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Posts Tagged ‘Baileys’ Chocolate Bar’

First Look: Baileys’ Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square

Friday, August 4th, 2017

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Earlier this summer, restaurateur Dave Bailey announced he would shut down Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, at 1915 Park Ave., in Lafayette Square, and reopen the space as two new, completely separate entities – a new version of Chocolate Bar and a Cajun-Creole restaurant called L’ Acadiane.

The later is still a work in progress (look for an opening later this month), but the new Baileys’ Chocolate Bar reopened yesterday, Aug. 3, after just three weeks of frenzied activity.

The latest incarnation of Chocolate Bar is located on the second floor of the building. The space features a separate lounge area in front of the bar with a larger dining room in the back of the space, for a total of around 70 seats. The more vibrant colors of the original interior have been replaced with muted tones of black, white, green and gray, and the kitchen, which formerly served as a backup, has been expanded to support the space solo.

Subtle accents abound, such as the white marble bar top that matches the tables, and the Spanish tiles that adorn the front of the bar. The overall feel is a cross between a refined French bistro and a Victorian parlor, a vibe Bailey said makes for a perfect date night.

In addition to the space, the menu has received a complete overhaul as well. Guests can choose between a couple of cheese boards and an array of desserts, as well as dessert cocktails like Lavender, a mix of Hayman’s Old Tom gin infused with cocoa nibs and maraschino liqueur.

A tight list of beer, wine and spirits are also available, and the bartenders can replicate some old favorites from the first Chocolate Bar era, like the chocolate martinis, or any favorite classic cocktails, upon request.

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and 5 p.m. to midnight Sunday. Bailey said to look for lunch and brunch service in the future as well.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Dave Bailey announces new concept, L’Acadiane

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

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Dave Bailey has tackled burgers, breakfast and a vegetarian whiskey bar, and now he’s adding a Cajun and Creole eatery to his restaurant portfolio.

As Sauce reported last month, the space that formerly housed Baileys’ Chocolate Bar at 1915 Park Ave., in Lafayette Square is undergoing some changes. The Chocolate Bar is being relocated to the second floor, and a new restaurant has been announced on the lower level: L’ Acadiane, a nod to the Acadiana region in southern Louisiana, which will feature Cajun and Creole fare.

“We’ve got the menu down, the drink menu down,” said Bailey. “We did a really big construction push over the past week. All those decisions are done and the place is at punch list time now. We’ll spend the next three weeks hiring and training and getting ready to open up.”

The rotating menu will feature approximately 15 items, all focused on the region. The initial menu will feature items like house boudin corn dogs with cucumber relish and remoulade, a trio of po’boys, and larger entrees like fried chicken and jambalaya. Cocktails will have a southern bent as well, including takes on regional favorites like the Sazerac and the Hurricane.

Bailey said he hopes to have the doors to L’ Acadiane open by Aug. 23 or Aug. 30. He said the Chocolate Bar should reopen at the end of July with revamped food and drink menus.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Big changes to come at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

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{ Baileys’ Chocolate Bar patio } 

 

A Lafayette Square favorite is being reimagined and a new concept introduced – all in the same space. Owner Dave Bailey announced today, June 28, that he will pare down Baileys’ Chocolate Bar and reopen part of the space at 1915 Park Ave., as a new restaurant.

The “old” Chocolate Bar will serve its last confection Saturday, July 8.

“We want to breathe new life into it,” Bailey said. “It’s been 13 years, and Chocolate Bar has become, at least in our minds, a St. Louis institution, as we’d hoped. But I think it’s time for a decor update, and it’s time to take a new approach with the desserts.”

The new version will be located on the second floor of building, while the ground level will debut a new restaurant. The new concept, which will be announced in mid- to late July, will be an independent entity expected to open in August.

“They’ll be separate restaurants,” Bailey said. “Separate look, separate feel, separate everything. We’ll be putting stuff out on social media with more specific info on the opening date soon.”

Bailey said he hopes the new incarnation of the Chocolate Bar will reopen about two weeks after closing. Its new menu will be more curated, but the Baileys’ Chocolate Bar name would remain.

“We want to carry over some of the familiarity of the Chocolate Bar, but we want it to be brand-new at the same time.” He said some design elements would be retained, like the chandeliers, but “frankly, that’s about it. From a decor standpoint, you’ll have a sense that you’re still at Chocolate Bar, but it will be brand-new.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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Readers’ Choice 2016: Favorite Restaurateurs

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

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{Clockwise from bottom, Gerard Craft, Dave Bailey, Kevin Nashan, Nick Luedde}

The menus have been printed, revised, reprinted, revised … and reprinted again. The staff has been trained forward and backward. The silverware has been polished until it’s too shiny to behold. Friends and family have flown in for the soft opening with compliments fit for the pope/Shakespeare/Beyoncé of restaurant owners. But when the restaurant finally opens to the public, what’s going through a restaurateur’s mind?

 

Winner: Gerard Craft
Owner, Niche Food Group (Brasserie by Niche, Pastaria, Porano Pasta, Sardella, Taste)

“I think my opening of Niche was way different from any opening you will see today. In 2005, social media wasn’t really a thing. People finding out about new things were not overnight happenings. Now you open a restaurant and a million people line up out your door — definitely not with Niche. No one knew who we were. It was me, one other cook and my pastry chef who I basically kidnapped. We opened to 12 customers, and I think six of those were from the bar across the street, who I think I convinced to come over if I would feed them for free. …

“I was 25. My wife was pregnant. I was doing something a little bit different, which certainly didn’t make it easier. I would work from 8 a.m. until 2:30 a.m. every day. It was intense – a lot of anxiety, a lot of stress. … It was this dream, but also so much reality. And I physically remember when we finally got reviewed — (former St. Louis Post-Dispatch critic) Joe Bonwich just gave us this love letter. After, I looked up and … there were so many people, we didn’t know what to do. I almost threw up. I was like, ‘Oh shit, I have to cook for all these people!’”

 

2nd: Nick Luedde
Co-owner, The Libertine

“We had been in the press and had such a highly anticipated opening. … Ten minutes prior to opening — the staff looks great, and we had 200 people on the books — but I’m looking at my wife (Audra Luedde), afraid no one was going to show up. We had so much money invested. This was everything. … It all comes down to whom you’ve hired. If those people are people you actually want to have a drink with, the rest takes care of itself.”

 

3rd: Kevin Nashan
Chef-owner, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab and Sidney Street Cafe

“Obviously you want to throw up in your mouth. It’s such a big rollercoaster. You just hope people come and are so grateful when they do. It takes a village — everyone contributes to your success. … There are so many variables on opening day. The system you have sometimes completely changes during service, after service.”

 

Honorable mention: Dave Bailey
Owner, Baileys’ Restaurants (Baileys’ Chocolate Bar; Baileys’ Range; Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar; Rooster; Shift, Test Kitchen & Takeout; Small Batch; The Fifth Wheel)

“My seven stages of opening a restaurant for the first time:

Electric shock: Woke up early that sunny morning with no alarm clock with a surge through my body and the immediate thought, ‘I am opening a restaurant today! You’ve been working on this day and night, sleeping two hours at a time on top of the bar. It’s actually real now. Go go go!’

A burning sensation in the back of the head and neck: Is there enough time to get everything done? … What did I forget? Will anyone come? Will too many people come? Why am I doing this on a Friday? Why didn’t I do a soft opening?

Accelerated breathing and hypersensitivity to sound and touch: Almost there; we’re looking pretty good; it’s all about to happen; this is going to be amazing!

Calmness and solidarity of purpose: Ready. Everything looks right; everything feels right; everyone is in position.

Panic and self doubt: Why wasn’t there a line at the door? Is anyone going to come? Was this a terrible idea in the first place? I can’t afford for this not to work.

Total absorption in work and an extremely narrowed focus: Wow, it’s really busy. Everyone seems happy. We are almost keeping up; we need to go faster; we need to go much faster. Touch more tables … make them happy no matter what.

Complete relief and a feeling of having learned and grown more in hours than in the past several years: It worked. We built it, and they came. We are going to do an even better job tomorrow.”

-photo by Ashley Gieseking

Sneak Peek: Shift, Test Kitchen & Take Out

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

 

Downtown STL will welcome Shift, Test Kitchen & Take Out when it opens to the public Tuesday, April 5. As The Scoop reported in June 2015, the newest concept in the Bailey’s family of restaurants will offer a rotating menu of carryout meals and sides.

The menu will feature a rotating selection of national and international barbecue selections for the foreseeable future. In addition to offering meals to go, Shift will also serve as a test kitchen for the Bailey family of restaurants, particularly the barbecue concept slated to open in 2017.

The menu will drop and introduce a couple of items per week, due in part to Bailey’s whole animal butchery program and selective, seasonal sourcing, as well as Shift’s experimental nature.

Meals are generally priced less than $10 with side dish options up to $6, and will be available for walk-in diners to start, but keep an eye out for online ordering in the future. Shift is located at 313 N. 11th St. in downtown, adjacent to Rooster and close to Bailey’s other downtown St. Louis establishments.

“I like downtown,” owner Dave Bailey said. “It’s a unique beast and there have been hard times, but lots of people live down here and we have some great regulars. Our restaurants have an accessible price point and we keep things fun and charming and are able to offer different types of food for different people at different times of the day.”

Shift will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

-photos by Meera Nagarajan

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Drink This Weekend Edition: Valentine’s cocktails at Bailey’s Chocolate Bar

Friday, February 12th, 2016

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Single or spoken for, Valentine’s Day is upon us with all its saccharine romance. Baileys’ Chocolate Bar in Lafayette Square has dreamed up a threesome of cocktails perfectly suited for a weekend of amour. This romantic venue is a hotspot on Valentine’s weekend, so get in line early via the No Wait app and hang out at home, not in the cold, while you wait for a table. Whether you’re doing the wooing or just treating yo’self here’s what to order starting today, Feb. 12.

1. The Double Dipped is a peanut butter and chocolate cocktail that can be sipped over the chocolate ganache-coated rim or through the chocolate straw. Either way, it’s a layer of house-made dark chocolate liqueur and hazelnut liqueur topped with a layer of peanut-infused vodka and Bailey’s Irish cream.

2. The Chocolate Bar’s version of Chocolate, Flowers and Teddy Bears is less trite than cliche Valentine’s Day gifts. Dark chocolate liqueur, chocolate vodka, crème de violette and coconut milk are shaken, then poured into a martini glass and garnished with two teddy bears cookies holding hands. Whether that makes you coo in delight or chomp their heads off, you’ll enjoy this lightly floral chocolate sip with a creamy finish.

3. The Valentine’s Smash is a chocolate- and berry-flavored libation that features chocolate vodka, Dolin blanc, house-made limoncello and raspberry liqueur and lemon juice all shaken together and topped with bubbly Prosecco and garnished with raspberries and mint.

 

 

 

The Scoop: Dave Bailey wins EY Entrepreneur of the Year of the Central Midwest

Tuesday, July 7th, 2015

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St. Louis restaurateur Dave Bailey was recently named an EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 award winner for the Central Midwest region. The honor, presented June 25 at a ceremony in Overland Park, Kansas, recognizes individuals who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses. Bailey was one of seven winners from the Central Midwest region, which includes Missouri and Kansas.

The victory makes Bailey eligible for the national EY Entrepreneur of the Year award, to be announced in November. Bailey is one of several hundred winners from 25 regions who are vying a national title. He is also among just a handful of regional winners who hailed from the hospitality industry, including celeb chef Jose Andres, whose ThinkFoodGroup has grown into a dining empire, and the Greek cuisine-focused Cava Mezze Restaurant Group. Both are from the Greater Washington region.

“I was extremely excited. I didn’t go to (the gala) expecting to win because of the extraordinary group of people I was against, so I was thrilled when it was announced,” Bailey said. “I wouldn’t be anywhere without my staff. It really comes down to the people.”

The award came just one day after Bailey announced his seventh, and possibly most innovative dining concept, Shift, Test Kitchen & Take Out. Slated to open in September, Shift will be a takeout-only lunchtime restaurant offering menu items in development for future Bailey restaurants.

Bailey entered the dining scene with Baileys’ Chocolate Bar in 2004. The Baileys’ family of restaurants has since grown to include two Rooster locations, Bridge, Baileys’ Range, Small Batch and The Fifth Wheel. A to-be named barbecue restaurant and rooftop bar are in the works for 2016.

-photo by Jonathan Pollack

The Scoop: Dave Bailey to open weekday lunch spot Shift, Test Kitchen & Take Out

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015

 

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Restaurateur Dave Bailey is opening another eatery. Shift, Test Kitchen & Takeout will be a counter-service, carryout only spot at 311 N. 11th St., located next door to Bailey’s downtown brunch place, Rooster. Shift, slated to open in September, will offer lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

As its name implies, the menu at Shift will change. “The idea is to use it as an incubator for the restaurants we’re going to be opening going forward,” Bailey said. The 650-square-foot space previously housed baking operations for his restaurants. That bakery has since relocated to the second Rooster location on South Grand Boulevard.

First up: barbecue, serving as a test run for the barbecue concept Bailey announced in April 2014. The still-unnamed 200-seat restaurant was slated to open in January at 1011 Olive St., that opening has been moved to spring 2016.

“We’re not going to focus on one regional style – Memphis or St. Louis, for example. We’ll be doing a worldwide representation of barbecue styles and hope for feedback so we can hone in on really good dishes to use at the barbecue restaurant,” he said.

Bailey said Shift will follow a credo of whole-animal cooking, butchering animals in-house. Look for a tight menu of five main dishes with one vegetarian option. Traditional barbecue sides, salads and pies will also be available.

Also still on the docket is the 45-seat rooftop bar Bailey announced with the barbecue restaurant, though no date is set for that opening.

Shift joins the family of Bailey’s restaurants, which include Baileys’ Range, Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, Small Batch, both locations of Rooster and The Fifth Wheel, a catering arm that also provides food service at 4 Hands Brewing Co.

Get an early taste of Shift when they smoke up some ’cue on Aug. 2 at the Schurcipefones Festival, which closes out St. Louis Craft Beer Week.

 

-photo by Jonathan Pollack 

Sneak Peek: Rooster on South Grand

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Nearly a year ago, restaurateur Dave Bailey announced his plans to open a second location for his breakfast, lunch and brunch cafe, Rooster, at 3150 S. Grand Blvd., in South City. After an extensive rehab to the former Hamiltonian Bank & Trust building, the historic, glass box-style building is now ready for diners.

At its newest location, Rooster will offer the same morning and lunch fare that has garnered it national praise. However, the daily eatery will also operate during evening hours. The dinner menu, which Bailey described as “country French with a South City influence,” is divided into starters and entrees. The former includes items such as risotto cakes, mac-n-cheese, steak tartare, a house charcuterie plate, cured salmon and a couple salads. Among the dozen main dishes, guests will find protein-laden options to satisfy carnivores, pescatarians and vegetarians alike, including fried chicken, Missouri trout, beef brisket with braised cabbage and spaetzel, and a root vegetable hash.

The expansive 200-seat interior features sweeping floor-to-ceiling glass windows, with two 40-foot community tables extending the length of the main dining room. A patio is dotted with picnic tables than can accommodate another 150 guests.

A 3,000-square-foot lower level now serves as a bakery and commissary kitchen for Bailey’s entire family of restaurants (Baileys’ Range, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, Bridge and Small Batch). The commissary kitchen was previously located downtown. The kitchen will also serve Bailey’s upcoming barbecue restaurant and rooftop bar at 1011 Olive St., downtown. Those venues are on target to open this spring, Bailey said, but names have not been finalized yet.

Rooster opens doors to the public Monday,Oct. 6. Here’s a look at what’s in store at this new restaurant on South Grand.

 

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The Scoop: Dave Bailey to open second Rooster location on South Grand

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

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Restaurateur Dave Bailey announced today, Oct. 23, that he plans to open a second location for his breakfast and brunch spot, Rooster. Rooster No. 2 will be located at 3150 S. Grand Blvd., in the former Hamiltonian Bank & Trust building at the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Juniata Street.

Extensive rehab construction is planned for the historic, mid-century modern “glass box”-style building. The space will be tripled from its current 3,000 square feet, and a 2,400-square-foot wraparound patio will be added. The 200-seat interior will have two dining rooms with three, 40-foot community tables in the main dining room, as well as a large bar plus ample bike and stroller parking. Distinct from the downtown Rooster at 1104 Locust St., this one will have expanded hours of operation, with evening hours to accommodate dinner, dessert and patrons at the bar.

Bailey said he plans to use the newly acquired building as more than just a restaurant. The 3,000 square-foot lower level will be transformed into a bakery, and, he explained, it will house the commissary kitchen, which will move from its current location downtown.

Bailey, a resident of the Tower Grove neighborhood, said plans for the project have been in the works for a year. He placed a contract on the property earlier this spring and finalized the paperwork yesterday, Oct. 22.

When the new Rooster opens in summer 2014, it will bring Bailey’s total restaurant count to six. Others include Baileys’ Range, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, Bridge and soon-to-open Small Batch at 3001 Locust St., in Midtown Alley. Bailey said adding a second Rooster location is “why Small Batch has taken longer than expected.” He anticipates opening Small Batch doors by mid- to late November. And while Bailey is excited to see his restaurant business grow, he said he’s most excited to increase his total staff to 300 employees. “That’s what I live for – besides getting smiling faces from people who eat at my restaurants,” he said.

 

 

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