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Posts Tagged ‘Stephen Savage’

First Look: Start Bar downtown

Friday, July 15th, 2016




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




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: Arcade bar 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 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.”

The Scoop: The Wheelhouse to open second location downtown

Monday, March 31st, 2014



One year ago, business partners Stephen Savage, Lou Groff and Jared Ater opened upscale sports bar The Wheelhouse in Clayton (pictured). Today, the trio announced plans to open a second location downtown in the Cupples 8 building at 1000 Spruce St., in early July.

Unlike its sister restaurant, the downtown location will not be just a sports bar and restaurant. Rather, it will be a fusion of sports bar and nightclub, open until 3 a.m. The 10,000 square-foot space will feature three bars, a mezzanine with private VIP booths, a disc jockey’s crow’s nest, plenty of TVs for sports watching, as well as outdoor seating. “It will be a great social, high-energy venue,” said Savage.

The food menu, developed by chef Nick Del Gaiso, will be identical to the menu at the Clayton location, and the bars will feature local craft beers as well as established brews.

Local firms SPACE Architecture, ICS Construction and Mwanzi will all have a hand in transforming the space, formerly occupied by advertising agency Osborn Barr.

– photo by Michelle Volansky

Sneak Peek: The Wheelhouse

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

{Grilled Steak Salad}

Friends and business partners Stephen Savage, Lou Groff and Jared Ater are opening their upscale sports bar The Wheelhouse as early as tomorrow, Thursday, April 18. The bar and restaurant, most recently occupied by The Pasta House Co., is located at 15 N. Central Ave., in Clayton.

Savage noted that one of the hardest parts about opening their new spot was deciding on a name. As to the name The Wheelhouse, Savage cited his employee handbook, which defined it as: “A popular term referring to an area of expertise or a particular skill.” For Savage, Groff and Ater, operating a bar is their wheelhouse, Savage noted, as witnessed when the three used to manage Harpo’s together, in Columbia, Mo.

In addition to 34 TVs for sports watching and a menu filled with cocktails, beer and wine, the food menu is what the owners of The Wheelhouse hope will set their bar and restaurant apart from other sports bars. The menu will be prepared by executive chef Nick Del Gaiso, who is the former sous chef at Scape. Del Gaiso attested that almost every product on The Wheelhouse’s menu, from the salad dressings to the smoked jalapeños, is made in-house. The menu features soups, salads, appetizers, wraps, burgers, sandwiches and entrees.

When doors are unlocked on April 18, The Wheelhouse will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., while the kitchen will close at 10 p.m. A Sunday brunch is also in the works.

For a sneak peek at what’s in store, head to our Facebook page.

— photo by Michelle Volansky

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