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Mar 20, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘new ownership’

Pizzeoli founder sells Soulard pizzeria

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017


 { Pizzeoli founder Scott Sandler } 

Pizzeoli in Soulard is now under new ownership. Founder Scott Sandler sold the popular vegetarian pizzeria to Kyle Weber, effective Tuesday, Sept. 5, as reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Sandler said he sold Pizzeoli to focus his attention on his other pizza restaurant, Pizza Head, which opened at 3196 S. Grand Blvd., earlier this year.

“It came down to that it was too much work,” Sandler said. “I realized quickly after opening Pizza Head that I needed to make a change. We were doing fine, but it was like having more than two full-time jobs. I’ll be able to focus on [Pizza Head] and do some more creative things and also get some more time off.”

Weber, a Collinsville native, said he plans to make some changes to the restaurant, including adding some meat to the menu, but the vegetarian and vegan options won’t go away.

“My hope is to serve the Soulard community,” Weber said. “I’m taking things one ingredient at a time. I’m working with vendors to find local farms and looking to find the best quality.”

Weber said other upcoming changes include expanding the craft beer selection, adding a craft cocktail list and including apps and salads, among other items. Lunch hours will return as well.

Pizzeoli is Weber’s first foray into restaurant ownership, but he said Sandler has helped him transition into the role of restaurateur.

“Scott has been such a great mentor. He’s gone over and above what has been necessary to help me out here,” Weber said.

Photo by Dave Moore

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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New owner discusses the future of Cleveland-Heath

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017


 { pulled pork sandwich at Cleveland-Heath } 

Keith and Kari McGinness don’t plan to mess with success at Cleveland-Heath.

As The Scoop reported earlier today, the McGinnesses bought the popular Edwardsville restaurant from owners Jenny Cleveland and chef Ed Heath. The founders plan to return to Heath’s hometown of Salt Lake City. The sale is final Sept. 1.

Both McGinnesses grew up in the St. Louis area and come from restaurant backgrounds. Most recently, Keith McGinness was a director of operations for Applebee’s, overseeing 25 restaurants in the mid-south region, while Kari McGinness ran an Italian restaurant in Cape Girardeau.

Keith McGinness said everything about Cleveland-Heath attracted the couple. “My wife and I had been looking for a number of years, and seriously looking the last couple of years, for a restaurant. It was a dream of ours for a long time,” he said. “When we found Cleveland-Heath, we found what we were looking for, which was a place with a really strong tie to the community, upscale food and service but with a totally casual feel about it.”

McGinness understands why Cleveland-Heath fans might be concerned about the change, but he said they have no plans to mess with a winning formula.

“Our goal is, it’s going to stay Cleveland-Heath. Our plan is to run it as it is,” he said. “I’ve said this to a couple of guests and even the staff members, but in six months, if it feels different to the guests, I’m doing something wrong.”

As Cleveland confirmed earlier today, current chef de cuisine Rick Kazmer will step into the executive chef position, and Elijah Barnes (Ones to Watch class of 2017) will continue his role as general manager.

McGinness said Cleveland and Heath will continue to have a presence at their namesake restaurant.

“Jenny and Ed have been great to work in terms of the transition, but we don’t have a drop-dead date as to when they exit,” McGinness said. “Jenny’s from this area, and they’re always going to have ties here. We have several events booked out over the next 12 months, and they’re going to come back and help us work some of those events. This isn’t the end of Jenny and Ed in this restaurant.”

Photo by Jonathan Gayman

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Ownership changes at Thurman Grill, Winfield’s Gathering Place and Melt say farewell

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016



For 10 years, Thurman Grill & Provisions has served the Shaw neighborhood, but tomorrow, June 30, the pilot lights will go out – at least for a time.

Thurman Grill owner Larry Weinles is selling the business to Doug Fowler, who is keeping tight-lipped about his plans for the restaurant. Fowler said he hopes to reopen on Aug. 1 as Thurman’s in Shaw.

Weinles’ said he plans to catch up on some sleep. “I’ve been in the business since 1981,” he said. “It’s not that I don’t enjoy doing this but 72-hour work weeks are hard. I’m tired and ready to enjoy my life.”

This weekend also marks the last meal at Winfield’s Gathering Place in Kirkwood. As reported by St. Louis Magazine the restaurant will close this Saturday, July 2. The sports bar, located at 10312 Manchester Road in Kirkwood, opened in January 2015.

Owner Mark Winfield thought it was time to move on. “Twenty years in the food industry is a long time,” said Winfield, who also co-owned The Precinct Sports Bar & Grill and Jim Edmonds’ 15 Steakhouse. He will take a sales position and spend more time with his daughters. “We appreciate your business, and we’re sad to go, but everyone at the restaurant we’ve found jobs for, so everyone is taken care of,” he said. “The future is bright.”

Other recent closings include Melt at 2712 Cherokee St., which announced its closure June 6 on its Facebook page. “We had hoped to be open longer, but due to circumstances beyond our control, and because it was only fair to our staff to be properly staffed, as well as our patrons to get the service they deserve, this is effective immediately,” the announcement read. Melt ownership did not return request for comment.


Mitch Mackowiak contributed to this report. 

The Scoop: Maplewood’s Foundation Ground is under new ownership

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016




The venerable Maplewood coffee shop, Foundation Grounds, has changed hands, as Neil Suthar took ownership of the business on March 25.

“What differentiated this opportunity was the culture, the success and history and reputation,” Suthar said. “We plan to focus on continued customer experience with high quality products, food and service.”

Don’t look for any radical changes in the near future. Suthar plans to continue to keep things the same for now and looks to expand down the road. “After I have an opportunity to really get into the role, there will be future opportunities to enhance the experience,” he said.



The Scoop: Jane Callahan sells Pie Oh My!

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016



Pie Oh My! founder and owner Jane Callahan is passing the rolling pin to employee Melennie Lorence in a sale set to be finalized on March 31, as reported by Feast

Callahan said she is hanging up her apron to spend more time with her husband and family, and is confident that Lorence is the right person to take over the business. “She is a talented pastry chef and brings experience beyond pie,” Callahan said. “You don’t always get to handpick who you want, and I couldn’t think of anybody better. You guys are going to love her and love what she does. She’s a darling person and a very hard worker.”

Callahan started the business more than five years ago with a modest $1,000 investment and sold her wares at farmers markets and to small accounts. She opened a brick and mortar location in Maplewood in September 2012 and a food truck in early 2014, which she recently sold.

“We were so surprised at the enthusiasm and support from the St. Louis community,” Callahan said. “Without meaning to sound trite, it’s humbling.”

Lorence said she plans to keep Pie Oh My’s! identity and products and is looking to slowly introduce additional items currently in development. “I’m discussing it with my co-worker then we’ll dart board it and see what sticks,” Lorence said.

The Scoop: Serendipity owner, business partner purchase The Fire & Ice Cream Truck

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016



{From left, Beckie Jacobs and Matt Armstong}


Beckie Jacobs, owner of Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, and Webster Groves attorney Matt Armstrong have purchased The Fire & Ice Cream Truck. Scott and Stephanie Pondrom put the truck up for sale Thursday, Jan. 21, after cooling down the St. Louis area in the summer and fall since 2007. Jacobs said she plans to hit the streets as soon as this spring.

“We won’t miss a beat,” Jacobs said. “We will be out in at community events, parades, corporate events and at Citygarden.”

The iconic truck will retain its look and name and will feature Serendipity’s ice cream and other creamy classics. “We’ll have drumsticks that we call Dipstix and ice cream sandwiches and ice cream floats using Fitz’s soda for right now. We’re keeping it local,” said Jacobs.

Stephanie Pondram said they are grateful to have been a part of the St. Louis food truck scene. “We have done these amazing birthdays,” said Pondrom. “It has been a blast. We’ve done birthday parties for 1 year olds and 80 year olds.”



The Scoop: Pie Oh My! sells food truck

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016



Sweet (and savory) success for Pie Oh My! proprietor Jane Callahan prompted her to sell the Pie Oh My! food truck after two years on the road and at private events. Originally conceived as a way to reach new markets, expand and grow the brand and allow for some experimentation, Callahan said the truck more than delivered.

“The truck has more than exceeded our expectations on all fronts,” Callahan said. “The growth of the store for retail, catering and wholesale has blossomed significantly. It’s been a great adventure, but we’re going to focus on growth in the brick and mortar.”

Pie lovers will still be able to stop by the Maplewood storefront or order pies. Pie Oh My! will offer its empanadas fully baked for lunch, as well as take-and-bake shepherd’s pies and chicken potpies along with its sweet individual and full-sized pies.

Callahan said she could not announce the buyer’s name at this time.



The Scoop: Bootleggin’ BBQ owners take over The Pour House, to relaunch as Brew-‘n-Que

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015



Bootleggin’ BBQ, which took over the kitchen at The Pour House in March, has now taken over the entire space. The restaurant closed today, Sept. 1, for renovations and will reopen quietly as Brew-’n-Que this Friday, Sept. 4. After about a month, the restaurant will celebrate a grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 3.

The new concept will allow owners Brenton Brown, Eddie Belter and Shane Hale to feature more signature menu items and an array of local brews. In addition to an expanded bar, the seating will almost double and there will be more TVs for watching games. “We’re still going to have a fun atmosphere,” Brown said. “We’ll still have the opportunity to play bags. Giant Jenga isn’t going anywhere.”

Along with Kansas City-style barbecue staples, the menu will feature pulled pork nachos and “pigs in a dilla,” pulled pork-stuffed quesadillas. Drew Carter will be in charge of the kitchen. “He’s our general manager/head chef/all around do anything we need him to do,” Brown said.

The Pour House location was desirable partially because of its placement in Midtown, slightly separated from the hubbub of downtown Washington Avenue. Hoping to cultivate a neighborhood hangout vibe, the ownership team will cater to the students and young professionals living nearby, as well as tourists.

Brown said they hope to introduce a brewery some day. “Because what goes better with barbecue than beer?” he said.

The Scoop: Joanie’s Pizzeria changes hands

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015



{Joanie’s founder Joanie Spurgeon and new owner Jeff Schneider)


After 20 years, Joanie Spurgeon is passing the pizza pan to Jeff Schneider, an employee at the Soulard pizzeria for the last six years. Don’t expect radical changes, though – Schneider aims to freshen up some elements at Joanie’s while keeping true to its original concept.

“We’re looking to add a couple of seasonal salads,” Schneider said. “The menu will stay the same. We’ll just add some items to it. It can be more without affecting the core of Joanie’s.”

Schneider also looks forward to expanding the beer selection. So far, additions include Abita Grapefruit Harvest and 4 Hands Send Help, with some new rye whiskeys on the way.

The food menu will expand to include a pizza of the week, culled from recipes and ideas from the entire kitchen and service staff. Past specialty pizzas have included a double ham, Provel and garlic and the popular Thai pizza featuring chicken, peanut sauce and carrots.

Spurgeon and Schneider made the transition at the end of May, but Spurgeon is sticking around to help mentor Schneider and lend a hand when necessary.

“Jeff is a super guy,” Spurgeon said. “Everybody likes him. He’s a humble soul and never says a bad word about anybody. That’s how I am and that’s how I want Joanie’s to carry on.”

The Scoop: Paulo’s at the Mansion sees new ownership, name change in O’Fallon, Illinois

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015



Big changes have swept through Paulo’s at the Mansion in O’Fallon, Illinois, chief among them a new name and new ownership. Co-owners Kathy Cox and Jerry Conway, who also serves as executive chef, are now helming The Mansion, a 100-seat restaurant at 1680 Mansion Way. Conway said the estate, constructed in 1857, is the oldest building in O’Fallon. It served as a steakhouse for eight years before the Cox and Conway took over in January.

Conway spent much of his culinary career as an executive chef at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando at restaurants in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Floridian and Wilderness Lodge, as well as overseeing culinary operations at restaurants at Epcot and The Magic Kingdom. Locally, he also worked as banquet chef at the St. Louis Zoo.

When he returned to the Midwest to be closer to family, he and Cox decided to embark on their own culinary enterprise. “I was looking for something that fit me, and The Mansion fits every aspect of what I want to do as a chef,” Conway said. “I like to go outside the box. I can be creative here.”

Inspired by his Floridian background, Conway has made fresh seafood a main focus for The Mansion’s newly renovated menu. Sea bass with a lobster sauce, traditional crab cakes and an assortment of seafood pastas are among additions to the classic steakhouse cuts like rib-eyes, filet and New York strips. Conway said he is also working to expand The Mansion’s beverage menu with martinis and a wider selection of wine, beer and spirits. Currently open for dinner, Conway said he hopes to add lunch and outdoor seating in the coming months.



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