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Jul 02, 2015
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Barcelona Tapas’

The Scoop: Clayton debuts pop-up sidewalk seating with parklets

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015

042315_parklet

 

 

Clayton’s first foray into pop-up sidewalk seating was recently unveiled in front of Barcelona Tapas. It’s called a parklet and the public space seating can seat up to 14 people, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The expandable patio measures 6.6-by-18 feet, about the size of two parallel parking spots.

“This is the king of the parklet pilot program,” said George Ertle, assistant to the city manager in Clayton. “We’ll see if it’s an idea worth pursuing.”

Ertle said the parklet idea came from committee meetings for Clayton’s Strategic Planning Process, dubbed “C the Future.” Frank Schmitz, owner of Barcelona Tapas, said he had seen parklets popping up in his travels to various cities over the past three years, prompting him to bring up the idea while serving on the committee.

Designed by Tao+Lee Associates and built by Pinnacle Contracting for Clayton, the project cost about $30,000. The parklet is made of pine wood sideboards, a galvanized steel ramp for the walkway from the street to the portable street seating, and Trex composite decking for the flooring, that will stay cool when it’s hot outside.

“It’s a public space, but the city allows Barcelona Tapas to use it,” Schmitz said, noting that people can enjoy the parklet with or without ordering from the restaurant. He said the tiny addition to the alfresco seating on North Central Avenue has been well-received, with people eating, socializing and relaxing.

The lighter traffic flow on North Central Avenue and its narrow sidewalks make it a good spot to test the parklet prototype, Ertle said, adding that several nearby restaurants have expressed interest in using them as well.

“They’re aimed at being both business and resident friendly. Parklets absolutely enhance a restaurant or shop,” Schmitz said. “But it’s a learning process for everyone. It’s a big question of how these will be financed in the future.”

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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