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Jan 23, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Tim Wiggins’

Retreat Gastropub team will bring Yellowbelly to the CWE

Monday, December 11th, 2017

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The team behind Retreat Gastropub is set to open a new concept. Yellowbelly, a restaurant and bar focused on seafood, rum and classic cocktails, will open in the new Citizen Park Building at 4659 Lindell Blvd., in the Central West End in 2018.

Owner Travis Howard said the name of the new place denotes the yellow bellies of many fish and birds in tropical areas. It also serves as a call for patrons to try something new and different and not be a “yellow-belly.”

“We’re wanting to take inspiration from Polynesian islands,” Howard said. Rather than focusing on the beach, Yellowbelly will evoke a jungle or rainforest vibe. Howard said the food menu will have a seafood focus.

“We’ll be sort of doing the California, West Coast approach to seafood,” he said. “We’ll be keeping things a little bit lighter and doing some cold things, as well.” Dishes may include ceviche, other cold fish dishes and possibly a whole fish preparation.

“We’re trying to do a combination of pulling inspiration from the islands and the way they eat, as well as incorporation some of the Midwest produce, as well.” Howard said. No one has been tapped to helm the kitchen yet.

 

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{ from left, Tim Wiggins and Travis Howard } 

 

Howard said Retreat’s beverage manager Tim Wiggins, who is also a partner in the new venture, will put together a drinks list heavy on rum, but Yellowbelly won’t be a tiki bar.

“We’re going to be doing a lot of cocktails in that tiki style, with a lot of fun glassware and a rum focus,” Howard said, adding that a lot of tropical flavors will be utilized, such as coconut, passionfruit and pineapple. “But we want to be a neighborhood bar, so we’ll still be hitting a lot of the classic cocktails, and we’ll have a fully rounded spirits and beverage program.”

Howard said the space will have 90 to 95 seats inside with a sidewalk patio area that may seat up to 40 or so. Howard said the plan is to open sometime in mid-2018, and construction should begin in the next few months.

Photos courtesy of On Point Hospitality 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content 

• Executive chef Michael Friedman has left Retreat Gastropub

Best New Restaurants: Retreat Gastropub

• Top Shelf: Five bartenders you should know

DTWE: 3 tea-infused cocktails to try at Retreat Gastropub

Friday, March 31st, 2017

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 { Creole Colada at Retreat Gastropub }

 

When Retreat Gastropub bar manager Tim Wiggins comes up with a tea-themed cocktail menu, it’s going to be more than boozy glasses of your grandma’s finest.

“A lot of people hate tea,” Wiggins said. “These don’t taste like tea cocktails – they taste like cocktails with unusual elements.” The menu ranges from sweet and fruity to spicy and savory, balancing bold, unexpected flavors in strange-sounding, but highly drinkable cocktails.

1. If you like earthy flavors, the Parasol Shade combines the lush funkiness of Wray & Nephew overproof rum with a rooibos tea Wiggins said tastes like rich soil, all brightened by white rum, mango, cream and lime. The overproof rum’s raisin notes meet the mango’s sunnier sweetness, grounded by cream and a lively zip of lime on the finish. The complex combination is balanced – you’ll keep sipping as you try to figure it out.

2. If you like juicy and floral, try the tiki-inspired Creole Colada. Sweet, fresh pineapple juice and coconut cream are tempered by a full ounce of Peychaud’s bitters, Jamaican aged rum and an infusion of hibiscus and lemongrass. The drink is finished with a spray of hibiscus-infused absinthe and a sprinkle of nutmeg. A creamy pink, it looks throat-coating sweet, but it goes down easy with a hint of herbal spice and a pleasantly tart finish.

3. If you like vegetal drinks, order the Bells and Whistles. The savory, subtly sweet flavors of orange and yellow peppers are paired with Cana Brava rum infused with fragrant, tannic jasmine, along with green tea, honey-like white port and amontillado. Finished with a hint of lemon La Croix and garnished with a lemon wheel, it has a bright acidity and savory sweetness.

Photo by Meera Nagarajan

Related Content
Ones to Watch 2016: Tim Wiggins

Readers’ Choice 2016: Favorite Bartender – Tim Wiggins

Best New Restaurants: No. 10 – Retreat Gastropub

Guide to Drinking 2016: 6 Best Bitter Bottles to Buy

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

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Sweet-toothed Americans are increasingly embracing bitter flavors at the bar. Aperol spritzes are everywhere, and according to Randolfi’s head barman Jeffrey Moll, “No respectable home bar should be without Campari.” The pretty pink amaro and its compatriots are for more than your nightly Negroni. Bitter liqueurs and aromatized wines can be enjoyed simply poured over ice with a citrus twist or neat at room temp. We asked Moll, Planter’s House’s Ted Kilgore and Retreat Gastropub’s Tim Wiggins to tell us which bottles best bring out the bitter.

1. Amaro Sibilla is sweetened with honey but tastes boldly bitter and herbal – a siren song for the experienced amaro enthusiast. It’s great in complex cocktails. $54

2. Amaro Sibona boasts a sweet, baking spice-laced start with a smooth, slightly bitter, chocolate finish. Substitute it for Campari or sweet vermouth in your next Negroni. $30

3. Contratto Aperitif is easy to drink with prominent orange notes, like a more complex Aperol. Try mixing equal parts with a dry, sparkling white wine. $30

4. Amaro Nonino’s bittersweet caramel and baking spice notes are best on their own, rather than in a cocktail. Try as an aperitif over ice, or sip it neat after dinner. $50

5. Amaro di Angostura rolls around the palate with the spiced flavors of the classic Angostura bitters. Use in place of vermouth for an amped-up Manhattan. $22

6. Byrrh is a lightly bitter blend of young red wine and quinine. With an approachable flavor profile and price tag, it’s a safe start on your bitter journey. $18

All available at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton, wineandcheeseplace.com

Photo by Jonathan Gayman 

Drink This Weekend Edition: Pomegranate-Coffee Tonic Shrub Cocktail at Sump

Friday, August 26th, 2016

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There’s no guilt in a (nonalcoholic) morning cocktail, especially when Retreat Gastropub’s Tim Wiggins teams up with Sump Coffee for a Pomegranate-Coffee Tonic. The third coffee cocktail collaboration Wiggins has developed for the coffee shop this summer, this juicy, sweet-tart treat is made with fresh pomegranate juice, pomegranate syrup, dried hibiscus and Sump cold brew, served over Fever Tree tonic.

It’s a great introduction to the bold flavors of a coffee shrub cocktail, with a little less vinegar intensity than the previous two drinks (a Cascara Fizz and Honey Burundi Julep), and more refreshing sparkle from the tonic. Marrying the bright, floral sweetness of hibiscus-inflected pomegranate with the earthy, caramel depth of Sump coffee, each sip will call for another to figure out how this unlikely couple can work so well. Sump barista Connor Usry said it best: “It tastes like a chocolate covered pomegranate seed.”

Readers’ Choice 2016: Favorite Bartender – Tim Wiggins

Friday, July 1st, 2016

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{From left, Tim Wiggins, Ben Bauer, Seth Wahlman and Ted Kilgore at Retreat Gastropub}

Your favorite bartenders of 2016 tell us: What’s the worst confession they’ve heard while tending bar?

Winner: Tim Wiggins, Retreat Gastropub
“I was talking to a boss of a company at the bar. I’m trying to remember the exact quote. It was basically, ‘I’m excited for our new hires because I’ve already slept with everyone in the office.’”

2nd: Ted Kilgore, Planter’s House
“All of the worst things people have confessed are unfit for print. I have worked at mostly classy places and have served Nebraska farmers, exotic dancers and movie stars. The one connection is people sometimes get really weird after a few drinks. … It’s like improv sometimes.”

3rd: Ben Bauer, The Libertine
“It’s mainly the things you see more than confessions. Most recently I had a couple sitting at the bar, and they seemed really happy when they came, but at some point during the meal they got super quiet. Then she just left, and he started slamming cocktails and talking to everyone about how she had just broken up with him.”

Honorable Mention: Seth Wahlman, Eclipse
“A robotics engineer once told me he felt bad about wiping out factory jobs and that his wife was a replacement for his first love. Other than that it’s mostly affairs.”

 

-photo by Jonathan Gayman

Ones to Watch 2016: Tim Wiggins

Monday, January 18th, 2016

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Title: Beverage director, Retreat Gastropub
Age: 24
Why Watch Him: Three years after his 21st birthday, he’s shaking up some of the best cocktails in town.

Four years ago, Tim Wiggins was learning to like beer in New Zealand. Now he is beverage director of Retreat Gastropub, which he helped open in the Central West End. Here, Wiggins’ trajectory to greatness:

2012
Wiggins took a job as food runner at Baileys’ Range because he was broke after traveling in New Zealand for three months. Running food and scooping ice cream at Baileys’ Range gave him a serious appreciation for starting at the bottom. “Everyone (in a restaurant) should know how to do every job,” he said. His hard work paid off, and Wiggins transitioned to serving, then bartending.

2013
Wiggins accepted an offer to serve as front of house manager at Dave Bailey’s new concept, Small Batch. “I’ve always loved leadership roles and coaching,” Wiggins said. “But this was kind of intimidating. I was the youngest person in the building, and I was in charge of all these people who had been serving and bartending forever.”

2014
Wiggins rose to the occasion, eventually moving to bar manager. There, he mastered Small Batch’s 100-plus bottle whiskey menu, armed with a library of recommended cocktail books. “When someone asks a question, I want to be the one who has the answer – and the surplus information,” Wiggins said. With book smarts, research trips to pick the brains of pros in places like San Francisco’s Trick Dog and a culinary perspective on cocktails, Wiggins helped develop a menu wiser than his years.

2015
Retreat owner Travis Howard brought Wiggins on board to help open the restaurant. There, Wiggins developed a bar program filled with house-made tinctures, shrubs and innovative cocktail recipes. Along with incredible product knowledge and creativity, Howard said Wiggins brings a sense of hospitality that goes beyond customer service. He is committed to developing a positive culture for the entire restaurant; that means hiring the right people and taking care of his staff, as only a manager who’s worked every job can.

2016 and beyond
“I have this job and I want to do it really well and not get caught up in what exactly is next,” Wiggins said. But he aims to open his own place one day – and he’s got a lot of ideas. “I’m still years away from that, but I feel like I’m on the right track.”

– photo by Carmen Troesser

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.

 

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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

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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

 

 

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