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Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona Tapas’

The Scoop: Brian Hale to open Jax Café

Monday, April 22nd, 2013



Brian Hale (pictured) is opening his own restaurant. Hale, the former executive chef at the Chase Park Plaza and Monarch and, most recently, the former director of culinary operations at Coastal Bistro & Bar, Bocci Bar and Barcelona Tapas, will be setting up digs at 2901 Salena St., formerly Pointer’s Market & Deli in Benton Park. According to Hale, he and his business partners, husband and wife David and Gina Seltzer, closed on the purchase of the building last Friday. Their plans are to use the 60-seat eatery as a breakfast and lunch spot as well as a venue for special events.

At Jax Café (named for the Seltzers’ two-year-old grandson), Hale expects to “get back to basics,” a switch from “doing the rock star dinner thing,” he said, referring to the pop-up dinners he held at Bocci Bar last year. Jax will be “semi-upscale, plated breakfasts,” he described. Lunch will include appetizers, salads, sandwiches and smoked meats, wutg homemade pies and ice cream among the desserts. Hale added that local ingredients will be used as much as possible. Jax will also have a small retail section housing packaged beer and wine as well as Hale’s marinades, salad dressings and line of spices.

“There’s not a lot to do,” responded Hale, when asked about construction plans, which include building a new bar and renovating the kitchen. He hopes to open Jax Café in mid-May.

— photo courtesy of Brian Hale

The Scoop: Chef Brian Hale joins Coastal, Bocci and Barcelona

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Chef Brian Hale has been named the director of culinary operations at Coastal Bistro & Bar, Bocci Bar and Barcelona Tapas – a trio of restaurants along Clayton’s Central Avenue that are owned by siblings Frank and Ellen Schmitz. Hale most recently worked as the executive chef at the Chase Park Plaza, a post he left in late January.

According to a press release, Hale has already begun to influence the menu at Bocci Bar, while changes to the lunch menu at Barcelona are expected in the coming weeks. Hale will also work with the Barcelona restaurant in Indianapolis. The release noted that Hale would be involved in a new restaurant concept that Frank and Elise Schmitz have been developing, but further details were not provided.

The Scoop: Bocci Bar is first of a trio of new Italian spots

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

040611_BocciBarGet ready; the newest wave of Italian restaurants is arriving. This week, Frank Schmitz opened Bocci Bar at 16 N. Central Ave., in Clayton. The restaurant and wine bar is located next door to Mosaic Bistro Market, operated by his sister Ellen Schmitz, and down the street from his other restaurant, Barcelona Tapas.

Posited as a modern Italian restaurant and wine bar, Bocci Bar offers a contemporary take on northern Italian fare and strives to create the feel of a neighborhood eatery through an approachable bar and floor-to-ceiling windows that open to the sidewalk patio.

The lunch menu includes a selection of salads, soups, sandwiches, pizzas – including a German variation called Flammekuchen that’s topped with caramelized onions, pancetta and crème fraîche – and, of course, pasta dishes. The more expansive dinner menu includes a selection of crostini and antipasto, perfect as after-work noshes to pair with a glass of wine. Among the entrées, we want to slurp our way through the Italian fish stew filled with halibut, mussels, calamari and shrimp.

Bocci Bar is open weekdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday, 4 to 10 p.m. No time to grab a seat? Online ordering for carryout will soon be available.

Italian food-lovers, keep that fork in hand. Mad Tomato is next, set to open April 15 just a few blocks away from Bocci Bar, followed by Michael Del Pietro’s Trattoria Spezie come summer. Mangia!

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