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Mar 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘the CWE’

Sneak Peek: The Chase Club in the Central West End

Thursday, March 30th, 2017



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

Executive chef Colin Smelser, chef de cuisine Theron Pajares and executive pastry chef Eric Phillips put together a menu that features favorites like burgers and flatbreads, along with creative twists on classics like the Shrimp St. Paul Sliders, served with spicy mayo and a selection of house pickles alongside.

“We have the same menu all day long now, and the food is geared toward the atmosphere we have now,” said Pajares.

Beverage manager Joshua Johnson created a locally focused beer list featuring 18 beers on tap and another 27 in bottles and cans. There’s also a selection of wine and a cocktail list that includes original creations and classics like the oft-overlooked Airmail, a refreshing combination of rum, honey, lime juice and sparkling wine.

The space itself is a combination of high-end sports bar and stately hotel bar. Tables have replaced booths, large-screen TVs surround the bar and the new billiards area, and the room is dotted with eclectic appointments from black-and-white photos of the hotel from years past to elegant, mismatched light fixtures dangling from the ceiling.

The Chase Club is open daily from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., and the kitchen closes at midnight. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect from The Chase Park Plaza’s newest dining option:


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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

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The Scoop: Up-Down arcade bar to open in former Herbie’s space

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017


{ Up-Down’s Kansas City location } 

Arcade bar Up-Down has signed a lease on the space at 405 N. Euclid Ave., in the Central West End. As reported by the St. Louis Business Journal, Up-Down will open in the former home of Herbie’s, which moved to 8100 Maryland Ave., in Clayton late last year.

Co-owner Josh Ivey said the company plans to utilize all of the approximately 8,000 square-foot space. “It’ll be very much in the spirit of the Kansas City version,” Ivey said. “I think that’s a great representation of what we want to do.”

The Kansas City Up-Down features more than 50 vintage arcade games and pinball machines, as well as a large draft beer selection and pizza menu. Up-Down also has locations in Minneapolis and Des Moines, Iowa.

Ivey said there’s no estimated opening date for the St. Louis Up-Down. “We’re trying to figure out what the guts of the building really are,” Ivey said. “We just got our demo permit, and we’re doing some exploratory demo and trying to decide the best way to attack the space and make it our own.”


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The Scoop: Gamlin brothers unveil concept for new project

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016



The Central West End’s newest establishment, courtesy of Derek and Lucas Gamlin (of Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar) will be called 1764 Public House and, as previously announced, will open at 4910 W. Pine Blvd. Breaking with the spirit themes of their other establishments, 1764 Public House will instead honor the history of the building, as well as the city of St. Louis.

“When we started researching the building, we discovered it had so much crazy St. Louis history, we felt we had to do something that would harken to that history,” said Lucas Gamlin.

Gamlin said the building used to house Circus Snack Bar nightclub in the middle of the 20th century during which time pianist Liberace was a weekly fixture, as were other famous artists.

To harken to that history, the food menu at 1764 Public House will include versions of the Lou’s most iconic dishes including “a twist on hand-made toasted ravioli.” While the menu is still being finalized, diners can also expect St. Louis-style pizzas with and without Provel.

In a move Gamlin admits is ambitious, the restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and a late-night crowd. Customers can expect to see local doughnuts, as well as de rigueur local beers on 16 or so taps. A curated spirits and cocktail list, as well as a wine list, will round out the beverage program.

An opening date has not been set, but when doors open, the space will accommodate around 120 diners inside with additional space for guests outside. “We want to open a comfortable, casual place that people can come to every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner,” said Gamlin.


The Scoop: Gamlin Restaurant Group to open third establishment

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016


{Gamlin Whiskey House}

Restaurateurs and brothers Derek and Lucas Gamlin announced that they will open a third establishment in the Central West End. While the name and exact concept are still being finalized, a lease has been signed for the space in the lower level of The Residences at the Forest Park Hotel, located at 4910 W. Pine Blvd. The Gamlin Restaurant Group also owns Gamlin Whiskey House and SubZero Vodka Bar.

Derek Gamlin said they plan to extensively renovate the space. “We have a good plan and are very excited,” said he said. “We’ll be renovating the facade and installing windows that will open to the outside.”

Gamlin hopes to be able to release details of the name, concept and opening date within two weeks. In the meantime, look for construction fencing and “coming soon” signs to go up as work begins.

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: Scarlett’s Wine Bar to open in the Central West End

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016



Sasha’s Wine Bar and Sasha’s on Shaw are getting a little sister when Scarlett’s Wine Bar opens at 4253 Laclede Ave., later this spring.

“We wanted to play off the Sasha’s name, but we didn’t just want to stamp out a bunch of Sasha’s,” said co-owner Rachel Jones.

Located in the Central West End, the wine bar will also offer cocktails, spirits and beer. Scarlett’s will be open for lunch and dinner service in addition to being a nightlife spot. Wood-fired pizzas will be among the menu as will cheese plates and charcuterie with other items still in development.

The dining room will allow 50 customers to dine and drink under the salvaged tin ceiling, with an additional 20 able to enjoy the front patio and additional seats available on a back patio.

Best New Restaurants: No. 10 – Retreat Gastropub

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Opening a restaurant isn’t easy. Each year, hundreds give it a shot – and not everyone succeeds. Some, however, aren’t just surviving; they’re killing it. In the last year, we ate our way through newly opened restaurants from Alton to Ballwin, compiling a list of places that serve the food and drinks we can’t get out of our heads. They bring something different and exciting to the scene – and they do it damn well. While technical excellence was a must, the service and ambiance also had to win us over. Office debates nearly came to fisticuffs, but at last we agreed on St. Louis’ 11 best new restaurants of 2015. Clear your schedule and book your reservations; you’ve got a lot of eating to do.




Retreat Gastropub in the Central West End is our getaway of choice these days. Owner Travis Howard opened the corner bar in October to serve as an outdoors-inspired refuge, day or night. Pull up a stool at the poured concrete bar or get comfortable on a handmade cedar bench and sip a creative house cocktail from bar manager Tim Wiggins, who is reason enough for a visit. He’s the mind behind such drinks as the smoky-sweet Oaxaca Flocka Flame, made with Vida mezcal, blanco tequila, lime juice, passion fruit puree, curacao, ancho chile liqueur and mole bitters. And forget sweet dessert wine; Wiggins hooks diners up with a selection of aged rums for sipping after dinner.

Not to be outshone by the bar program, Retreat’s kitchen does fresh comfort fare right. The menu is solid straight through dessert (Order the decadent bread pudding, which swims in caramel sauce.). Crispy, flavorful flatbreads and fried fingerling potato poutine served with a rich mushroom gravy are small plate standouts. Don’t miss the addictive Farmhouse Burger with two smashed beef patties topped with cheese sauce, candied bacon and an over-easy egg. But be warned: Repeat visits for this brinner burger will occur, and the congenial staff may comment on the love you and Farmhouse Burger seem to share. You are not alone.

Is Retreat your favorite new restaurant of 2015? Click here to vote for this Central West End gastropub in the People’s Choice Facebook contest

-photo by Carmen Troesser 

Sneak Peek: Retreat Gastropub in the Central West End

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015



Lace up your boots and hike over to Retreat Gastropub at 2 N. Sarah St., in the Central West End for elevated pub food in modern rustic terrain. As The Scoop reported in February, Travis Howard owns the urban gastropub getaway, which hosts its grand opening Friday, Oct. 9 at 5 p.m.

The 2,000-square-foot space is dominated by a concrete bar, poured and stained on-premise, and backed by salvaged wood from a Missouri barn. Pull up an iron stool or grab a seat at the custom cedar wood tables and benches lining the interior. Repurposed lantern light fixtures interspersed with hanging Edison bulbs light the space. “I wanted it to feel very outdoorsy,” Howard said.

Howard assembled a team, including chef Michael Friedman and bar manager Tim Wiggins, eager to take the same care with food and drink menus that went into the design. The menu is divided into small plates, sandwiches and large plates, and pub classics include several vegetarian options like the poutine made with fried fingerling potatoes, a rich mushroom gravy and cheese curds. There are two burger options: a classic beef patty with cheese or the Farmhouse Burger, consisting of two smashed beef patties, cheese sauce, candied bacon and an over-easy egg. “I wanted to have breakfast on a burger,” Friedman said.

Wiggins has created a selection of house-made shrubs, tinctures and fresh herbs and juices on a seasonally rotating cocktail menu that focuses on rum. “Everyone drinks whiskey. I think rum’s the next wave,” Wiggins said. Aged sipping rums will be offered instead of dessert wines. Look also for draft and canned beer options, as well as wine.

After its grand opening, Retreat Gastropub will be open Wednesday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and until midnight Sunday. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when doors open at Retreat this Friday:


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-photos by Meera Nagarajan



The Scoop: OG Hospitality group to close Cucina Pazzo, open a second Tavern Kitchen & Bar

Sunday, June 7th, 2015


{Short Rib Pappardelle at Cucina Pazzo}


Big changes are underway at the OG Hospitality Group family of restaurants. Cucino Pazzo is closing on June 28. As first reported by St. Louis Magazine, the Central West End Italian eatery will shutter its doors before reopening as the second location of The Tavern Kitchen & Bar no later than Aug. 3.

“Cucina Pazzo was doing well enough,” said OG co-owner Brant Baldanza. “But The Tavern has such a great reputation, and functionally, this works better because owning too many restaurants with too many concepts is too much. If someone calls in sick or if something goes wrong, we need to be able to respond and pull cooks back and forth. We never had that with Pazzo and Tavern. I love Pazzo, and this was not an easy decision.”

However, Baldanza said it was an easy decision to keep chef Jessie Gilroy at the helm of the new Tavern location. Gilroy developed most of the menu at Cucina Pazzo and will have a hand in the fall menu. Wine and beverage director Megan Meyer will bring The Tavern’s Pinetini and the Manhattan Envy to the new location, as well as create three new cocktails and curate a wine selection different from that of the Valley Park restaurant.

The new menu will be mostly made up of Tavern dishes like the Char-Siu Pork Steak and the Pacific Rim Peanut Crust, but twenty percent of the CWE location’s offerings will be Pazzo favorites like the Lobster Risotto and the Short Rib Pappardelle. Brunch fans will also see most of Pazzo’s brunch menu at the new Tavern location.

“There are 10 different ways in St. Louis to do Italian, and they’re all really good,” said Baldanza. “But there’s only one Tavern. No one else is really doing the cuisine – American with Pacific influence.”


-photo by Jonathan Gayman


The Scoop: Herbie’s owner to open chess-themed Kingside Diner in Central West End

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015


The team at Herbie’s Vintage ’72  in the Central West End is extending its talents to pancakes and sides of bacon. Herbie’s owner Aaron Teitelbaum has announced plans to open Kingside Diner this April in the former Lester’s at 4651 Maryland Ave., as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

Teitlebaum said the daily diner will fill a void in the Central West End restaurant scene since the closure of longtime staples like Herschel’s and The Majestic. “There’s a very big void also for late-night dining,” he said, adding that Kingside will be open until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

The kitchen will churn out classic diner fare for all-day breakfast and lunch beginning at 6 a.m. Herbie’s chef Chris Vomund, formerly of The Nest, will oversee the menu development and culinary operations at the new diner, which will also feature daily blue-plate specials. Herbie’s beverage director Amanda Wilgus will handle the beverage program, which will focus on breakfast cocktails and bottled beer.

Kingside will seat 90 people inside and an additional 90 to 100 when warmer weather allows for patio seating. The diner will also offer a walk-up counter and a grab-and-go section for customers on the move.

The diner’s chess-inspired name comes thanks to its neighbor – and landlord – the World Chess Hall of Fame. Teitelbaum said he plans to partner closely with the organization, opening Kingside to beginner’s play Sundays through Thursdays after 3 p.m., when the menu will switch from breakfast and lunch options to small plates and a full bar.

“We’re not here to bring in something that’s going to compete with my friends and neighbors,” said Teitelbaum. “We want to be something that adds to the community.”



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