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May 02, 2016
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Posts Tagged ‘The Scoop’

The Scoop: Propaganda to open in former Art Bar Space

Thursday, April 28th, 2016




A taste of Mother Russia is coming to Cherokee Street when owner Tatyana Telnikova opens Propaganda in the former ArtBar St. Louis space at 2723 Cherokee St. Open only on Fridays and Saturdays beginning May 7, Propaganda will host its grand opening and around June 1, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

For Telnikova, an immigrant from Russia and owner of HandleBar, Propaganda represents a personal invitation to customers to experience the Russian hospitality she remembers and extends to friends here in the States.

“This is close to home for me,” Telnikova said. “I really enjoy certain parts of my heritage. We had friends over very often and would offer everyone food and drinks no matter who they are or what time of day it is.”

Telnikova plans to serve Russian beer along with local selections, as well as whiskey, mezcal and tequila. There will be house-infused vodkas like her mother’s horseradish and honey vodka, which she said is sipped for health when the two have lunch. Propaganda will offer snacks, possibly prepared at HandleBar like pierogi or bread and spreads. Telnikova said she isn’t ruling out expanding the food menu in the future.

HandleBar general manager Keeley Kromat will also manage Propaganda, emphasizing the culture of hospitality and “meaningful drinking” that Telnikova hopes to share. To that end, thirsty patrons may look forward to a nightly toast. “A chance to stop and think about something that’s important to you,” Telnikova said. “A toast to community or family or those who are not with us anymore.”


The Scoop: Hommage to open in Benton Park

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016



A taste of Alsace, France is coming to the corner of Lemp Avenue and Lynch Street later this year when Hommage opens its doors. Owner D.J. Huchzermeier – most recently the general manager of The Purple Martin – plans to open the eatery at 2800 Lemp Ave., in Benton Park as a tribute to the historical significance of St. Louis.

“We’re focusing on old, old St. Louis,” said Huchzermeier. “Everything will tell a story, a pleasant haunting for St. Louis. It’s reverence of River City.”

Drawing on our city’s French and German roots, the food at Hommage will be Alsatian, which features French cuisine with a German influence. “It will be food that pairs well with beer, but also elegant,” Huchzermeier said. “I see sausage and sauerkraut but also tart flambé .”

Huchzermeier said he could not name either the chef or the bar manager at this time, but he described the beverage program as an even split between primarily local beer, French and Alsatian wine and culinary cocktails. Hommage will seat around 50 diners inside and an additional 50 outside. In the patio area will also be a dedicated space for the French version of bocce ball called pétanque. The property will also feature a greenhouse and raised beds, which will provide produce for the restaurant.

The Scoop: Barcade Start Bar to open downtown in June

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016



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 barcade. “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.”

The Scoop: Tom Halaska dives in at DeMun Oyster Bar

Monday, April 25th, 2016



Just three weeks after Art Bar on Cherokee Street closed its doors, Tom Halaska has announced he will be the general manager at DeMun Oyster Bar effective today, April 25. Halaska previously spent six years as the general manager of Sasha’s on Shaw and said he is pleased to return to working with owners Alan Richman and Rachel Jones.

“It’s great to be going back with a company that supported me and was a part of my life for a long time,” Halaska said.

For his part, Halaska aims to pair fun with oysters. “That’s what I bring to the table,” he said. “The oyster bar is a beautiful, elegant, classy joint. I’m going sprinkle in a little dirt.” That “dirt” will include live music, brass bands and maybe a crawfish boil and oyster happy hour. “We’ll still serve delicious, elegant food and oysters flown in from the coasts and picked up at the airport every day. It’s one of the most beautiful restaurants in St. Louis, and it’s fun to be able to put my mark on that.”

Also coming aboard at DeMun Oyster Bar is Rachel Kornhardt, who served alongside Halaska at Art Bar and will be the bar manager, and Halaska’s nephew, Nik Halaska. Nik also works at The Libertine in the restaurant and with its CSA. At DeMun, he’ll be the “utility man,” doing whatever needs to be done.

Look for a more customizable bar program with cocktails tailored to individual taste profiles and created on the spot, instead of customers choosing strictly off the menu. Those cocktails will likely feature new house-made syrups, bitters and liqueurs.


Editor’s note: This post was corrected at 12:45 p.m. April 25 to accurately spell Rachel Kornhardt’s name. 

The Scoop: Elliot Harris rolls behind the sushi bar at BaiKu

Friday, April 22nd, 2016



{Onii-san maki roll at Baiku}

Former food truck sushi chef Elliot Harris has found a new, more stationary home. Harris, who sold Chop Shop STL in December 2015, is now executive sushi chef at Baiku Sushi Lounge in Midtown.

Baiku owner Brad Beracha said Harris actually joined the restaurant in January, but the announcement was postponed while Baiku temporarily closed its doors that month so Hotel Ignacio (located in the same building) addressed structural problems in the building. Beracha said Harris used that time to tweak the sushi menu. Repairs are made and Baiku will reopen for dinner next Tuesday, April 26 and lunch on May 3. The restaurant will be closed on Sundays.

“I’ve worked with Elliot before,” Beracha said. “He is talented, creative and with him selling the truck, the timing was perfect. He is right for the future of Baiku and the direction we want to go.”

Harris has nearly 20 years experience behind a sushi bar, including time spent at Beracha’s now-shuttered Miso in Clayton. He said he will focus on nightly specials with new items slowly making their way to the menu, like a variation of the Korean poke dish Harris once served at Chop Shop.

“I want to bring in specialty fish, and there will be a focus on seasonal ingredients,” Harris said. “This will let me open up to catering to the customer and do chef’s choice or things off-menu.”


Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 2 p.m. Friday, April 22 with correct information about starting dates for lunch and dinner service. 

-photo by Carmen Troesser

The Scoop: Nate Hereford to exit Niche, Brasserie’s Nick Blue to take the helm

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016



{The Niche Food Group Team. Chef Nate Hereford is front row, second from left; chef-owner Gerard Craft is front row, far right.}


Niche executive chef Nate Hereford will hang up his apron at the Clayton institution at the end of May. Hereford said he has accepted a position at Hampton Creek as a research, design and development chef in San Francisco.

Niche Food Group chef-owner Gerard Craft said Brasserie executive chef Nick Blue has been tapped to take the top toque at Niche, and Brian Moxey has been named executive chef at Brasserie.

“We’re excited as a company for (Hereford) to take on the big picture stuff,” Craft said. “It’s what we drive for in this company, (but) in a bigger way. It’s so awesome that great leaders are taking this on.”

Hampton Creek is a food production company that focuses on making sustainable products that are good for the consumer and the wider food system. It is the company behind Just Mayo and Just Cookie Dough.

“I’m really excited to be involved with big picture food sustainability issues,” said Hereford. “These issues are near and dear to my heart. This is an opportunity to make a difference in the food system, (in) our kids’ future.”

Hereford has been at Niche for six-and-a-half years, working his way from cook to sous chef to executive chef of the nationally acclaimed restaurant. Craft said he appreciated Hereford’s leadership on the line and within the company.

“Nate’s a lot more (of) even-keeled person than me,” Craft said. “That’s helped him get through a lot of struggles in the process of developing a new cuisine. I’ve learned a ton from that. Not everything’s the end of the world. His even-keeled attitude has allowed him to take the team through a lot of failure. That’s been huge. I’ll definitely miss that.”




{Chef Nick Blue}

Craft pulled Hereford’s replacement from within the Niche Food Group team, tapping Brasserie’s executive chef to take the top spot at Niche. Craft said Blue was the first person he thought of to take the role, citing his experience in both the tradition and history of food and his forward-thinking creativity.

“You have to have both,” said Craft. “He is his own person and also has a playful side that will be fun to see develop. He has huge, huge shoes to fill, and he knows that.”

Blue said he was excited to take on the job. “What Nate’s done has been amazing,” Blue said. “I’m looking forward to keeping the ball rolling and using local Missouri ingredients.”

While Blue has worked in the Niche kitchen intermittently over the years, he and Hereford will spend the next month working together. Blue will also keep one foot at Brasserie to train its new executive chef. Moxey has spent the last two years as head chef at Perennial Artisan Ales, but he previously worked within Niche Food Group at Pastaria. “I have a respect for classic French food,” Moxey said. “I look forward to working with a great group of people.”

Perennial co-owner Emily Wymore said control of the south city brewery’s kitchen will stay in house. Chef Kaleigh Brundick, who has worked with Moxey in Perennial’s kitchens and has three-and-a-half years at Perennial, will step up to head chef.

“We were lucky to have (Moxey),” Wymore said. “He’s an extremely talented chef. We’re excited to see what (Brundick) brings. She has a great palate and is passionate about local, seasonal, ingredient-focused food.”


-Niche Food Group photo by Jonathan Gayman; Nick Blue photo courtesy of Niche Food Group

The Scoop: Kaldi’s to open two new STL locations

Thursday, April 14th, 2016



Kaldi’s Coffee Roasting Co. announced plans for two new St. Louis locations to open this year. The first will be located in the historic Gerhart Building, at Laclede and Vandeventer avenues, and the second at Washington University’s Mid Campus Center at 4590 Children’s Place. The two stores will mark the seventh and eighth in St. Louis.

The Gerhart location is slated to open this summer and is part of an larger restoration to the historic Midtown building. Kaldi’s brand manager Louis Nahlik said the 1,800-square-foot location will seat 20 to 30 caffeine cravers with additional seating out front. The building itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will showcase historic architectural details like a tin ceiling and wood floors. According to Nahlik, the food and drink menu will be largely the same as other Kaldi’s stores, but the menu is in development and will likely feature sandwich, salad and coffee offerings unique to the store.

“The location is really amazing, with all the development going in between IKEA, the Cortex and the various apartments being put in,” Nahlik said.

The Mid Campus Center location will also accommodate 20 to 30 customers and will be housed in a building currently under construction. Look for that location to open by the end of 2016.

The Scoop: Scapegoat to open in former Crepes Etc. space

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016



{Scape and Scapegoat chef Shimon Diamond}

Scape American Bistro is getting a little sister when Scapegoat opens in the former Crepes Etc. space at 52 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End next month. The 40- to 50-seat tavern will share Scape’s expansive courtyard and will serve up small bites, sharable plates and classic cocktails.

At the helm for both Scape and Scapegoat is Shimon Diamond, a 17-year industry veteran most recently of Cielo. Diamond launched a new menu at Scape on Friday, April 8 that reflects his philosophy of emphasizing locally and thoughtfully sourced, Midwest-focused fare.

“We’re getting serious about what it means to be an American Bistro with Midwest influence,” Diamond said. “We’ve got it all here in the Midwest. Let’s use those ingredients and make food that’s approachable but has some elegance to it.”

At Scapegoat, look for small bites and sharable plates featuring ingredients from Such and Such Farm, Missouri lamb from Root & Holler, Ozark Forest mushrooms and more. The butcher board will feature house-made charcuterie like pastrami and gravlax made with gin-cured salmon.

The cocktail menu will focus on classic cocktails. “We’ll have favorites like the Manhattan and Gin and Tonic done really well,” Diamond said. Scapegoat will be open from Tuesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. when doors open in May.

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: Tropical Liqueurs to stay open in Soulard, looking for new location

Friday, April 8th, 2016




The slushies will keep flowing after April 9 at Tropical Liqueurs in Soulard. The owners announced today, April 8, a state court judge in the St. Louis city circuit ruled that the bar, located at 1800 S. 10th St., will keep its liquor license until further notice.

As The Scoop reported in March, the St. Louis excise commissioner revoked Tropical Liqueurs liquor license after area residents filed a petition citing several complaints such as public urination, noise and traffic congestion. Co-owner Billy Thompson said their business took care to address the concerns, including canceling to-go cocktails, posting parking signage and hiring additional security.

The circuit judge overturned the commissioner’s order to revoke the liquor license effective tomorrow, April 9, pending judicial review. Thompson said he was pleased with the judge’s decision. “We’re very excited that we’re going to be able to continue to operate simply because all of our patrons,” he said.

Thompson said Tropical Liqueurs will remain open while he and co-owners Bradlee Thompson and Connie Vaughan look for a new location.“The future is exciting, and we’re looking forward to moving into a neighborhood that is eager to have Trops,” Thompson said in a statement. “We are currently in negotiations for a new location that will be even better for the business and our guests.”

Thompson could not disclose the proposed neighborhood of the new location, but said they are eager to open soon. “This is something that we’re moving on very quickly,” he said. “We would love to be open just as quickly we possibly can.”

Tropical Liqueurs opened its Soulard location in August 2015. It also operates two locations in Columbia, Missouri and Springfield, Missouri.


Editor’s note: This post was updated at noon Friday, April 8 with comments from Billy Thompson.




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