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Mar 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘The Fortune Teller Bar’

Ari Jo Ellis to open The Cut inside The Fortune Teller Bar

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017



Ari Jo Ellis has worked in some of the top kitchens in town, including Quincy Street Bistro, Southern, Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions and Kitchen Kulture. Now Ellis, a member of the Ones To Watch class of 2016, is striking out on her own.

As reported by St. Louis Magazine, Ellis will open The Cut, which will replace the recently closed Little Dipper inside The Fortune Teller Bar at 2635 Cherokee St., at the end of August.

“I would be stupid to pass up this opportunity,” Ellis said. “It just all came together. The stars aligned and I had to do it.”

The Cut will focus on sausages. Ellis intends the initial menu to feature four bratwursts and sausages and a fifth vegetarian option featuring Mofu Tofu, along with a monthly special and several sides, including cole slaw, potato salad and baked beans. She also plans to carry chips from local favorite Rap Snacks.

“I feel that if I do bratwurst, I have to do a straight-up OG bratwurst with grain mustard and sauerkraut that I plan to make in house” Ellis said.

In homage to the Mexican influence on Cherokee, she plans on making chorizo. Ellis intends to break down whole pigs on site and hopes to source most of them and the rest of her ingredients from Such & Such Farms and other local purveyors.

To that end, Ellis said The Cut will be open Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight. She also plans to keep The Cut a simple proposition.

“I’m determined to start small and expand, rather than start bigger than I think I can do and contract,” she said. “I’m not necessarily going to be exploring anything far from what I know. I want to make this work in this spot more than anything.”

Photo by Carmen Troesser

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: The Little Dipper to reopen inside The Fortune Teller Bar

Monday, October 17th, 2016



{The Little Dipper chef-owner Tanya Brown}


The Little Dipper, which closed in August, has found a new home inside The Fortune Teller Bar on Cherokee Street. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, Fortune Teller’s kitchen is closed and will reopen as The Little Dipper under chef-owner Tanya Brown on Nov. 5.

“Tanya became a friend of ours as mutual customers – her shop was just a block away from ours,” said Fortune Teller co-owner Matt Thenhaus. “It just seemed like everything we needed, the other business could provide.”

Little Dipper will have a counter inside the bar with separate food and drink tabs. Thenhaus said they were inspired by The Fifth Wheel setup inside 4 Hands Brewing‘s tasting room.

A handful of items from Fortune Teller’s old food menu – like pickled eggs, soft pretzels and occasional barbecue specials – will be available from the new counter, but the menu will primarily be The Little Dipper’s dominated by sandwiches, like its Italian beef namesake.

The Fortune Teller will maintain regular evening hours until The Little Dipper opens, and Thenhaus said they should have snacks and some simple daily specials until then. Brown did not return request for comment.

Trendwatch: Guide to Drinking Edition (Part 1)

Thursday, September 15th, 2016



{Ben Bauer sips on the She’s Standing Right Behind You cocktail at The Libertine.} 


1. Taste of The Alps
Think of this French Alpine liqueur as Green Chartreuse’s little brother. With more floral notes, a lower ABV and a lower price tag, St. Louis bartenders are falling in love with Génépy. Drink it on its own as an aperitif or look for cocktails where it plays well with others: Try it paired with the gin-like Bols Genever, Yellow Chartreuse and lime in the Vivre Sa Vie from Olio’s summer menu, or sip an intense lineup of hibiscus, pomegranate and baking spices in the Heatsource cocktail at Retreat Gastropub. The bar at Público lends a Latin vibe with mezcal and lime, along with Licor 43 and Averna in Wee Willy’s Whiskers. Or visit The Whiskey Ring when winter hits for its take on a hot toddy: The Green Lantern made with Génépy, Green Chartreuse and lemon simple syrup.

2. Lager Love
Once the watery antithesis of the craft beer movement, a new wave of crisp, full-flavored lagers are making a comeback. Brewers are turning to the old-school Eastern European Czech Pilsner to create these low-ABV brews with a characteristic Saaz hop. Look for 2nd Shift’s Technical Ecstasy, Stubborn German Brewing Co.’s recently added Hip Czech Pilsner and seasonally available versions from Square One, Schlafly and The Civil Life.

3. Red Wine Float Trip
Bartenders are layering on the flavor with red wine floats atop new cocktails. Try it at The Libertine, where a mineral red tops a mixture of rye, lemon juice and lemon verbena-sweet tea in She’s Standing Right Behind You. Order the Full Sneak at The Fortune Teller Bar and watch as ruby port is floated over a blend of whiskey, ginger liqueur, lemon and ginger ale. Red also wine crowns The Juice at Scapegoat Tavern & Courtyard, which shakes up Orangecello (a house-made lemoncello that swaps the citrus), pomegranate vodka, muddled oranges and ginger beer.

4. As American as Applejack
Look for this potent fruit-based hooch cropping up by the bushel-full. Eclipse combines applejack with tequila, gin, rum and Benedictine in the 3 Mile Long Island, while The Royale keeps it simple in its Apple Buck, a mix of applejack, lemon juice and ginger beer. Scapegoat Tavern & Courtyard puts a twist on the whiskey sour, adding applejack to brandy and sour mix in The Monica.


Still thirsty? Click here for more of what’s trending in the STL beverage scene. 

-photo by David Kovaluk

Drink This Weekend Edition: Milk Stout Brings All the Boys to the Yard No. 2 at The Fortune Teller Bar

Thursday, October 15th, 2015



Signs summer is officially over: The flip-flops are in the closet, and 4 Hands Chocolate Milk Stout is on the shelves. The Fortune Teller Bar bar manager Kristin Denis is combining the seasonal brew, a new whiskey and Fernet in her autumnal cocktail, My Milk Stout Brings All the Boys to the Yard No. 2.

This year’s version includes Carbondale craft distillery Grand River Spirits’ Baby Bourbon Whiskey, which is aged six months in small barrels for an oaky, sweet profile. Also in the shaker is Fernet Lazzaroni, a relatively new bitter Italian amaro, and house-made chile simple syrup.

Garnished with orange peel, the cocktail has a malty beer nose, a full mouth feel and is a creamy sip with notes of chocolate, citrus and a subtle nuttiness. Welcome, fall. We’re glad you’re here.



The List: 20 dishes, drinks, faces and places we love now – Part 3

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Each year, the Sauce editors compile an annual tribute to the dishes, drinks, people and places we love in The Lou: The List. Here, Part 3 of our 2015 lineup, featuring a host with the most, a beer lover’s paradise, the best cup of grits in town, a booming business district and your entire childhood rolled into ice cream.

What’s on your list? Share with #TheSauceList on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out Parts 1 and 2 of The List here.




11. Kimberly Hoskin-Westcott at Cleveland-Heath

Cleveland-Heath doesn’t take reservations, which means the wait for a table could be up to an hour on a busy weekend night. Yet, I don’t mind because I get to chat with Kimberly Hoskin-Westcott, a hostess so vivacious, affable and just gosh-darn nice that I’m almost disappointed at the rare occurrence when Cleveland-Heath doesn’t have a wait.

Watching her at the front of the house – greeting new customers, hugging regulars, admiring a shy child’s toy – it’s easy to assume she’s been doing this all her life, yet Hoskin-Westcott has worked in the restaurant industry for only two years. She attributes her hosting style – part entertainer, part ambassador and part traffic controller – to her 30 years of customer service at a New York communications company and more than 30 years as a professional jazz singer.

Even when a waiting list runs 25 names long, Hoskin-Westcott has an uncanny ability to make each customer feel like her top priority – and as she’ll tell you, they are. She believes the worst thing customers can feel is that the host has forgotten them. “You try to let them know they can trust you: trust you to get them a seat, trust you know their time is valuable,” she said. “I keep an eye on them from when they first come in to when they leave. … I try to make sure that I have a level of integrity and that people say, ‘Yeah, she’s going to help me out.’”  – C.K.




12. Ka-Boomm at Jilly’s Ice Cream Bar

How do you go Ka-Boomm at Jilly’s Ice Cream Bar? Start with a Tahitian vanilla ice cream base, then swirl in decadent brownie chunks made with 58-percent dark Swiss chocolate, Oreos and mini M&M’s for good measure. The name is short for kid-approved, brownie, Oreo, M&M’s, but the young and old dig it equally. “It is so whimsical when you see the tie-dye effect that the M&M’s give it,” said chef Casey Shiller, who created this Jilly’s fan favorite with fellow chef Dana Holland. “It’s kid-approved, but it’s kick-ass, too.” We’ll take a double scoop in a confetti waffle cone, please.  – L.F.


13. Cherokee Street

While Cherokee Street is still known for its antique shops, international farmers market and authentic Mexican fare (for good reason), the South City strip running between Broadway and Gravois is also becoming known for, well, just that. No longer is Cherokee a smattering of restaurants and stores concentrated around a couple city blocks; we have a full business district on our hands. Don’t believe us? Next time you’re attacking the requisite torta at Taqueria El Bronco, afterward, visit one of these eclectic venues, and when you’re done, keep exploring.

1. With just seven seats, cozy is an understatement at Cherokee Street’s newest cafe, The Little Dipper, where soups and sandwiches are the specialty, including its filling vegetarian wheatburger. 2. The Fortune Teller Bar serves up masterful cocktails along with unconventional bites such as the vegetarian chili accompanied with a slice of Black Bear Lickhalter rye bread.

3. Hearty Russian dumplings laced with creme fraiche are one of the culinary highlights at ArtBar, a colorful watering hole that also showcases local art, and hosts comedy open mics, live bands and burlesque bingos. 4. Athlete Eats features scrumptious but sensible entrees for the customer who enjoys dishes like grass-fed, bunless bulgogi burgers along with tailor-made, cold-pressed fruit juices.  – M.B.




14. Craft Beer Cellar

Whether you know a dunkel from a Doppelbock or just light brew from dark, when visiting Craft Beer Cellar, snobbery is one of the few beer descriptors you won’t run across. “We’re not beer snobs, we’re beer geeks,” explained co-owner Ryan Nickelson. “We are excited about what beer is and how it’s made. It’s about sharing good beer with good people.” With the shop’s specialty being mixed six- and 12-packs, if you have trouble choosing between the 600 to 800 local, national and international craft beers available on any given day, allow the highly knowledgeable yet down-to-earth staff to lend its expertise. Come in to chat, indulge in free beer samples at the tasting bar, and when you buy too many bottles to tote, be prepared for the geeks to insist on carrying your purchases to your car – courtesy is their thing, too.  – K.S.




15. Grits at SoHo Restaurant & Lounge 

There’s no better evidence of a Southerner’s DNA than the way she cooks grits. Called polenta by Yanks and Philistines, there are plenty of imitators out there, but few standouts. At The Grove’s SoHo Restaurant & Lounge, the grits fashioned by executive chef Ceaira Jackson are bona fide. Steaming, buttery, cheesy mounds of the stuff make exquisite brunch pairings with the fried catfish, chicken and waffles or even red velvet pancakes. You’ll shout for joy. You’ll gobble them up. You’ll beg for more. SoHo’s contribution to the classic – and deceptively difficult – Southern standard is a display of true grit.  – G.F.


-Kimberly Hoskin-Wescott photo and ice cream photo by Carmen Troesser; beer photo by Jonathan Gayman; grits photo by Elizabeth Maxson

Guide to Drinking 2014: Trendwatch – Part 2

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014


Did you miss Part 1 of our Trendwatch? Click here for more about the latest trends in the beverage world, part of our annual Guide to Drinking.


5. Drinking Weed: Some people mow down dandelions. Others eat them. And then there are those who use the plant for booze. Following the national trend of using foraged ingredients for housemade elixirs, The Fortune Teller Bar on Cherokee Street has concocted a house-made dandelion tincture that adds vegetal tang to a reverse martini called Summer Switch No. 2. Meanwhile, look for the release by mid-October of Lion’s Tooth, a dandelion liqueur made with dandelion roots and Crown Valley brandy. The liqueur is a collaboration between Water Street in Maplewood and the Ste. Genevieve distillery.

6. The Spirit of Korea Takes Flight: Soju, the best-selling alcohol in the world, is making a splash in the Gateway City. The Korean spirit distilled from rice is traditionally consumed straight, but from London to NYC to San Francisco, bartenders are mixing the low-alcohol liquor into everything from aperitifs to slushies. Locally, The Purple Martin bar manager Joel Clark prepared herb-steeped soju for a multi-course Asian-themed dinner held this summer at the Fox Park bar and restaurant.

7. Day Beer Believers: Brewers have answered the call for beer that you can drink and drink some more. It’s out with the double and triple IPAs and in with sessionable suds. We’re familiar with Schlafly Sessions IPA and Founders All Day IPA, but in the last year, we’ve also seen Stone Go To IPA, Goose Island Endless IPA, Lagunitas DayTime IPA and Boulevard Pop-Up Session IPA arrive on the scene.

8. Choose Your Own Booze Adventure: Has it been years since you had your nose in a Choose Your Own Adventure book? Time to join the adult version of that club. Lots of bars around town are offering build-your-own cocktails, and no matter your poison, there’s a drink adventure in store for you. If gin is your thing, build your own G&Ts at The Gin Room at Cafe Natasha’s. At Bar Italia, you can have your spritz – a classic northern Italian combination of amaro and prosecco – just the way you like it (and if you head there during happy hour for 5 O’Clock Spritz, you’ll get free plates of antipasti). At Boogaloo, they’re still building mojitos your way through September; then it gives way to a maze of Manhattans. Finally, at Cielo, you can build your favorite cocktail using its house barrel-aged spirits.

9. Alpine Aperitif: Génépy, the alpine herbal liqueur reminiscent of green Chartreuse, has jet-setted from French ski resorts to St. Louis bars. For a taste of the French liqueur, head to Small Batch and order Bright, which features genepy with rye whiskey, house-made wormwood bitters, lemon and cava. At Taste, you’ll get génépy when you order Gimme Samoa, a combination of rum, cognac, génépy, crème de cacao, pineapple and lime juice. Meanwhile, bartenders at Planter’s House are génépy-happy with drinks like Eight is Enough and Unusual Suspects.





The List: The Rattlesnake King at The Fortune Teller Bar

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Welcome to The List, our annual homage to the people, places, dishes and drinks we love in St. Louis. Don’t miss a single pick; click here to read the whole List and share your thoughts on Twitter with #thesaucelist.



With a name like The Rattlesnake King, you expect a serious bite. But the only thing dangerous about this citrusy, well-proportioned cocktail is its drinkability. Flavors of orange and apple mingle with smooth W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon in this easy-sipping antidote to a long workweek.

The Rattlesnake King
Courtesy of The Fortune Teller Bar’s Kristin Dennis
1 serving

1 oz. W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon
¾ oz. Calvados apple brandy
½ oz. Cardamaro amaro
¼ oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
4 to 5 dashes Angostura bitters
Orange peel

• Add all the ingredients except the orange peel to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake 3 times.
• Strain into a chilled Old-Fashioned glass. Garnish with the orange peel.

2635 Cherokee St., St. Louis, 314.776.2337, thefortunetellerbar.com

Matt Berkley’s Top 5 Cocktails of 2013

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Matt Berkley works some odd hours as Sauce’s Nightlife critic. In 2013, he spent many a late night] sipping crafted cocktails around St Louis on a hunt for the very best. Here, Berkley names his top five cocktails of the year: 


No. 5: Smoke and Fire from Mission Taco Joint
Hellfire bitters set off hints of peach and serrano syrup in this refreshing, mezcal-laden masterpiece.



No. 4: The Rattlesnake King at The Fortune Teller Bar
Smooth-drinking W.L. Weller Special Reserve 7-year-old bourbon is reinforced with a hit of apple brandy and fresh orange.

No. 3: House Manhattan at Gamlin Whiskey House
Robust oak and sweet vanilla flavors mingle in the Knob Creek Single Barrel whiskey that was handpicked for this standout take on a classic Manhattan.



No. 2: Pimm’s Cup at Bar Les Frères
This easy sipping, warm-weather drink is fashioned with fresh cucumber and sprigs of mint.


And my No. 1 cocktail of 2013 is…



Beetnik Margarita at Atomic Cowboy
Fresh beet juice substitutes for lime juice in this potent little drink. My exact words in September: “Though I’m indifferent to beets, beet juice and actual beatniks, I love this drink. It’s a savory-sweet monster of a cocktail with a surprisingly tangy kick and a healthy wallop of tequila.”

And an honorable mention goes to moonshine cocktails from Hendricks BBQ. Subtle and smooth at first, these white whiskeys cocktails serve delightful a knockout punch of rich flavor.

-Bar Les Frères and Atomic Cowboy photos by Jonathan Gayman



The Scoop: The Whiskey Ring on Cherokee Street gets in on the whiskey act

Monday, December 16th, 2013


{The nearly completed bar at The Whiskey Ring}

Whiskey bars are catching fire around town. On the heels of recently opened Gamlin Whiskey House in the Central West End, Blind Tiger in Maplewood and the soon-to-open Small Batch in Midtown Alley comes The Whiskey Ring, opening Dec. 17.

Located at 2651 Cherokee St., the 46-seat bar is a project by John Joern and Jason Matthews. Both are former bartenders at local music venue Off Broadway. “We feature about 50 bottles of bourbon, rye and scotch. We are expanding that weekly,” said Joern, adding that while the liquor selection is whiskey-centric, other widely known and unfamiliar spirits are available. “We try to keep things interesting.” A cocktail menu will be finalized this week. The Whiskey Ring, which will be open daily from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., does not offer food; however, Joern said he is in discussion with an area deli about delivery service when that shop opens in a few months.


121613_whiskeyring2{The Whiskey Bar will be located at 2651 Cherokee St.}


Joern was Off Broadway’s bar manager for the last eight years; Matthews worked there for the past four years. This is the duo’s first time owning a bar, but both used their prior experiences in construction to gut the space and renovate it themselves, using reclaimed local materials. Joern gave a nod to fellow Cherokee Street business owner Kristen Dennis (co-owner of The Fortune Teller Bar), for coming up with the bar’s concept. The Whiskey Ring refers to a scandal that occurred during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant in the 1870s, when a group of whiskey distillers conspired to defraud the government of liquor taxes. St. Louis was one of the major cities where the whiskey ring operated.

Joern and Matthews chose to open their bar in the Cherokee neighborhood of South City, where they both live. “It’s a great community with great business ideas; culturally, it’s a melting pot – and art-driven community,” Joern said. “It’s very up-and-coming.”



The Scoop: Melt to move to Cherokee Street

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Melt is moving. The eccentric diner, which opened last summer at 7700 Ivory Ave., in the Carondelet neighborhood, is headed to Cherokee Street. As reported by Liz Miller of the Riverfront Times, Melt will make its new home at 2712 Cherokee St. The move posits Melt among a handful of restaurants and bars – including The Fortune Teller Bar, Livery Company and Siete Luminarias – to open this last year on Cherokee Street in the blocks west of Jefferson Avenue. March 29 will be the final day of service at Melt’s current location. May 1 is the target opening date at its new location.

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