, you’ll just have to head over to Atomic Cowboy, and try it for yourself.

The Scoop: Three local cocktailians break out a classic for a night of old school drinks

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

092310_savoyArea bartenders Chad George, Matt Obermark and Matt Seiter have cracked open the (cocktail) history book to bring St. Louis tipplers an adventure in lost and forgotten libations. The revival starts at 6 p.m. next Monday at Atomic Cowboy in The Grove neighborhood, where this talented group will be serving up five different recipes from The Savoy Cocktail Book. Originally published in 1930, this title features recipes from London’s glitzy Savoy Hotel, the birthplace of some of the most famous cocktails in the world.

To make drinks such as the Havana, Jabberwock and Filmograph, you need archaic ingredients like kola tonic (made from the kola nut) and Caperitif (a South African white wine aperitif). The trio of cocktailians has done their homework and will have these homemade items ready for stirring and shaking.

Thanks to its great balance, George expects the Havana to be the most popular drink of the evening. “It’s a balance of dry and sweet, herbaceous and fruity with a hint of citrus.” He deems the Jabberwock, which features dry sherry, Caperitif and gin, the most interesting. “It looks and smells like a martini but it’s a good mingling of flavors,” he said. Other cocktails on the menu include Modern Cocktail No. 2, for which they will use The Bitter Truth’s new sloe gin; and the Kingston, a rum-based drink that calls for, kummel, a caraway-flavored liqueur, among other things.

It wouldn’t be an old school night without period costume. Look for the gents donning arm garters, vests, suspenders, bow ties, aprons and even facial hair to match the times. Then place your order with one of them.

Savoy Night is the third in a series called Drink Lab, nights of themed cocktails crafted by local bartenders. For more information, visit their web page.

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