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Mar 25, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Liluma’

The Scoop: Old Liluma to become Gamlin Whiskey House, opening in June

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Whatever happened to Derek and Lucas Gamlins’ plans to open a steakhouse in the old Liluma space in the Central West End? We were asking the same question, considering that the brothers, who also own Sub Zero Vodka Bar, had announced the venture back in November and pegged this month to open their contemporary American steakhouse.

Today, Derek Gamlin provided an update regarding action at the space at 236 N. Euclid Ave. The restaurant, whose name had been heretofore undisclosed, will be called Gamlin Whiskey House. While it will still be a steakhouse as previously planned, Gamlin emphasized that it would not be an “old-school” steakhouse. Rather, it will have a casual feel and be “bar forward.” As the name implies, Gamlin Whiskey House will carry an extensive selection of whiskey, with an emphasis on bourbon. The Gamlins, along with bar manager Dustin Parres (who currently oversees bar operations at Sub Zero) will be hand-selecting barrels of bourbon and making the spirit available on tap. “Eventually, we want to have six barrels on tap,” Gamlin said.

Gamlin declined to provide details of the food menu; however, he confirmed, that Ian Craig, executive chef at Sub Zero, is still slated for the top kitchen spot at the steakhouse. Jim Fiala, chef-owner of The Crossing, Acero and the shuttered Liluma, continues to be involved in the project, per Gamlin.

When asked what had delayed the project, Gamlin explained, “There was a snag in the lease.” The Gamlins expect to sign a renegotiated lease next week, and he noted that the restaurant has already been given its liquor license. Construction is expected to commence in two weeks; June 1 is the target opening date.

The Scoop: Good night, and good luck

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

We hate goodbyes, but it’s time to bid farewell to a few people and eating establishments that have kept our bellies well fed. The Feed Me banh mi food truck, which has only been in operation for the 2012 season, won’t be tootling around town selling Vietnamese sandwiches in 2013. Earlier this month, the food truck announced via Twitter that it was signing off the mobile eatery circuit, as reported by The Riverfront Times’ Ian Froeb.

We’re also waving a teary-eyed goodbye to Liluma. This Saturday will be the final day for service at chef-owner Jim Fiala’s restaurant in the Central West End. The space at 236 N. Euclid will see new life, however, as it is set to become a steakhouse that will be operated by Sub Zero owners Derek and Lucas Gamlin in partnership with Fiala who will be a consultant. The anticipated opening for this yet-to-be-named restaurant is March.

Finally, Clara Moore is leaving her post as executive chef, overseeing all of Local Harvest Cafe and Catering kitchens. As reported yesterday by Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch, Moore will leave Local Harvest next month and is planning to move to Seattle, Wash.

The Scoop: Liluma to Close, Steakhouse to Open In Its Place

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Liluma, Jim Fiala’s upscale bistro at 236 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End, will close this year and be converted into a steakhouse that’s set to open in 2013. Liluma’s Side Door, the small plates concept that Fiala launched in Liluma’s back room in August, is also closing.

While considering making changes to Liluma earlier this year, Fiala was approached by Derek Gamlin, who owns Sub Zero Vodka Bar with his brother, Lucas, about converting the Liluma space into a steakhouse. Fiala quickly accepted the offer to be a partner, excited that the concept would make the neighborhood residents happy. “Liluma has been there for 10 years and has run its course,” Fiala said.

The steakhouse will be a contemporary American steakhouse with an affordable price point. Ian Craig, currently the executive chef at Sub Zero, will take the top spot in the kitchen at the steakhouse, and the Gamlin brothers will promote from within to appoint a new chef at Sub Zero. Dustin Parres will oversee bar operations at the steakhouse while also continuing his role as bar manager at Sub Zero. The name of the steakhouse is set to be revealed in the next few weeks.

Fiala will stay on as a consultant and be “a touch more than a silent partner because of my skill set. I can offer knowledge on food and wine and service,” he explained. “I didn’t want to leave the Central West End. This keeps me in the West End, even though it might be more limited.” The change will also give Fiala more time at his other restuarants, The Crossing in Clayton and Acero in Maplewood.

The space will be given a total gut rehab to “put the Sub Zero and Gamlin twist on it,” said Derek Gamlin. “This is not a Fiala Food restaurant,” he continued. “It’s totally different; it’s from our corporate side.” Though no exact date has been given, Fiala said that Liluma will close sometime in December, possibly as late as December 31. Construction will begin on January 1, and the steakhouse is tentatively slated to open on March 1. More as we learn it.

The Scoop: Wine Bar at The Crossing latest among small-space revamps by Jim Fiala

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Last summer, chef-owner Jim Fiala re-conceptualized the back dining room at Liluma, transforming the space into its own little eatery called Liluma’s Side Door. Today, news comes that Fiala has reworked the upper level at his Clayton restaurant The Crossing into a casual yet intimate wine bar.

According to a press release, The Crossing Wine Bar will feature wines – with a focus on Mediterranean reds and Italian whites – as well as cocktails and small “bites” that include cheeses, meats and pastas. After-work patrons can take advantage of The Crossing Wine Bar happy hour from 5 to 6 p.m. on weekdays for discounts on select wines by the glass, cocktails and beer as well as food. For a look at the complete menu, click here.

The Crossing spokesperson David Craig told The Scoop that the redesigned space sports new tables and chairs and more contemporary barstools. The hardwood floor has been redone, and table linens have been stripped to lend a more casual vibe.



The Scoop: The Terrace View to close due to lack of downtown dinner-goers

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

010710_terraceviewJim Fiala is calling it quits for The Terrace View, his downtown restaurant at 808 Chestnut St., that sits adjacent to Citygarden sculpture park. As first reported by Matt Sorrell of Feast, Fiala cited a lack of dinner patrons as the reason for closing the restaurant a little more than two years after it debuted.

While Fiala noted that lunchtime business has been consistent, dinner service has not seen the same success. “No one goes to the park at nighttime,” he said, noting that “last year about this time” was when he first harbored thoughts of closing the restaurant. “Once the newness of the park wore off – then you go through a winter of 10 degrees with blasting cold wind; no one will go to the park to see the garden.” Likewise, Fiala has seen excessive heat affect dinner service in the summer. “I had 45 people on the books on a Saturday night in July. But it was 105 degrees outside. By noon, every single reservation had called and canceled.” In Fiala’s view, the general public deems the restaurant and Citygarden as “a package deal.” While he would like to offer this amenity, “it’s not worth the hassle,” he summed.

As you’ll remember, The Terrace View has seen quite a bit of activity this year in the kitchen as well. In April, Jonathan Olson, formerly the executive chef at Erato Wine Bar in Edwardsville, took the top spot at The Terrace View. It wasn’t but a couple months later that Fiala confirmed that Olson had left The Terrace View and been replaced by Mason Denton, who formerly cooked at Pomme Café and Wine Bar in Clayton.

Beginning October 1, the restaurant will switch to its winter hours, serving only weekday lunch. Doors will close for good after service on December 31, which is when Fiala’s lease ends. Employees at the Terrace View, said Fiala, will be offered positions at his other three restaurants, Liluma, Acero and The Crossing.

The Scoop: Jim Fiala to open Liluma’s Side Door on Euclid

Monday, August 8th, 2011

080811_jimafialaJim Fiala is adding to his family of restaurants – well, sorta. The latest, Liluma’s Side Door, will be located at 230 N. Euclid Ave., adjacent to the chef-owner’s existing Liluma in the space that previously served as the restaurant’s back dining room. The interior of the 24-seat dining area has been newly redesigned and an entrance door on Euclid has been created.

“Liluma has been successful for nine years now and we are always trying to give our restaurants a fresh face or new twist,” wrote Fiala in an email announcement. In a conversation today with The Scoop, he called Side Door “not a new business” but “a new aspect of Liluma.”

Liluma’s Side Door will be a “super casual little place,” that won’t take reservations, Fiala explained. He envisions Side Door as a “truly American restaurant,” featuring small plates prepared by chef Brad Watts. The menu is divided into “bites,” “pillows” (raviolis and other stuffed pastas), hearty “snacks” such as rice and beans or fish and chips and sweeter “afterthoughts.” Click here to see the entire menu. The wine list at Side Door will mirror that available at Liluma.

Side Door is slated to open on August 18. Hours of operation are Monday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to close.

Fiala’s chefs battle it out in the St. Louis Chef Wars

Monday, October 18th, 2010

101810_battleJim Fiala is the owner of four restaurants around town: Liluma in the Central West End, The Crossing in Clayton, Acero in Maplewood and The Terrace View downtown. But he’s also a chef. And you may not know it yet but those who wear the white coats at each of his acclaimed restaurants will soon battle one another for the grand daddy of cooking competitions: Taking on the boss.

The St. Louis Chef Wars start out Nov. 8 at The Terrace View with the restaurant’s chef, Brad Watts, taking on The Crossing’s Ian Vest in a six-course Bottleshock Smackdown. Watts will be putting his California cuisine up against Vest’s French fare in a six-course meal that will include wines from both France and California, including Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, which was featured in the 2008 movie, Bottleshock. A $100 ticket will buy you dinner, wine and the right to vote on the winner.

The chefs from Fiala’s other two spots around town, Adam Gnau of Acero and Nick Cox of The Terrace View, will battle it out in December, followed by the winners’ battle in January and the grand competition against Fiala in February.

Now, as the Iron Chef chairman would say, let the games begin! To make reservations, call 314.436.8855.

Tasty deals at all four Fiala restaurants

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

040710_eggIf you’re a Jim Fiala devotee – that is, you make The Crossing, Liluma, Acero and The Terrace View part of your dining circuit – you’re going to love the deal that the chef-restaurateur is offering throughout the month of April at all four of his restaurants: a four-course dinner for $25. While the menu will vary at each eatery, the offer includes a soup or salad, an appetizer, an entrée, and a dessert and is available evenings, Monday through Saturday.

The occasion for this buck-saving, fine-dining experience? Fiala is celebrating the 12th anniversary of The Crossing in Clayton, the third anniversary of Acero in Maplewood and the first spring at The Terrace View perched in Citygarden downtown. We can’t think of a tastier, more affordable way to observe these merry milestones.

– Ligaya Figueras

Photo by Carmen Troesser

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