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Jan 22, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Tower Grove’

The Scoop: Alpha Brewing Co. to open second location

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017



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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Best New Restaurants: No. 2 – Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery

Monday, December 14th, 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.




Three years after Sauce published a story on how Ted Wilson was going to change the St. Louis bread scene with a new bakery, we can finally report that we were right. Wilson and co-founder Sean Netzer opened Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery in Botanical Heights at the end of September, a lunch spot serving sandwiches on bread unrivaled in the city.

The key to Loafers’ loaves is fermentation. The bread is naturally leavened, meaning the bakery doesn’t just avoid chemical compounds like baking soda. In all but two of Loafers’ breads, it means avoiding even mass-produced yeast. Instead, Wilson starts with just flour and water, and carefully cultivates the yeast that occurs naturally, watching over it as it ferments – think of sourdough starters or Amish friendship breads.

Aside from the incredible flavor this process produces, Wilson is objectively fascinated by fermentation. The fact that he can start with water and flour and end up with bread makes him giddy. “In some way, it takes responsibility off your shoulders. Your role is to set up this environment … you can only be in control of so much,” Wilson said. “Then you just have to react, and you have to pay attention.”

This patient relationship with food requires a rare mix of fanatical curiosity and dogged perseverance – qualities reflected in Loafers’ entire team. Some, like chef Brian Lagerstrom (Sauce Ones to Watch class of 2015), left the fine dining world for Loafers to explore the freedom fermentation allows. Lagerstrom, who dabbled at Niche with house bread and cheese programs (not to mention house-made soy sauce, vinegars and fish sauce), was given free reign at Loafers to get as funky as he liked.
No condiment is too small for serious attention; house-made mustard and pickles grace the Cuban-like roasted pork sandwich, and house-smoked beets are piled high with sauerkraut and creamy Thousand Island dressing. Even the rotating nut butter and jam sandwich is taken seriously. Wilson and crew roast and grind the nuts, cook down the berries and churn that creamy butter.

Romantic slow food notions could easily stall when confronted with labor-intensive reality, but not at Loafers. “The work really brings us joy,” Wilson said. “(We have a) great excitement and love for these transformations that happen under our watch. … They’re little science experiments that taste good.”

Union Loafers is waiting on a liquor license to extend service into evening hours and debut a bread-centric bar menu. We’re confident it, too, will be worth the wait.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

First Look: City Park Grill in Tower Grove South

Monday, August 17th, 2015




City Park Grill celebrated its grand opening Friday, Aug. 14, at 3157 Morgan Ford Road in Tower Grove South. As The Scoop reported in February, first-time restaurant owners Rob Pennington and Blake Urbani originally planned to remodel the former Tin Can Tavern, but ended up tearing down that structure and starting from scratch in the same location.

The new 3,000-square-foot space sports a huge, maple freeform-edge bar made by Lloyd Brothers Woodworking in The Grove. With 89 seats inside, an ample patio and a full bar with 10 rotating taps including local favorites like Urban Chestnut, Pennington and Urbani said they hope to attract overflow from events at Tower Grove Park.

The menu features standard bar fare (burgers, wings, potato skins and several sandwiches) elevated by house-made touches like hand-cut fries and chips, hand-battered fried chicken strips and a spicy, Buffalo-style house wing sauce. “We wanted to recreate old classics but with a fresher approach than most pubs and grills,” Pennington said.

City Park Grill is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to midnight. Here’s a first look at what you’ll find at Tower Grove South’s newest eatery:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: Peculiar Penguin serves up NOLA-inspired fare, baked goods in Tower Grove South

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015



A restaurant serving up New Orleans-inspired fare with a decidedly non-NOLA name has opened shop in Tower Grove South: Peculiar Penguin opened doors April 17. The 700-square-foot space is located at 4005 Utah St., as reported by Feast Magazine.

Tower Grove residents and co-owners Michael Catalanotto and Tess Baklor took over the kitchen when the owners of next-door AM Trading Co. announced they were closing their adjacent bakery, Annie Moons. “I was a customer at Annie Moons on more than a few occasions and when I found out they were closing their kitchen, I decided right then that it wasn’t really going to close,” Catalanotto said. “I wanted to take over.”

Peculiar Penguin is his first experience running a restaurant, but he has worked in the kitchens of The Dam, South City Diner and Café Eau at The Chase Park Plaza. The menu is a nod to Catalanotto’s roots with Southern Louisiana dishes like slow-cooked red beans and rice, andouille sausage and cornmeal-breaded catfish. Plenty of a la carte options are available; look for dishes like fried green tomatoes, cornbread, pecan-crusted okra and baked macaroni and cheese. “We’re trying to keep everything below $10,” he said.

The space’s baking history gets a nod, too. A rotating selection of cakes, breads, cookies and scones changes daily. Beverage options are on the healthy side, including selections from The London Tea Room, Confluence kombucha and fresh ground Chauvin Coffee. In true New Orleans fashion, Catalanotto hopes to offer crawfish boils on the 20-seat patio. Another 24 seats are available inside Peculiar Penguin.

And just how did the restaurant get such a peculiar moniker? It’s fairly simple. Catalanotto said Baklor already owned the website peculiarpenguin.com, currently under construction. Peculiar Penguin is currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.


The Scoop: City Park Grill to open in Tower Grove this summer

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015



The former home of Tin Can Tavern in Tower Grove is set to see new life as City Park Grill this summer. The space at 3157 Morgan Ford Road is currently under construction, as reported by Feast Magazine.

First-time restaurant owners Rob Pennington and Blake Urbani purchased the building more than a year ago with the intent to remodel, but they ultimately tore down the entire structure in December 2014 and started from scratch. “(Opening a restaurant) has always been something that every guy kind of flirts with,” Pennington said. “Spending so much time in Tower Grove and knowing the area, when the Tin Can became available, we jumped on it.”

Pennington said construction for 3,000-square-foot City Park Grill is scheduled to wrap up in April, with a tentative opening in June. “We want this to be a place where you can catch a game, have dinner with the family, bring a date or even bar hop with your friends,” Pennington said. “The menu will focus on house-made pub classics, but with our own spin. We won’t have any frozen stuff.”

The exact menu is still being determined, though Pennington said soups, salads and sandwiches will be present, along with a fully-stocked bar featuring 12 to 15 beers on draft and a craft cocktail menu. The space will seat around 90 with outside sidewalk and patio areas seating up to 50. “The local support has been awesome,” Pennington said. “St. Louis is so open to new food places.”

The Scoop: Guerrilla Street Food signs on for a brick-and-mortar

Monday, January 19th, 2015


{Guerrilla Street Food at Food Truck Friday}


Heads up, South Grand: a Filipino invasion is headed your way this spring. Co-owner Brian Hardesty announced that his popular food truck Guerrilla Street Food has signed a lease to open a brick-and-mortar location at 3024 S. Grand Blvd., as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

The space, formerly occupied by Sekisui, sits at the intersection of Grand and Arsenal Streets at the burgeoning dining and entertainment district in Tower Grove. Hardesty said he anticipates an April opening. “We love the South Grand neighborhood,” he said. “It’s a place that we go when we get off work … It’s a great community and we just want to be a part of it.”

Hardesty, who left his position as executive chef at Element in November, said the 1,500-square-foot space would allow for about 24 seats inside and about 12 on the adjoining patio. He envisions a fast-casual spot open for lunch and dinner service with an expanded menu of Guerrilla Street favorites and new offerings. “(We’ll) more than double our current menu,” Hardesty said. “We’ll add a bunch of side dishes … There are so many new dishes from the Philippines we have yet to explore.”

Guerrilla Street Food joins a growing list of food trucks that have added brick-and-mortar spaces to their operations. Lulu’s Local Eatery opened in May 2014 in the same neighborhood, and Seoul Taco relocated to a larger location at 6665 Delmar Blvd. in University City in December 2014.

Can’t wait until April to get your Filipino fix? It’s business as usual on the food truck, which will continue to roll after the brick-and-mortar opening. Hardesty is also opening a Guerrilla Street satellite kitchen at 33 Wine Bar at 1913 Park Ave., in Lafayette Square. The food begins flying this Friday, Jan. 23, and will continue every Friday and Saturday night.

-photo by Michelle Volansky


Sneak Peek: Rooster on South Grand

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Nearly a year ago, restaurateur Dave Bailey announced his plans to open a second location for his breakfast, lunch and brunch cafe, Rooster, at 3150 S. Grand Blvd., in South City. After an extensive rehab to the former Hamiltonian Bank & Trust building, the historic, glass box-style building is now ready for diners.

At its newest location, Rooster will offer the same morning and lunch fare that has garnered it national praise. However, the daily eatery will also operate during evening hours. The dinner menu, which Bailey described as “country French with a South City influence,” is divided into starters and entrees. The former includes items such as risotto cakes, mac-n-cheese, steak tartare, a house charcuterie plate, cured salmon and a couple salads. Among the dozen main dishes, guests will find protein-laden options to satisfy carnivores, pescatarians and vegetarians alike, including fried chicken, Missouri trout, beef brisket with braised cabbage and spaetzel, and a root vegetable hash.

The expansive 200-seat interior features sweeping floor-to-ceiling glass windows, with two 40-foot community tables extending the length of the main dining room. A patio is dotted with picnic tables than can accommodate another 150 guests.

A 3,000-square-foot lower level now serves as a bakery and commissary kitchen for Bailey’s entire family of restaurants (Baileys’ Range, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, Bridge and Small Batch). The commissary kitchen was previously located downtown. The kitchen will also serve Bailey’s upcoming barbecue restaurant and rooftop bar at 1011 Olive St., downtown. Those venues are on target to open this spring, Bailey said, but names have not been finalized yet.

Rooster opens doors to the public Monday,Oct. 6. Here’s a look at what’s in store at this new restaurant on South Grand.


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The Scoop: New bodega to open in Tower Grove East

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014



Tower Grove residents can add another option to their list of neighborhood markets. Grove East Provisions is set to open in mid-May at 3101 Arsenal St.

The 800-square-foot space at the intersection of Arsenal and Minnesota Avenue will be a “healthier corner shop,” said owner Barry Kinder. The shop will supply Tower Grove residents with fruit, vegetables, olive oils, rice and local beer and wine. It will also share a kitchen with Red Fox Baking, meaning customers can expect plenty of fresh bread on the shelves.

Grove East Provisions will have a small lunch counter area with 16 seats where guests can order soups and hot or cold sandwiches served on Red Fox Baking bread. Kinder is no stranger to a kitchen, having worked a sous chef and line cook in London to supplement his music career.

-photo courtesy of Grove East Provisions

The Scoop: Annie Moons Bakery and Cafe opens in Tower Grove South

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

The space at 4001 Utah St., in the Tower Grove South neighborhood has been vacant ever since the St. Louis Tea Room closed in the latter part of 2010. No longer. Tower Grove residents Mike Dudley and Eric Hall purchased the building at the corner of Utah Street and Roger Place last year and have turned it into Annie Moons Bakery and Cafe. When doors were unlocked in late March, the bakery-cafe was only open on the weekends, but Annie Moons has since transitioned to its regular hours of operation and is now open daily.

Annie Moons offers a full line of baked goods and coffee drinks (featuring local roaster Chauvin Coffee) and fruit smoothies, with Excel sodas coming soon. All baked products – from muffins to scones and even its almond milk – are prepared fresh from scratch daily, using as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Among its rotation of sweet morning treats and afternoon pick-me-ups, Dudley stated that the oatmeal-almond-raisin-date muffin was not to be missed, and mentioned that the tropical scone featuring fresh papaya, mango and pineapple was fast becoming popular. Among savory options, look for breakfast and lunch burritos, quiche, salads, sandwiches and fruit cups. A full brunch buffet is available every Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. The cafe even caters to dog-lovers, with its “barkery” baking up six varieties of dog treats that are all corn-, wheat- and soy-free.

The bakery-cafe has seating for 45 and will soon have patio seating available out front. Annie Moons is open weekdays from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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