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Jan 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘The Scoop’

The Scoop: Russell’s to open third location in Chesterfield

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

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Restaurateur Russell Ping will soon open a third bakery and restaurant to complement his other two locations, Russell’s on Macklind and Russell’s Cafe & Bakery in Fenton. The new spot, which will also be named Russell’s Cafe & Bakery, is slated to open later this fall (hopefully September) at 14888 Clayton Road in Chesterfield.

“We’ve been looking for a while at opening a third store, and weighing our options on whether another city location would be good, or something else out in the county,” Ping said. “And it really came down to the space being a good fit.”

The 4,000-square-foot space, formerly a St. Louis Bread Co. location, will receive a complete gut rehab, including a full kitchen and a bakery production area. Construction is slated to begin in the next few weeks.

Ping said initially the cafe will be open for breakfast and lunch, and there will be items from both the Fenton and Macklind menus available. He said there are items, like biscuits and cinnamon rolls, which are available only on Sundays at Russell’s on Macklind that may make regular appearances on the Chesterfield menu as well.

“Having the bigger kitchen will allow us to expand,” Ping said. “So we’ll start out with the things everyone loves, and then add to the menu as we grow and expand.” He said the beverage program would be ramped up as well.

“We’ve worked with Kaldi’s for a very long time, but we’re looking to add to our coffee program,” Ping said, adding that Kaldi’s is in the process of refurbishing an antique espresso machine for the new location. Beer and wine will also be available.

Photo by Dustin Bryson 

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The Scoop: Alpha Brewing Co. to open second location

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

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Another local brewery is getting ready to expand. Alpha Brewing Co. will open a second location in Tower Grove in late fall. “We’ve closed on the building, ordered the equipment and construction has started,” said head brewer Derrick Langeneckert.

Langeneckert plans to announce the exact address at the brewery’s fourth anniversary party this Saturday, April 8, but he said the 13,000-square-foot space will house a 15-barrel system that should produce 1,000 barrels in the first full year of production. The brewery’s downtown facility at 1409 Washington Ave., currently produces 200 barrels annually.

“The first year we were open we made 200 barrels, and we’re still making 200 barrels a year,” Langeneckert said. “We just don’t have the space to make one more drop of beer.”

The second Alpha location will also feature a taproom with 100 seats inside and a 200-seat Biergarten outside. Langeneckert said there will also be a kitchen, and he plans to partner with a local restaurant for food service.

Photo courtesy of Alpha Brewing Co.

Editor’s note: This article was updated at 1:35 p.m. to correct the size of Alpha’s brewing system. 

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The Scoop: The Fryer’s Daughter opens in the former Wood Cask space

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

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Kirkwood has a new destination for fried chicken. The Fryer’s Daughter opened doors yesterday, April 2, at 10332 Manchester Road, the former home of The Wood Cask. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, owner Dan Marten wasn’t throwing in the towel on his former eatery after its last day of service on March 22 – just switching gears.

Most of the renovations to the restaurant were cosmetic, Martin said, and the concept has received a complete facelift. The compact menu is focused on fried chicken by the plate or the piece, and it also includes five sandwiches that can also be ordered as a salad or wrap. Available sides include slaw, three-bean salad, fries, sauteed spinach and cream corn. The full bar is still available for those who’d like some booze with their yard bird. “It’s still probably the best whiskey selection in Kirkwood,” Marten said.

Marten said he rebranded the restaurant after customers couldn’t quite grasp The Wood Cask’s concept. The whiskey bar and restaurant opened in 2015. “I loved the Wood Cask concept,” he said. “We went through a couple of menu changes, and I think maybe it confused customers slightly. You could call it an identity crisis. I also had people who came in and said ‘We thought you were a liquor store for the first year-and-a-half, so we just didn’t come in.’”

The new name is an homage to Marten’s daughters, who helped him start the business, as well as an unambiguous announcement of the restaurant’s new culinary direction (the words “chicken restaurant” are also prominently displayed after the name, just in case). “You read it, it’s catchy, and you immediately know what it is,” Marten said.

During the day, orders are taken at the counter, and Martin said speed is the focus of lunch service. “The goal is to have someone in and out in 30 minutes, max,” he said.

Table service takes over in the evening, and carryout is always available. Marten said a catering menu is in the works as well.

The Fryer’s Daughter will be open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 11 a.m to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Photo courtesy of The Fryer’s Daughter

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The Scoop: Alton gourmet popcorn shop reopens as PopUtopia

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

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The Hive, a gourmet popcorn and confections shop in Alton, officially reopened under a new name last month. PopUtopia opened doors at 231 E. Delmar Road on March 11.

According to owner Rebecca Pattan, support from the Alton community kept the business afloat after the building’s owner closed the storefront in 2014. “We wanted to keep the store in Alton – this is home,” Pattan said. “We had a ton of support, text messages, phone calls, a Kickstarter – with the short attention span people have these days, that blew my mind.”

In addition to PopUtopia’s 150 flavors, the new store also features a taffy wall, nostalgia candies and bulk candies, as well as lighter, healthier popcorn flavors. Pattan said she aims to emphasize a sense of nostalgia through old-school service and fun, atomic decor.

“That’s my age, that’s what I grew up with. We want to do things the old-fashioned way with a really sincere sense of customer service,” she said. “This area needs and deserves really great specialty shops, to really create something our residents are hungry for – not necessarily popcorn, but that type of experience.”

PopUtopia is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of PopUtopia

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The Scoop: Edwardsville Frozen foods is now Goshen Butcher Shop

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

From sneak peeks of new restaurants in Lafayette Square to the closing of Cajun staple, here’s what went down last week, ICYMI.

 

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1. Polite Society quietly opened in the in Lafayette Square at 1923 Park Ave. on March 23. As The Scoop reported in October 2016, co-owners Jonathan Schoen and Brian Schmitz have spent nearly a year renovating the former home of Ricardo’s, which closed in 2015 after 26 years in business.

2. Fans of Miss Leon’s Soul Food will be happy to learn that her wares will soon be available weekly. Miss Leon’s Sunday Supper debuts April 30 at The Capitalist Pig, located inside Mad Art Gallery at 272 S. 12th St. in Soulard.

 

Shrimp St. Paul Sliders make the favorite St. Louis sandwich favorite bite-sized.

 

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

4. Steven Becker Fine Dining has sold Nadoz Cafe & Catering, located at 12 The Boulevard in Richmond Heights, to Deer Creek Cafe owner Kent McCarty, who took possession of the space on Tuesday, March 14.

 

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5. An old Edwardsville favorite is getting a new name, a renewed focus and a top area chef. Local butcher shop Edwardsville Frozen Foods at 246 N. Main St., is now Goshen Butcher Shop, and chef Ben McArthur, most recently behind the range at J McArthur’s in Lindenwood Park, will helm its culinary program.

6. Riverbend Restaurant & Bar, located at 1059 S. Big Bend Blvd., in Richmond Heights, has closed. The last day of service was Sunday, March 26.
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{Private Kitchen co-owners chef Lawerence and Emily Chen }

7. Fans of Private Kitchen, the reservations-only Chinese restaurant in University City, will soon have a more casual venue to indulge in one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. Chef-owner Lawrence Chen will open St. Louis Soup Dumplings at 8110 Olive Blvd.

 

Private Kitchen photo by Greg Rannells

 

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.

 

The Scoop: Café Piazza to open in Benton Park

Friday, March 31st, 2017

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Vito La Fata III, owner of Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante in Midtown, is opening a new concept in Benton Park. Café Piazza will debut in the former Benton Park Cafe space at 1900 Arsenal St., early this summer.

La Fata described the cafe as a hybrid between a fast-casual pizza concept and a more traditional dine-in restaurant with approximately 50 seats and possibly outdoor seating.

Café Piazza will be open for breakfast with frittatas, breakfast pizzas and pastries on the menu, and additional morning offerings on the weekend. Lunch and dinner will feature pizzas, salads, soups, panini and a gelato case.

“There won’t be any pastas or entrees,” La Fata said. “The main focus is on pizzas, but we’ll have some fun appetizers, and we’ll bring our arancini recipe over to the cafe.” Beer, wine and cocktails will also be available.

La Fata said the inspiration for the project is the Italian piazza, a gathering place where anyone can take some time out of their day and relax a bit. “We want to make it a neighborhood pit stop, where people can stop their hectic day, sit down and have a conversation,” he said.

Courtesy of Cafe Piazza 

The Scoop: Edwardsville Frozen foods is now Goshen Butcher Shop

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

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An old Edwardsville favorite is getting a new name, a renewed focus and a top area chef. Local butcher shop Edwardsville Frozen Foods at 246 N. Main St., is now Goshen Butcher Shop, and chef Ben McArthur, most recently behind the range at J McArthur’s in Lindenwood Park, will helm its culinary program.

Edwardsville natives Bob Keyser and Jeff Merkel recently purchased the 70-year-old butcher shop. Keyser said they plan to keep the main butcher business and add a farm-to-table component with carryout and catering services.

Merkel recently joined the board of the Land of Goshen Community Market, and Keyser said they plan to partner with the market to source local products.

“We want to have a one-stop shop, where you can come in and get local produce and locally sourced meats,” Keyser said.

Keyser said they’re working with the Edwardsville Historical Society to recreate what the exterior of the building looked like in 1940s. “For the physical changes, we’re in the mapping and planning phases of those right now,” Keyser said. “We’re going to ease in and do things on a step-by-step basis.” He said the intention is to complete as many renovations as possible without shutting down parts of the operation. Interior renovations include a full kitchen, which should be ready in early summer.

While the kitchen is built out, McArthur said he’ll assist in the planning process and ramp up his knowledge of butchery. “What I’ve learned in school doesn’t always carry over into real life,” he said. “They’ve been doing it for 70 years here, so it’ll be cool to get more hands-on experience with it.”

McArthur will focus on private and public events and  high-end carryout items, as there won’t be seating in the shop. McArthur said the dishes include local produce, foraged greens and mushrooms and freshly butchered meat. “It’s going to be composed though,” he said. “It’s not just going to be thrown in a to-go box.”

McArthur said he’s excited to work in the area. “I love Edwardsville, I love the small-big town feel of it,” McArthur said. “When I was at J McArthur’s, we were working with 40 or 60 different farmers, and it was a bit of a challenge. But here, it’s not. It’s just a drive up the road, so it was attractive to me to be able to get develop closer relationships to the farmers.”

And longtime fans need not fret: Keyser said Herbie the Hereford, the oversized cow mascot, will remain on his rooftop perch.

 

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The Scoop: Miss Leon’s Sunday Supper to debut at The Capitalist Pig

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

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Miss Leon’s Soul Food‘s fried chicken has built quite the following around town, featured at venues including Rehab Bar & Grill and Hiro Asian Kitchen. Fans will be happy to learn that her wares will soon be available weekly. Miss Leon’s Sunday Supper debuts April 30 at The Capitalist Pig, located inside Mad Art Gallery at 272 S. 12th St. in Soulard.

“We both have a passion for cooking,” said chef-owner Leon Braxton, noting that she and Capitalist Pig chef-owner Ron Buechele have a similar focus on southern cooking. “It’s like two great minds coming together.”

Sunday Supper will be served at three one-hour seatings between 5 and 8 p.m., with a maximum of 60 people each, though carryout will also be available. Sides offered include mashed potatoes and gravy, greens, sweet buttered corn, mac n cheese and rotating seasonal options. The menu will also include Chicken Gobs –fried white and dark meat nuggets – Capitalist Pig’s corn muffins and Miss Leon’s peach cobbler and bread pudding.

 

The Scoop: St. Louis Soup Dumplings to open in University City

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

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{Private Kitchen co-owners chef Lawerence and Emily Chen }

 

Fans of Private Kitchen, the reservations-only Chinese restaurant in University City, will soon have a more casual venue to indulge in one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes. As reported by the Riverfront Times, Private Kitchen owner Lawrence Chen will open St. Louis Soup Dumplings at 8110 Olive Blvd.

Chen said he was inspired to open the restaurant because many Private Kitchen customers enjoyed the pork soup dumplings, but didn’t always want to make reservations and text ahead to order. St. Louis Soup Dumplings will be a no-reservations affair with 15 to 20 seats, quick service and carryout.

In addition to pork, Chen said St. Louis Soup Dumplings will offer chicken, shrimp and vegetable versions, along with some non-dumpling dishes. The full menu is still a work in progress.

“I’m still thinking about how many different kinds we can make,” Chen said.

He expects the restaurant, which used to house a cell phone store next to Private Kitchen, to open late spring, depending on renovations.

Photo by Greg Rannells

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