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Jan 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Brant Baldanza’

Shack will open in Creve Coeur and O’Fallon, Mo.

Thursday, January 4th, 2018



Shack will expand in a big way this year. The popular local breakfast and lunch chain will open four Missouri locations in Creve Coeur, O’Fallon, Overland Park and Kansas City, according to Brant Baldanza, managing partner of OG Hospitality Group.

“After we opened Frontenac and Chesterfield, we knew we were on to something,” Baldanza said. “We never want to grow just to grow, but we saw a vacancy in the market and decided to go for it.”

OG Hospitality Group, which also owns The Tavern Kitchen & Bar and Corner Pub & Grill, has Shack locations in Valley Park, Frontenac and Chesterfield. Baldanza said Shack No. 4 would debut in O’Fallon at 2931 Highway K in February in an 8,000 square-foot space with 200 seats.

In April, the fifth Shack is scheduled to open at 12521 Olive Blvd., in Creve Coeur, formerly home to a Shogun location. Baldanza said that OG Hospitality has also signed a letter of intent for a space in South County, and he hopes to have a lease signed soon. All the new Shacks will essentially feature the same menu as the original.

In addition to St. Louis, Shack will open two locations in Overland Park in Kansas City in late spring and early summer. Like their St. Louis counterparts, Baldanza said the Kansas City restaurants will feature local purveyors for items like coffee and beer.

Photo courtesy of Shack

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Shack to open third location in Chesterfield

• OG Hospitality group to close Cucina Pazzo, open a second Tavern Kitchen & Bar

• The Tavern CDC Jessie Gilroy to join Peacemaker, Sidney Street Cafe

The Scoop: Shack to open third location in Chesterfield

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016



Good news for early risers in Chesterfield: Pancakes, omelet and hashbrown skillets will soon be served at a third location of Shack, opening in October at 14810 Clayton Road.

Owner Brant Baldanza said he is “super excited” to bring an outpost of his breakfast and lunch restaurant to the town where he grew up. He thinks the location – formerly home to a Lester’s – has a “vacancy for breakfast,” and he hopes to attract diners from Wildwood, Ballwin and Chesterfield Valley.

The restaurant will have the same hours (breakfast 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily, lunch 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday) and menu as its sister Shack in Frontenac, and all three locations will start serving a few new dishes in October.

There may be more Shacks springing up in the near future. Baldanza plans to expand his restaurant concept in the St. Louis market and hopes to open two or three more locations next year, with possible openings in St. Charles, St. Peters and Edwardsville. He’s looking for neighborhoods with high schools, churches and young communities with growing families. “Every Saturday and Sunday, we have lots of family breakfasts,” he said.

The Scoop: The Tavern CDC Jessie Gilroy to join Peacemaker, Sidney Street Cafe

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015



Jessie Gilroy, chef de cuisine at The Tavern in the Central West End, will join chef Kevin Nashan’s kitchen team in the new year. Her last day at The Tavern is Dec. 31.

Gilroy, a member of Sauce Magazine’s 2015 Ones to Watch will spend some time at Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., then segue to Sidney Street Cafe. “We’re excited to have her be part of the team,” Nashan said. “She loves cooking and making people happy and does whatever it takes.”

Gilroy said she has long admired Sidney Street and looks forward to the next step in her career. “Every time we would go to Sidney Street, I was amazed by the ingredients, the technique,” Gilroy said. “I want to keep growing and learning.”

Brant Baldanza is co-owner of OG Hospitality Group, which owns The Tavern, Shack STL and The Corner Pub and Grill. He said Harry Sexauer and Matt Schaeffer serve as co-executive chefs at The Tavern. Sexauer is currently chef at Shack STL in Frontenac, while Schaeffer is chef de cuisine at The Tavern. “We are excited to have Harry back at The Tavern,” Baldanza said, who said The Tavern menu will not change after the chef switch. “Losing Jessie is a loss, but we’re excited for her.”


-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: OG Hospitality group to close Cucina Pazzo, open a second Tavern Kitchen & Bar

Sunday, June 7th, 2015


{Short Rib Pappardelle at Cucina Pazzo}


Big changes are underway at the OG Hospitality Group family of restaurants. Cucino Pazzo is closing on June 28. As first reported by St. Louis Magazine, the Central West End Italian eatery will shutter its doors before reopening as the second location of The Tavern Kitchen & Bar no later than Aug. 3.

“Cucina Pazzo was doing well enough,” said OG co-owner Brant Baldanza. “But The Tavern has such a great reputation, and functionally, this works better because owning too many restaurants with too many concepts is too much. If someone calls in sick or if something goes wrong, we need to be able to respond and pull cooks back and forth. We never had that with Pazzo and Tavern. I love Pazzo, and this was not an easy decision.”

However, Baldanza said it was an easy decision to keep chef Jessie Gilroy at the helm of the new Tavern location. Gilroy developed most of the menu at Cucina Pazzo and will have a hand in the fall menu. Wine and beverage director Megan Meyer will bring The Tavern’s Pinetini and the Manhattan Envy to the new location, as well as create three new cocktails and curate a wine selection different from that of the Valley Park restaurant.

The new menu will be mostly made up of Tavern dishes like the Char-Siu Pork Steak and the Pacific Rim Peanut Crust, but twenty percent of the CWE location’s offerings will be Pazzo favorites like the Lobster Risotto and the Short Rib Pappardelle. Brunch fans will also see most of Pazzo’s brunch menu at the new Tavern location.

“There are 10 different ways in St. Louis to do Italian, and they’re all really good,” said Baldanza. “But there’s only one Tavern. No one else is really doing the cuisine – American with Pacific influence.”


-photo by Jonathan Gayman


Second location of Shack Restaurant opens today in Frontenac

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015



Shack Restaurant officially opens its second location today, April 14, at 731 S. Lindbergh Blvd., the spot previously occupied by now closed The Pig.

The “breakfast, lunch and sometimes dinner” joint is in fact expanding dinner hours at the new Frontenac location to Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. until close, while dinner service will end at the original Valley Park location. OH Hospitality Group co-owner Brant Baldanza said that space will be available in the evening for private events.


While the Frontenac Shack menu will largely mirror that of the Valley Park location, it will boast an on-site smoker, which will be used for all manner of proteins: salmon, ham, turkey, pork butt, short ribs, wings and brisket. New menu items include dishes like a hearty portion of house-smoked salmon (pictured) served atop a slice of rye toast with onions, tomatoes and a sunny-side-up egg, all drizzled with a dill crème fraiche and briny capers. Also look for new dinner offerings like the Short Slided, two smoked short rib sliders on mini brioche buns with white cheddar, horseradish and a side of au jus and crispy chips.


-photos by Michelle Volansky



The Scoop: The Pig closes doors in Frontenac, The Shack to open second location in its spot

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015


{Fried chicken at The Pig}


Michael Del Pietro’s latest concept, the Southern-inspired The Pig (formerly The Salted Pig), served up its last plate of ‘cue last Saturday, Feb. 21. As reported by St. Louis Magazine’s George Mahe, The Pig struggled to stand out during its 10-month run at 731 S. Lindbergh Road amid the recent surge of area barbecue eateries.

Del Pietro confirmed the closure, saying the concept just didn’t work out. The Pig was a step outside of his restaurant wheelhouse; his other concepts are a lineup of well-known Italian spots, including Sugo’s, Babbo’s, Tavolo V and Via Vino Enoteca. Del Pietro said he does not have immediate plans for another restaurant and will focus on his other eateries. Sauce reviewed the barbecue spot in October 2014.



{Breakfast fare at The Shack}


The Frontenac space won’t sit idle for long though. Brant Baldanza, co-owner of OG Hospitality Group (Cucina Pazzo, The Tavern and both locations of The Corner Pub & Grill), swept in to nab the space for a second location of The Shack, his breakfast, lunch and “sometimes” dinner concept in Valley Park.

“We were looking for a new location of The Shack for the last nine or 10 months,” Baldanza said. “We really like the concept with breakfast, boozy shakes and the fun atmosphere.” He expects to have the doors open by mid-April or early May.

“What a great area to be in, and we’re just super excited,” said Baldanza, who was quick to note that the new location near his home takes the cake for cutting down his commute.

The Shack first flew as a pub grub concept at 3818 Laclede Ave., in Midtown before making the jump to 13645 Big Bend Road in Valley Park in May 2014, where they zeroed in on morning and mid-afternoon menus. “We feel there’s an absence in the breakfast market that The Shack is trying to fill,” Baldanza said.

Jessie Gilroy, chef de cuisine at Cucina Pazzo and member of this year’s Sauce Ones to Watch class, and Steven Caravelli, executive chef of OG Hospitality, will develop the menu. Breakfast will not deviate much from The Shack’s current list of skillets, omelets and riffs on classics, like the Shack de Madam – two slices of Texas toast loaded with honey-glazed ham, thick-cut bacon, white cheddar cheese plus The Shack’s cheese sauce and a sunny-side up egg. A few changes will be made to the lunch and dinner menus, including wraps and house-smoked specials like chicken wings and prime rib.

Baldanza aims to replicate the bright, fun atmosphere of the Valley Park location. Expect to see repurposed wood door tables, a white tiled backsplash behind the bar and walls covered with guests’ graffiti. The Frontenac space will seat about 130, and Baldanza said developing outdoor seating is possible.

The Scoop: The Tavern Kitchen & Bar expanding

Monday, September 26th, 2011

092611_TavernOnly one year after opening The Tavern Kitchen & Bar at 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road in Valley Park, owners Brant Baldanza, Mike Rayner, Jon Fogarty and chef-owner Justin Haifley have leased the space next door with plans to expand the popular restaurant to accommodate large parties and private events and to provide overflow dining space on busy Friday and Saturday nights. “The restaurant was small and we were unable to take parties of 8 and 16,” said Baldanza. “Now we can do that.” The construction has been completed and the new space will open on October 15. Check out Michael Renner’s February review of The Tavern here.

— Photo by David Kovaluk

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