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Jan 24, 2018
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘downtown’

First Look: Start Bar downtown

Friday, July 15th, 2016

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Start Bar, downtown St. Louis’ new arcade bar opened Wednesday, July 13 at 1000 Spruce St. As The Scoop reported in April, the colorful, game-themed space was designed with an eye for detail, from the old school Nintendo console wall art to the narrow tables hidden between game cabinets for drink storage while you play.

“You make enough venues and you start to learn a few things,” co-owner Stephen Savage said. “And [the branding and design firm] Atomicdust did a phenomenal job. We couldn’t be happier with the way it turned out.”

Game manager Mike Ahearn said Start Bar’s 19 cabinets offer a variety of fighting and combat games, shooters, and other classic old school and multi-player games that will rotate based on popularity. Enthusiasts will be happy to know the arcade bar is awaiting the arrival of Killer Queen, a multi-player game with a cult following. “It should be in within six weeks,” Savage said. “It’s our number one requested game.”

Gamers can take a break at one of the 55 seats inside or one of the 50 picnic table seats on the patio. Parties of six to 10 looking to relive childhood glory can take over four reservation-only game lounges stocked with Super Smash Bros., Mario Kart and GoldenEye 007 games.

The menu reflects Start Bar’s playful atmosphere, with boozy shakes, floats, snow cones, slushies and popsicles for your inner child and a short list of snacks and candy. The kitchen turns out house-made Neapolitan-style pizzas for those who need something a little more substantial.

Start Bar is open Wednesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Saturday from noon to 1:30 a.m. and Sunday from noon to midnight. A short brunch menu with breakfast pizzas and drinks is available from noon to 3 p.m. on weekends. Here’s a peek inside downtown’s new arcade bar:

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-Photos by Michelle Volansky

The Scoop: The Wheelhouse in Clayton to close July 1

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

 

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After nearly three-and-a-half years, The Wheelhouse in Clayton will close its doors tomorrow, July 1. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, The Wheelhouse location in downtown St. Louis will remain open, and co-owner Stephen Savage’s next project, Start Bar, is still slated to open this summer.

“The biggest reason we’re closing the Clayton location is to put all of our efforts into our downtown projects and focus on the future of the company,” Savage said.

The group is also looking down the road to expand its brands outside of the St. Louis market, but no specific city has been chosen. “We love where we’re at in the downtown location,” said Savage. “We’re between Busch Stadium and Scottrade (Center), so we’d love to go to a city with another hockey and baseball stadium nearby.”

 

The Scoop: The Sliced Pint to open in downtown St. Louis

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

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The newest place to get a slice and a pint is coming to downtown St. Louis when The Sliced Pint opens at 1511 Washington Ave., later this summer. As reported by the St. Louis Business Journal, owners Amy and Amrit Gill are developers who own Restoration St. Louis, as well as O’Shays Pub in The Grove, Holiday Inn Route 66 and several others in Iowa. They also own the building where The Sliced Pint will pour and bake.

“We want it to be a casual, fun place,” said Amy Gill. “A lot of people want a nice place downtown to go and not spend a million dollars.”

Although a pizza-and-beer themed eatery is a casual concept, both the suds and the slices will be thoughtful with 32 craft beers – almost exclusively local – and pizza with international flare. Drawing from a San Francisco trend, look for Indian-inspired options like a chicken tikka masala pie. To keep the whole crew happy, The Sliced Pint will also offer chicken fingers and salads, as well as gluten-free crust options.

When complete, The Sliced Pint will accommodate between 70 and 80 guests inside and will have an entrance that faces The City Museum.

The Scoop: Arcade bar Start Bar to open downtown in June

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

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Fun and games are coming to downtown as Start Bar is slated to open in June at 1000 Spruce St. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the partner group behind the Wheelhouse – Stephen Savage, Jared Ater, Nick Del Gaiso and Lou Groff – will open the arcade bar. “It’ll be a tribute to what makes arcades great,” Savage said. “Arcades are very unique with lots of nooks and crannies to explore.”

Among the things to explore in the 5,000-square-foot space will be console games like GoldenEye 007 and Mario Kart on Nintendo 64, regulation pinball, Pac-Man and skee-ball. Start Bar will also offer a large selection of mostly canned beers and a rotating selection of local draft beers from Urban Chestnut, Schlafly and Excel to start.

Del Gaiso will run the kitchen, which will offer Neapolitan-style pizza made with house-made dough and sauce. Look for traditional pies and more out-of-the-box toppings like pork belly and Brussels sprouts. He’ll also offer house-baked snacks including a rotating selection of crispy marshmallow treats with unusual additions (like Cheetos).

Savage said downtown is an ideal spot for this type of bar. “There’s so much energy downtown right now,” he said. “It has a lot to offer, and we’re looking forward to bringing the large format arcade bar to the area.”

First Look: A2 The GFCF Cafe & Restaurant in downtown St. Louis

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016

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Audra Angelique and Audrey Faulstich are on a mission to provide downtown St. Louis healthy alternatives for those with food allergies and intolerances. Their experiences with specialty diets inspired them to launch A2 The GFCF Cafe and Restaurant, which opened doors on April 11 at 1330 Washington Ave.

As The Scoop reported in September 2015, co-owners Angelique, who serves as head chef, and Faulstich, a registered nurse, wanted to provide healthy food and to educate others about the potential health benefits of removing foods containing gluten and casein (a protein found in mammal milk).

At first glance, the 35-seat dining room feels like a coffee shop, complete with an espresso bar and bakery case, but the restaurant has a gluten-free lunch and dinner menu featuring sandwiches, salads and pizzas with casein-free options.

A2 worked with Wildwood-based Think.Eat.Live. to develop a variety of breads and the pizza crust made with the company’s sunflower seed-based flour blend. They also brew Mississippi Mud coffee and offer tea from London Tea Room. A2 also strives to use recyclable and compostable carryout boxes, utensils, cups and straws.

A2 is open Tuesdays though Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with plans to add a weekend brunch service. Here’s a first look at what to expect at downtown’s newest eatery.

 

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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

 

Sneak Peek: Gioia’s Deli Downtown

Friday, April 1st, 2016

Gioia’s Deli Downtown is opening at 903 Pine St. today. As reported by The Scoop in January, this is the 98-year-old deli’s second location.

Third generation co-owner Alex Donley chose the spot after seeing how good lunch business was downtown. “The food truck sells out every Friday,” he said. Now Gioia’s-lovers can eat inside.

The menu is almost the same as that on The Hill, with the addition of a couple favorites from Gioia’s food truck and catering menus: the Hogfather sandwich, featuring hot coppa, hot salami and bacon, and the Italian Salad, with pepperoncini, black olives, tomatoes, red onion and mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

The 2,000 square-foot space seats 40 for weekday lunch, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

-photos by Meera Nagarajan

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The Scoop: Dave Bailey announces new event space, Slate

Friday, March 25th, 2016

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Restaurateur Dave Bailey continues to expand his strip of Locust Street downtown, announcing multiple projects yesterday, March 24.

Bailey said he will open another event space, Slate, at 1015 Locust St., this summer. Slate, which can accommodate 50 to 250 people, is meant to complement his other recently opened event space Willow at 321 N. 10th St.

“Slate is more stripped down and can be more flexible,” Bailey said. “Willow is naturally a more formal space with the chandelier. Slate can comfortably host many different kind of events like speaking engagements and corporate lunches and meetings.”

Bailey’s Fifth Wheel Catering will provide the food at Slate. “People can have different experiences, but you know who you’re working with the entire time,” he said.

Meanwhile, his newest restaurant, Shift, Test Kitchen & Take Out opens for carryout business on Tuesday, April 5. The restaurant will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for carry out of a rotating menu items and cuisines, the first of which is barbecue.

Bailey also announced that while he has acquired the space at 1001 Locust St., the concept was not announced; however, the barbecue concept he has scheduled to open in 2017 at 1011 Locust St. is still unnamed and on track.

Bailey does not plan future property acquisition at this time. “We’re going to focus on completing projects on the books now,” Bailey said. “Getting the properties was not something we planned necessarily, but as space came up, it made sense to pursue them.”

Hit List: 4 new must-try restaurants in February

Monday, February 1st, 2016

 

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1. Porano Pasta: 634 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.833.6414, poranopasta.com

After nearly a year of anticipation, James Beard Award-winning chef Gerard Craft opened doors at Porano Pasta, his first fast-casual venture and fifth restaurant. Step up to the counter in the bright, two-story space and mix and match from a plethora of bases like organic farro or house-made semolina pasta, 11 sauces from sugo to pumpkin seed and lime pesto, proteins including tender beef meatballs and slow-roasted pork or vegetables and toppings like crispy garlic and Pecorino Romano cheese. In additional to bowls, pick up an order of custom Companion foccacia bread with rotating toppings or a deep-fried Panzo – dough stuffed with anything from marinara and gooey mozzarella to meatballs and harissa, depending on the day’s special. And be sure to save room for a salted caramel gelato pop or a boozy frozen Negroni for dessert.

 

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2. Nami Ramen: 46 N. Central Ave., Clayton, 314.833.6264, namiramen.com

Ramen has made its way to Clayton with stylish, fast-casual Nami Ramen. Co-owner Jason Jan was a passionate ramen home cook before spending two months researching in Yokohama, Japan. Now Nami offers 10 styles of ramen in a cool, 50-seat space. Grab a seat at the bar overlooking the kitchen and snack on pan-fried gyoza filled with ground pork and vegetables or a tender pork belly steamed bun with house-made sweet soy glaze. Nami’s savory, satisfying signature tonkotsu ramen features tender char sui pork, wood-ear mushrooms and a marinated egg with a creamy yolk. Don’t fear the spice warning on the jigoku ramen either. Miso broth topped with ground pork and corn is amped up with a paste of tomatoes, chiles and shallots. This bowl is more flavorful than fiery, and it makes a tasty introduction to the classic Japanese comfort food.

 

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3. Moya Grill: 567A Melville Ave., University City, 314.833.6621, moyastl.com

The owners of South Grand’s Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant are adding to the fast-casual trend with their new concept, Moya Grill in University City. The small, contemporary space in The Loop offers a variety of wot (stew) and tibs (grilled) dishes with chicken, beef and a good number of vegetarian options. Start with the crispy sambusas – both the lentil and beef versions are worth a try. Meat lovers should order the beef tibs and appreciate the deep heat of the house berbere spice blend. For a veg-friendly option, the mixed vegetable wot features a satisfying, boldly spiced mix of cabbage, potato and carrot. Opt for the traditional, tangy injera instead of rice and enjoy the chance to eat with your hands, tearing off pieces of the spongy flatbread and wrapping each bite of tibs and wot.

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 4. Midtown Sushi & Ramen: 3647 Forest Park Ave., St. Louis, 314.328.2452, midtown-sushi.com 

Sushi rises again in Midtown. After the short-lived Flying Rolls shuttered last year, Midtown Sushi & Ramen took its place, offering everything from sushi rolls to ramen bowls. Start your meal with an appetizer of spicy kare-age, bite-sized pieces of fried chicken doused in a sweet-spicy house sauce and sprinkled with sesame. Share a sushi roll or two, like the well-composed Dragon Roll, featuring crab salad, cucumber and avocado topped with eel, eel sauce and threads of fried sweet potato, a light departure from the usual tempura crumbs. Complete your meal with a bowl of hakata ramen, featuring a custardy egg and smoked pork belly (thanks to neighbor Dixon’s Smokehouse) all swimming in a rich pork broth with all the ramen fixings.

-Porano photo by Greg Rannells, all others by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Mike Shannon’s Steaks & Seafood to close after 30 years

Monday, January 18th, 2016

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{Co-owner Pat Shannon Van Matre}

 

The dining and restaurant community will bid farewell to a downtown institution when Mike Shannon’s Steaks & Seafood turns off the lights Jan. 30 after 30 years in business.

Citing opportunities to focus on expansion and franchising, co-owner Patricia Shannon Van Matre attributed the three-decade run to hospitality. “It’s the people in a company that make a legacy,” said Shannon Van Matre. “The legacy of Mike Shannon’s is due to the hospitality with each other and to the customer. It’s about coming in every day wanting to bring the best to ourselves and our customers.”

Mike Shannon’s Grill restaurants in Edwardsville and at Lambert Airport will remain open and the Midwest region could see more locations. “We are moving forward with discussions and looking at different franchising locations and opportunities,” said Shannon Van Matre.

Upon announcing the closure, Shannon Van Matre reached out to 25 local restaurateurs to find new employment for staff. “They all responded,” said Shannon Van Matre. “As much competition as there is, the sense of community is there as well. It’s about taking care of one of their own.”

Mike Shannon’s Steak and Seafood will be open for lunch, dinner and cocktails for the next two weeks.

 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Gioia’s Deli to open second location downtown

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

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After a mere 98 years of consideration, Gioia’s Deli is opening a second location. Gioia’s Deli Downtown will open by April 1 in the former Sauce on the Side space at 903 Pine St.

“The food truck was key,” said co-owner Alex Donley. “We were able to take the truck to new markets and through the food quality, it created a frenzy. The downtown frenzy was the most powerful.”

The new location will seat about 40 people and will serve the lunch crowd to start, with tentative opening hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The walk-up deli counter will serve up the same menu as the flagship location on The Hill with a few additions. “We have a base of loyal downtown, truck customers,” said Donley. “They have come up with some sandwiches that will be at the new location.”

Look for the customer-created Hog Father with hot salami, bacon and hot coppa on garlic-cheese bread or the Strongman, created by a Wells Fargo employee that features hot salami, hot roast beef, hard salami and giardiniera.

While the food truck is popular in St. Louis County, it will stay on the scene downtown during the week to serve customers farther away from the new brick and mortar. Prior to opening, the Donleys plan to park the truck in front of the new location.

 

 

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