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Posts Tagged ‘Brian Hale’

The Scoop: Jax Café closes doors, Kopperman’s and Tavern of Fine Arts also say farewell

Monday, July 11th, 2016



{Jax Café}


Jax Café has closed doors for good. The Benton Park restaurant served its last meal Sunday, July 10. Co-owner Gina Seltzer said that while brunch business was brisk, the dinner crowd was too thin to keep the restaurant going.

“We were just hoping that with the addition of dinner a year and a half ago that business would pick up,” Seltzer said. “(Customers) became regular brunch patrons but never really sustained the dinner part of it, which is where we shine, so it’s unfortunate.”

Seltzer, who co-owned Jax Café with her husband David Seltzer along with chef Brian Hale, opened the restaurant in 2013. Sauce reviewed it in April 2014.

Another local favorite has closed after more than three decades. Kopperman’s Deli in the Central West End announced its closure on Friday, July 8. “After months of trying different combinations of hours and staffing, we realize that we cannot sustain operations at Kopperman’s,” the owners wrote in a Facebook post. “We have decided to close the business effective immediately. We appreciate everyone’s patronage over the nearly 34 years we’ve been open and will miss our many regular customers.” A recorded phone message at the New York-style deli confirmed the post.

Tavern of Fine Arts also took its final bow at the end of June. After five years, co-owner Mathew Davis said the DeBaliviere Place wine bar and performance space could not turn a profit. “The business operated and managed to support itself, so we were able to pay the bills, employees and artists,” he said. “(But) we could never get off that plateau of breaking even.” Tavern of Fine Arts closed Saturday, June 25.


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: The Chase fills executive chef spot

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The Chase Park Plaza has been seeking an executive chef to oversee the hotel’s culinary scene since the departure of chef Brian Hale this past winter. Today, the hotel announced that Kyle Lipetzky has been hired for the position.

Lipetzky will be responsible for the creative direction of Eau Bistro, Café Eau and the hotel’s catering operations. Among his first tasks is creating new menus for all of the restaurants at The Chase, according to hotel spokesperson Cathy Levendoski. What should diners expect when the new menus are unveiled later this summer? “I will combine modern techniques and plating with locally grown and sustainable ingredients, delivering a refreshed menu with simple yet tasty dishes that continue to elevate The Chase Park Plaza’s dining experiences,” Lipetzky noted.

Lipetzky comes to The Chase having worked most recently The Phoenician Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., where he was responsible for half of the resort’s restaurants as well as in-room dining. Prior to that, Lipetzky worked at The Camelback Inn, a JW Marriott Resort and Spa, also located in Arizona.


The Scoop: Brian Hale no longer exec chef at Eau Bistro

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

020812_brianhaleBrian Hale is no longer the executive chef at the Chase Park Plaza; his final day at the Central West End hotel was January 29. Hale, who came aboard in August 2008, was responsible for the hotel’s restaurants – including Eau Bistro, Café Eau and Marquee Café – as well as banquet operations and room service. According to Bruce Muller, the hotel’s director of food and beverage, the decision regarding Hale’s replacement is currently being made, with an announcement expected sometime next week. No reason has been given regarding Hale’s departure. The Scoop has been unable to reach Hale for comment.

Three Reasons to help North City Farmers’ Market close the season

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

101410_NCityFMWelcome to Three Reasons, a new online column that tells you exactly why to visit certain spots around town. We won’t just tell you that a new restaurant has opened, we’ll tell you what dish we’d get there. We won’t simply report that a festival is happening this weekend, we’ll tell you which parts can’t be missed. Consider them recommendations or think of them as simple suggestions. Either way, here’s three reasons …

The North City Farmers’ Market has reached a state of perfect ripeness and is about to fall from the tree; i.e., the market’s season is about to end and the final 2010 to-do sounds juicy.

Forthwith, three reasons to spend this Saturday bidding adieu to the North City Farmers’ Market (in addition to the peppers, okra, garlic, squash, cucumbers, beets, beans, cabbage, herbs, fruit, spinach, chard, eggs, flowers, coffee, tea and crafts, of course):

1. Two of the area’s most charismatic and accomplished chefs will compete in a 90-minute, Iron Chef-style cook-off: Chase Park Plaza’s executive chef Brian Hale will take on Sage Urban American Grill’s executive chef and partner Jack Mac Murray III. The chefs will use ultra-fresh items furnished by vendors right there at the market. Even the panel of judges is impressive – Jim Fiala of The Crossing, Liluma, Acero and The Terrace View; and Bob Colosomo of Eleven Eleven Mississippi will choose the winner. Even better? Market shoppers can vote for a people’s choice award.

2. Also at the market’s climactic day, you’ll find live music, a beginning gardening class, a cacti display, local art, a brownie contest and more.

3. The rejuvenation of Old North St. Louis is a heartwarming thing to behold. You’ll want to stroll around the area surrounding the market to see all the new shops, galleries, cafes and more.

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