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Nov 23, 2017
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Posts Tagged ‘Central West End’

Executive chef Michael Friedman has left Retreat Gastropub

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

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{ from left, beverage director Tim Wiggins, owner Travis Howard and executive chef Michael Friedman just before Retreat opened in 2015 } 

Chef Michael Friedman has left his post as executive chef at Retreat Gastropub in the Central West End. His last day of service was Wednesday, Nov. 1.

Friedman, who helped open Retreat in 2015, said he doesn’t have any definite plans yet, but he’s weighing his options.

“I want to challenge myself and do a little bit of personal growth,” Friedman said. “I had definitely hit the ceiling at Retreat and wanted to expand my range and fly a little bit. I think the long-term goal is to definitely open something up on my own. I’ve been talking with a couple of investment partners about that. But until that pans out, I’m doing some consulting work and I’d like to get into another restaurant.”

Retreat owner Travis Howard said in a statement that he is not naming a replacement for Friedman yet.

“Currently, we will be operating with the team that we’ve built over the past two years. We are confident in their ability to deliver all of the favorite dishes from our Retreat menu to the quality that our guests expect,” Howard said in the statement.

“We wish chef Friedman the best of luck in his future endeavors. We’re appreciative of the time that he spent with us at Retreat, and we’ll continue to feature the dishes that our guests have come to know and love, from our burger to the bread pudding.”

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: 1764 Public House in the Central West End

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

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The Gamlin Restaurant Group’s newest venture, 1764 Public House, opens today, Oct. 25, at 39 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End. Brothers Derek and Lucas Gamlin, who also own Sub Zero Vodka Bar and Gamlin Whiskey House in the CWE, announced the concept more than a year ago.

Named for the year St. Louis was founded, 1764 features a New Orleans-influenced menu with jambalaya, gumbo and a veggie étouffée alongside St. Louis-style pizzas and local favorites like house-made toasted ravioli. What’s with New Orleans? “That’s our sister city,” said Derek Gamlin. St. Louis founders came up from New Orleans in the mid-16th century. “Plus, the food’s delicious.”

Lucas Gamlin designed the space with some art deco-inspired elements, like the gold-accented, towering mezzanine alongside midcentury-style furniture. “I wanted it to have that old/modern mixture,” he said.

The main dining room and massive 40-seat bar have a full view of the open kitchen, while another 36-seat back dining room can be closed off with huge curtain and rented for private parties. There is also outdoor seating on a patio with its own bar, and a 32-seat indoor-outdoor dining area the Gamlins call the Convertible Room, featuring a wall-length folding window that opens to the patio.

The classics-focused cocktail menu also sports a New Orleans influence with house cocktails like a 1764 Hurricane and blueberry daiquiri and flashy large-format Moscow Mules offered in enormous copper mugs. The Mule madness tops out with the 168-ounce Mondo Mule, which requires four or more guests to order, is made with a full bottle of Belvedere Vodka and costs $90.

The restaurant opens with dinner service tonight at 5 p.m. and will launch full breakfast and lunch hours tomorrow, Oct. 26. 1764 will be open Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to midnight. The Gamlins plan to add a weekend brunch service sometime around Thanksgiving.

Here’s a first look at what to expect at the newest restaurant from the Gamlin brothers:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Heather Hughes is managing editor, print at Sauce Magazine. 

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Build-your-own poke bowl spot Poke Doke will open in the CWE

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

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Central West End will soon see its first build-your-own poke bowl restaurant, Poke Doke. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, siblings Andrew, Annie, Leon and Steve Shih will open Poke Doke at 8 S. Euclid Ave., in October.

While riffs on the Hawaiian raw fish salad have popped up on St. Louis menus for years, this will be the city’s first dedicated poke restaurant. Andrew Shih called the dish “the Chipotle of sushi bowls.”

After 10 years running Hot Wok Cafe in Chesterfield with his father, Shih said he and his siblings decided to start the restaurant after eating poke bowls nearly every time they traveled outside St. Louis. They also have family and friends who operate poke restaurants in Los Angeles.

Shih said frequent fresh fish deliveries will ensure quality at Poke Doke. “We fly [the fish] in that same day, the second it gets fished out of the water,” he said “Within 48 hours, it’s at our table. Our No. 1 job is to keep everything fresh.”

Customers will build their own bowls, starting with a base of white or brown rice, noodles or salad greens, then pick a protein such as tofu, octopus, raw tuna or salmon. Next, they’ll choose a spice level for the sauce, and finally choose from toppings like cucumbers, pineapple, fried shallots, Sriracha and eel sauce. Other dishes such as pot stickers, miso soup and crab Rangoon will be available.

Shih said Poke Doke will seat about 30 inside with additional patio seating available. He hopes to be open daily for lunch and dinner service.

Photo: iStock

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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Driftwood Eatery owner to open Pig & Pickle in St. Louis

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

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{ Pig & Pickle chef-owner Ryan Lewis } 

 

Chef-owner Ryan Lewis is moving his popular Springfield, Illinois, restaurant Driftwood Eatery & Cocktail to St. Louis.

The restaurant – to be renamed and rebranded Pig & Pickle Eatery – is set to open this fall at 5511 Pershing Ave., and includes the space that formerly housed Atlas Restaurant. Driftwood closed its doors this Saturday, July 22.

Lewis said Pig & Pickle would have the same concept as Driftwood, yet with a bit more refinement. “The idea is locally focused small plates with a southern feel,” he said.

Most of Lewis’ management team will join him in the move to St. Louis, and the restaurant will keep several of its original suppliers like Garden Gate Farm in Fairbury, Illinois, which supplies his grits.

Lewis, who is originally from Bethalto, Illinois, said it was time to move on from Springfield, and he hoped St. Louis, with its vibrant culinary scene, would welcome his creativity.

“The food scene in St. Louis is blowing up,” Lewis said. “I’ve been (in Springfield) for eight years, and I’ve done all I can. It’s time to make the move to a new area and use what I’ve learned.”

Pig & Pickle will serve a variety of small plate options including braised pork cheek, roasted bone marrow and blackened shrimp. A few popular dishes from the old restaurant will remain, including the pretzel-crusted cheese curds and the fried chicken and biscuit.

Lewis said the new restaurant would retain the cocktail focus of Driftwood, but the hefty 70-cocktail list would be pared down significantly.

The restaurant will offer dinner Tuesday through Saturday and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, with possible plans to serve lunch in the future.

Photo by Kari Bedford for Pig & Pickle 

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Juniper to move to new location in Central West End, launch new concept

The Scoop: Rick Lewis dubs new restaurant Grace Meat & Three

 

 

The Scoop: Juniper to move to new location in Central West End, launch new concept

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

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{ Juniper chef-owner John Perkins }

 

Southern comfort food spot Juniper will move to a new location in April 2018.

Chef-owner John Perkins said the eatery’s new digs would be located on the first floor of the new mixed-use building currently under construction at 4101 Laclede Ave., in the Central West End.

“I would imagine in a year from now we’ll be open in that spot,” Perkins said. “We expect to get the space by the beginning of November, and then take it from there and do the build out.”

The new space will be larger than the original location at 360 Boyle St., which opened in October 2013, but not overwhelmingly so.

“I wanted to get bigger, but I didn’t want to get too big,” Perkins said. “There will be about 3,200 square feet, which is about 1,400 square feet more than we have now,” Perkins said. “There’ll be a bigger kitchen and a wood-burning grill that I’m excited about.”

The current Juniper location has 64 seats, including the bar. Perkins said the new incarnation would boast 120 seats. The new dining room will have the same 56 seats the original space has, with most of the new seats picked up in the expanded bar area. Two separate patio spaces round out the floor plan. As befits the larger bar area, Perkins said to expect an expanded bar program.

Perkins said he’s aware of the perils of relocating from an established spot, but he’s confident in the move.

“I think I have a pretty good idea of what the space is going to look like, and I think it’s going to feel like a continued evolution of what Juniper is. It won’t feel disconnected,” he said.

Fans of the original Juniper location shouldn’t despair. Perkins said he plans on keeping the space for private events, and he’ll develop a new concept there called Little Bird in the near future (details to follow). Juniper will stay open in its current location until March 2018.

Perkins is also still in the running for the Fantasy Food Fare competition, sponsored by Equifax, Rise and the St. Louis Small Business Development Center. The winner will receive two years rent free in a fully set-up restaurant space in Old North, among other prizes. If he takes the top spot, Perkins said he’ll open a meat-and-three concept in the space.

Photo by Greg Rannells

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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First Look: Handcrafted by Bissinger’s in the Central West End

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

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Long known for its sweet treats, Bissinger’s is branching out into the restaurant scene with Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, a new cafe concept located at the company’s longtime space at 32 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End. Handcrafted opened softly last week, offering a new food menu in addition to Bissinger’s famous confections and desserts.

As The Scoop reported in March, the chocolate company announced it would rebrand its CWE retail storefront. “We’ve upped the game,” said Nick Miller, executive chef of Bissinger’s sister company 23 City Blocks.

Salads, sandwiches and soups are available all day, and in the evening, house charcuterie, fondue and shareable plates are available as well. Fans of Bissinger’s desserts shouldn’t despair of the new direction: the popular chocolate overdose cookie and classic Cococcino – flourless chocolate cake with vanilla creme anglaise – remain on the menu.

The revamped space boasts hightops and couches, perfect for hanging out and sharing some small plates, and the wine wall that features the Wine Emotion wine dispensing system. Guests buy a card at the counter, then insert it in the wall and pour themselves 2-, 6- or 8-ounce pours from 24 rotating bottles of vino. A full bar with house cocktails is also available.

Handcrafted is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday from 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Take a First Look at what to expect when you arrive at Bissinger’s new concept:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Bissinger’s to re-concept

Friday, March 31st, 2017

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Bissinger’s at Maryland Plaza in the Central West End is undergoing a transformation this spring. The location, at 32 Maryland Plaza, will be rebranded as Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, and feature an expanded menu and a self-serve wine wall, along with Bissinger’s gourmet chocolates.

The current menu will be expanded to include breakfast, lunch and dinner options, courtesy of sister company 23 City Blocks Catering executive chef Nicholas Miller. Breakfast will feature a selection of quiches, lunch offerings will include soups, salads and sandwiches, and dinner will be “light bites,” as opposed to large plates. Orders will be placed at the counter, where guests can also purchase cards to use at the wine wall. The wall will feature 24 rotating bottles to choose from, available in 2-, 5- or 8-ounce pours.

Kennedy Calton, marketing coordinator for 23 City Blocks, said renovations are expected to begin sometime in May. The restaurant should only be closed for three to five days, and reopen by June.

“We don’t have much to do in there,” she said. “We’re just looking to make it a bit more warm and comfortable.” Changes will include the addition of some soft seating and a bar along the front window.

Once the doors reopen, hours will be extended to Monday through Thursday 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 

Sneak Peek: The Chase Club in the Central West End

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

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The Chase Club, formerly Café Eau, debuts at The Chase Park Plaza tomorrow, March 31. The new concept features a new food and drink menu and revamped decor.

Executive chef Colin Smelser, chef de cuisine Theron Pajares and executive pastry chef Eric Phillips put together a menu that features favorites like burgers and flatbreads, along with creative twists on classics like the Shrimp St. Paul Sliders, served with spicy mayo and a selection of house pickles alongside.

“We have the same menu all day long now, and the food is geared toward the atmosphere we have now,” said Pajares.

Beverage manager Joshua Johnson created a locally focused beer list featuring 18 beers on tap and another 27 in bottles and cans. There’s also a selection of wine and a cocktail list that includes original creations and classics like the oft-overlooked Airmail, a refreshing combination of rum, honey, lime juice and sparkling wine.

The space itself is a combination of high-end sports bar and stately hotel bar. Tables have replaced booths, large-screen TVs surround the bar and the new billiards area, and the room is dotted with eclectic appointments from black-and-white photos of the hotel from years past to elegant, mismatched light fixtures dangling from the ceiling.

The Chase Club is open daily from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., and the kitchen closes at midnight. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect from The Chase Park Plaza’s newest dining option:

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

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The Scoop: Tazé to open second location in the CWE

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

 

Tazé Mediterranean Street Food is taking its fast-casual concept to the Central West End. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, co-owners Casey and Justin Roth will open a second location at 8½ S. Euclid Ave., in the space formerly occupied by Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen. Casey Roth said the restaurant should open in early summer.

The space will seat 35 to 45 seats inside with another 40 seats outside. The new Tazé will feature the same menu as the downtown flagship location at 626 Washington Ave., but it will also have what Roth described as “robust happy hour specials,” a tapas menu and entree specials. Roth said there will also cocktail offerings, beer and wine, to appeal to the Central West End clientele.

The Roths opened their first Tazé in June 2015. The restaurant specializes in build-your-own meals with Middle Eastern and Mediterranean influences.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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The Scoop: Up-Down arcade bar to open in former Herbie’s space

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

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{ Up-Down’s Kansas City location } 

Arcade bar Up-Down has signed a lease on the space at 405 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End. As reported by the St. Louis Business Journal, Up-Down will open in the former home of Herbie’s, which moved to 8100 Maryland Ave., in Clayton late last year.

Co-owner Josh Ivey said the company plans to utilize all of the approximately 8,000 square-foot space. “It’ll be very much in the spirit of the Kansas City version,” Ivey said. “I think that’s a great representation of what we want to do.”

The Kansas City Up-Down features more than 50 vintage arcade games and pinball machines, as well as a large draft beer selection and pizza menu. Up-Down also has locations in Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa.

Ivey said there’s no estimated opening date for the St. Louis Up-Down. “We’re trying to figure out what the guts of the building really are,” Ivey said. “We just got our demo permit, and we’re doing some exploratory demo and trying to decide the best way to attack the space and make it our own.”

 

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