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Mar 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘brendan marsden’

City Foundry STL Food Hall locks in first 7 local restaurants

Thursday, January 25th, 2018


{ City Foundry STL rendering } 

The first group of Food Hall tenants at City Foundry STL, the sprawling 15-acre mixed-use development at 3700 Forest Park Ave.,in Midtown, have been announced.

Brad Beracha, director of culinary services for The Lawrence Group, which is developing the project, said all occupants will be from the St. Louis area and include a mix of established vets and up-and-comers. “It’ll be all top operators and chefs, all St. Louis based, in the food hall,” he said.


Essentially Fries owner Matt Borchardt passes a basket to hungry hands.

{ Essentially Tacos owner Matt Borchardt } 

The first group of food hall residents includes:

Matt Borchardt: The chef-owner of Edibles & Essentials will focus on street tacos at Essentially Tacos.

Natalie DuBose: The owner of Natalie’s Cakes & More will bring her penchant for sweet treats to the hall.

Michael Friedman: Formerly the executive chef of Retreat Gastropub, Friedman will open Lost & Found, a burger and pizza concept.

Tamara Keefe and Frank Ubile: The duo will open another location of their popular Clementine’s Creamery.

Brendan Marsden: The owner of Whitebox Eatery plans to introduce a sister restaurant centered on salads.

Britt Simpson and Kevin Pellegrino: The duo behind BK Catering will open Hari Manok, a Filipino grilled chicken restaurant.

Jason and Maria Sparks: The husband and wife who own Layla in The Grove will open Sumax, focused on house-made hummus and wraps.


Clementine’s owner Tamara Keefe

{ Clementine’s Creamery owner Tamara Keefe } 


The food hall is part of the $185 million first phase of the $230 million project and will eventually be home to 20 individual concepts. Beracha said that the current plan is for the food hall to open in the summer 2019 with 15 of those slots filled.

The Foundry also announced that Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinema plans to open a 10-screen theater and restaurant in the complex. A location of Punch Bowl Social, the Denver-based concept that combines arcade games and food and drink, will call City Foundry home, as well.

In addition to the food hall, the City Foundry complex will also include four brick-and-mortar restaurants that will be home to regional concepts. Fassler Hall from Oklahoma has committed to the project, and Beracha said letters of intent have been signed for the remaining three spots.

Rendering courtesy of City Foundry STL, photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• City Foundry to open in Midtown 2018

• First Look: Essentially Fries Food Truck

• Mona’s on The Hill will close doors this Sunday

Mona’s on The Hill will close doors this Sunday

Friday, September 1st, 2017



After less than a year in business, owner Brendan Marsden is closing doors at Mona’s – An American-Italian Joint on The Hill. The restaurant’s last day of dinner service will be Sunday, Sept. 3.

“It’s unfortunate, but it’s a decision that I had to make and decided to focus on some more important things in my life, like family and my other job,” he said.

Marsden, who also owns Whitebox Eatery in Clayton, surprised the restaurant community in August 2016 when he closed Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant after 15 years. He opened Mona’s in the same space just a few months later. Now, Marsden is selling the 3,600-square-foot space as a turnkey restaurant.

Marsden now plans to focus his energy on his Clayton breakfast and lunch spot.“It’s all on Whitebox now. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on over there,” he said.

He hopes to expand catering operations, explore options for evening events and possibly even take the concept outside the St. Louis area.


Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.

Related Content
First Look: Mona’s on The Hill

Mona’s to open in former Modesto space

Modesto to close Aug. 20

First Look: Mona’s on The Hill

Monday, October 24th, 2016



Two months after closing doors at his Spanish tapas restaurant, owner Brendan Marsden opened doors at Mona’s, an American-Italian joint, on Oct. 19. As The Scoop reported in August, Marsden closed Modesto after 15 years, announcing that it was time for a concept change at the space on 5257 Shaw Ave.

The Hill is known for Italian-American eateries, but Marsden has his own spin. Pizzas feature toppings inspired by different American culinary regions, like a smoked chicken pizza with corn, red onion and grilled red pepper. While the ultra-thin pizza crusts lean toward the lighter side, four pasta dishes offer heartier fare.

Marsden spent the last two months updating the interior, which now features white and blue walls. The space seats roughly 100 in bright yellow chairs. While the menu is new, loyal Modesto fans will find a pleasant surprise: the bacon-wrapped dates and bread pudding still make an appearance.

Mona’s is currently open Monday to Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m.; Marsden plans to add lunch service in the coming weeks. Here’s a first look at The Hill’s newest eatery:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Mona’s to open in former Modesto space

Thursday, September 8th, 2016



Tapas are out and pizzas are in at 5257 Shaw Ave., the former home of Modesto. Owner Brendan Marsden plans to open Mona’s, an American-Italian restaurant, the first week of October, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The restaurant is named for Marsden’s mother.

Don’t confuse American-Italian and Italian-American, though. “It’s regional American cuisine and ingredients presented in an Italian way,” Marsden said. Pizzas or pastas may feature toppings inspired by American regions, such as crawfish and andouille or pork paired with chiles and pineapple. Executive chef Carlos Hernandez will develop a menu centered around pizza with four or five pasta options and appetizers.

“We’re not really playing by the rules. We want people to know we’re not trying to be authentic in any way, but it’s all going to be high quality,” Marsden said.

Marsden, who also owns Whitebox Eatery in Clayton, closed Modesto on Aug. 20 after 15 years serving Spanish tapas. Customers can expect a new look to go with the new concept. “It’s a complete remodel,” he said. “We’re not removing walls, but it will look a lot different. Everything will be refinished or replaced.”

The beverage program will focus primarily on beer and wine with a limited selection of Italian-inspired cocktails like Negronis and spritzes. Marsden said fans of Modesto’s sangria need not worry; a version will still be available at Mona’s.

The Scoop: Modesto to close Aug. 20

Monday, August 1st, 2016




After 15 years on The Hill, Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant will serve its final small plate on Saturday, Aug. 20. Owner Brendan Marsden, who also owns Whitebox Eatery in Clayton, said he has decided to shutter the space at 5257 Shaw Ave., and open a new concept in late September.

“It was just time,” he said. “I wanted to go out on a high note. It’s run its course, and I wanted to breathe new life into the space.”

Announcements regarding the new concept are expected in the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, Modesto’s staff and management will remain on board for the new restaurant.

“I want to thank everybody for their patronage,” said Marsden. “We look forward to seeing people at the new concept and hope they’ll enjoy it as much they enjoyed Modesto.”


The Scoop: Breakfast and lunch cafe Whitebox Eatery to open in Clayton

Friday, May 30th, 2014


The space at 176 Carondelet Plaza in Clayton is getting a new tenant. Whitebox Eatery, a breakfast and lunch concept, is slated to open in the spot formerly occupied by Stratton’s Café in late July or early August.

Whitebox Eatery is a venture headed by Brendan Marsden, co-owner of Modesto Tapas Bar & Restaurant and online wine, spirits and beer boutique Clink. The restaurant will be open daily, offering quick service, with counter ordering and food delivered to the table (on china, not plastic) by servers. To accommodate patrons pressed for time, Marsden plans to incorporate a rapid pick-up system that allows customers who place an order online or via phone to pick up their food packaged in white box carryout containers.

Breakfast offerings will include house-made pastries, breakfast sandwiches and a few hearty plates, plus doughnuts by Vincent Van Doughnut, an area food truck co-owned by Marsden’s brother, Brian Marsden. Lunch will consist primarily of sandwiches, salads and house-made soups. Marsden compared the fare to a chef-driven elevated Panera Bread, featuring as much organic and local ingredients as possible. An area chef has been tapped to helm the kitchen, but the individual’s name will be announced at a later date.

A limited selection of beer and wine will be available, including the sale of bottles for off-premise consumption, which may appeal to building employees and guests of nearby hotels.

Besides the 110-seat cafe, Whitebox will operate a kiosk in the plaza lobby for building employees. Danishes, bagels, grab-and-go items and coffee will be available at the kiosk. Whitebox will also offer delivery throughout Clayton, as well as catering.

Marsden said the restaurant’s name references the construction and real estate term for a “white box,” a space with a concrete slab floor, a finished ceiling, walls prepped for painting, lighting, and heating and cooling systems. He anticipates opening doors – after giving the space a makeover that will leave it contemporary” and sleek, yet casual.



The Scoop: New website to offer local liquor delivery service

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013



Some days require a stiff drink. That idea – and a strong need for a gin and tonic – inspired business partners Erin Keplinger and Brendan Marsden to start Clink!, a new online liquor store based in St. Louis. “It started after a bad weekend one time,” Keplinger recalled. “A girlfriend offered to send me flowers, and I really wanted her to send me booze.”

Keplinger and Marsden, who also co-owns Modesto Tapas Bar, hope to officially launch the website by Oct. 4. While an online liquor store is not a new concept, Keplinger said she, Marsden and other local experts will select Clink!’s products with an emphasis on niche and locale. “We’re going to be a national website. Anyone can order, but we’re going to share the Missouri pride,” she said, citing available brews and spirits like Mastermind Vodka, The Big O, Schlafly, Perennial, Cardinal Sin, Pinckney Bend and more. Other items include cocktail kits with boutique mixers like Oxford Falls mint julep mixer and Bittermens bitters.

Keplinger says Clink! will provide same-day delivery within 50 miles of St. Louis on orders placed before 10 a.m. Other national orders will be available for next-day delivery. Instead of cellophane-covered baskets, Keplinger said each order will arrive gift-wrapped in sleek, modern boxes with customizable tags. Upgrades including engraved boxes and embossed tags from local artisans are available.

“We love our art and craftsmanship and things that are artisan and curatorial in nature,” she said. “There’s something about the intentionality and thoughtfulness that’s important to us … You don’t necessarily want just the product; you want the whole package.”



The Scoop: A trio of chef changes

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Mike Warhover has been hired as the executive chef at Modesto Tapas Bar and Restaurant. Today marks Warhover’s first day at the Spanish restaurant, located on The Hill at 5257 Shaw Ave. “Our staff is already feeling a new wave of energy in the restaurant since we hired Mike,” Modesto co-owner Brendan Marsden said in a press release. “He is a talented chef and I’m confident he will do great things.” Marsden cited Warhover’s experience with a variety of cooking styles as a positive for the restaurant. Warhover has worked as the executive chef at the defunct Terrene in the Central West End and most recently held the top job at Baileys’ Range.

Warhover replaces chef Grace Dinsmoor, who left Modesto last month. As reported by Ian Froeb of the Riverfront Times, Dinsmoor has joined the culinary team at Franco in Soulard. Froeb’s post also includes mention that chef Peter Clark is now helming the kitchen at Baileys’ Range.


The Scoop: Chef Grace Dinsmoor resigns from exec post at Modesto

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Grace Dinsmoor is no longer the executive chef at Modesto. Dinsmoor, who has worked at the tapas bar and restaurant on The Hill for more than 10 years, resigned from her post yesterday.

According to Dinsmoor “a lot of animosity” had built up between herself and Modesto co-owner Brendan Marsden, which resulted, of late, in “a lot of grief in the kitchen.”

“It is best for me to move on and have a future with a better prospect,” said Dinsmoor, who stated that she will begin searching for a new position immediately. “I am pretty much a free agent right now,” she summed.

Marsden told The Scoop that the restaurant will take its time finding a new chef. “We are grateful for the time Grace has spent with us at Modesto, and we wish her the best of luck,” he noted. “Like any family member, we are sad to see her leave, but the restaurant remains in good hands. Our staff maintains a very tight operation in the kitchen and in the dining room, so for us, it’s very much business as usual. We look forward to bringing in some new energy, but we’re certainly in no rush. We’ll take our time to find the right fit.”

Dinsmoor holds more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry, getting her first taste of the business at O’Connell’s Pub. Later, she spent time in the kitchen at Trattoria Marcella before spending 11 years working for restaurateur Tim Mallett, including opening his now defunct Blue Water Grill in Kirkwood. She left that restaurant in 2001 to join Modesto, which Sauce reviewed in August of last year.



Kick-start Modesto’s anniversary with a round of horchata

Friday, July 1st, 2011

062311_horchataIn this business, restaurateurs breathe a sigh of relief when they make it past that important one year mark. Five years is even better, and 10 years? Well, now you’ve got some history! Modesto owners Brendan Marsden and Julie Block are celebrating that decade milestone this month at their tapas bar and restaurant located on Shaw Avenue on The Hill.

To kick-start the party, they are bringing back horchata al modesto, a tasty cocktail version of the milky drink that originated in Valencia, Spain. Originally, horchata was made using ground tiger nuts, small tubers known in Spanish as chufa. But these days, you may find ground almonds, sesame seeds, rice or even barley in this refreshing summer drink.

You can make Modesto’s alcoholic version at home using the recipe below, but we think you’ll have a lot more fun sipping it at the restaurant where a weeklong pig roast led by Modesto’s exec chef Grace Dinsmoor begins next Tuesday, July 5. Want the deets about these upcoming events? Sign up for the newsletter on Modesto’s website and the news will land in your inbox.

¡Enhorabuena, Modesto! And thanks for giving us an easy reason to drink this weekend!

Horchata al Modesto

Courtesy of Modesto’s Marcia Recks

Serves 1

1 Tbsp. coconut purée (see note)
1 oz. Licor 43
1 oz. vanilla vodka
3 oz. milk
Cinnamon sticks

• Place ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously to combine ingredients.
• Pour mixture in a glass (with the ice) and grate cinnamon over the top of the cocktail.

Note: Coconut purée is sold at Olive Farmer’s Market, located at 8041 Olive Blvd., in University City. You can also prepare coconut purée at home by cracking open a fresh coconut, available at many Asian markets, and puréeing the meat with a little bit of milk.

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