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Jan 21, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Zoe Robinson’

First Look: Billie Jean in Clayton

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017



Billie Jean, the latest concept from restaurateur Zoe Robinson, opens tomorrow, Dec. 21 at 7610 Wydown Blvd. in Clayton, just a block or so east from Robinson’s other eateries, I Fratellini and Bar Les Fréres. Named after Robinson’s parents, the new eatery brings together New York City style and Midwestern hospitality.

The bill of fare at Billie Jean presents contemporary American cuisine from Robinson’s longtime collaborator and chef, Ny Vongsaly. The menu contains nods to international culinary traditions from Europe to Asia with dishes ranging from whole-roasted snapper to wild mushroom pizza to mahogany-glazed spare ribs.

The elegant, almost austere exterior and an entry way shielded by black canvas that only sports the name of the restaurant and the address offers the barest hint of what the space holds in store for diners.

The interior of Billie Jean is a study in subtlety. Carved walnut chairs, walnut barstools and a welcoming bar area warm contrasting black walls and white tablecloths. Paintings by Robert Motherwell and photographs from Harry Benson add tension and drama to the mix. The overall feel is more Manhattan than Clayton. With 34 seats and shotgun floor plan, it’s intimate but not cramped.

Billie Jean is open for dinner from 5 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Here’s a first look at what to expect when Billie Jean opens doors:


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Restaurant photos by Michelle Volansky, Robinson photo by Greg Rannells 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Restauranteur Zoe Robinson sells Bobo Noodle House

• Zoe Robinson to open a petite bar-cafe in Clayton


The Scoop: Restauranteur Zoe Robinson sells Bobo Noodle House

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015



{Zoe Robinson}

After seven years, owner Zoe Robinson is handing over the keys to Bobo Noodle House, at 278 Skinker Blvd., near Washington University. New owner Kary Lockwood takes over the Southeast Asian eatery tomorrow, Dec. 16. Lockwood previously owned State Street Market in Alton for six years before relocating to Clayton.

Robinson, who also owns I Fratellini and Bar Les Freres in Clayton, said she has her sights on a another project and the time was right to hand Bobo over to her longtime friend. “I always like change,” Robinson said. “I like to have things fresh and new. It’s about creating.”

Bobo, however, won’t change. Robinson said the staff will stay the same, and she and chef Ni Vongsaly, who helms all her restaurants, will continue to assist during the transition. “That’s part of the beauty of this. She’s going into a turnkey restaurant,” she said.

Robinson said handing over the keys tomorrow morning will be bittersweet. “I worked with some really amazing people there, and a lot of my employees have been there since we opened,” she said.

-photo by Greg Rannells




The List: The Petite Bar at Bar Les Frères

Wednesday, April 9th, 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.



As if we needed another reason to frequent Bar Les Frères, restaurateur Zoë Robinson handed us one on a silver platter this winter when she turned the storefront adjacent to her petite bar into a space reminiscent of a French hotel lobby. Regal texture is everywhere: a polished wooden dining table surrounded by gilded antique chairs with original needlepoint, a plush velvet settee, and a tall, graceful pier mirror leaning against the wall. Add to that accoutrements like silver candelabras holding court on a sideboard and chartreuse walls adorned with game trophies and paintings. Bar Les Frères brings new meaning to the term “well-appointed” and makes us pine for eras of old.

7637 Wydown Blvd., Clayton, 314.725.8880, barlesfreres.com

-photo by Laura Miller

The Scoop: New Digs

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Last month, we reported that Zoe Robinson, owner of Bobo Noodle House in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood and I Fratellini in Clayton, would be opening a small bar-cafe across the street from I Fratellini at 7637 Wydown Blvd. Last Friday, Robinson informed The Scoop that the new restaurant (rendering pictured) will take the name Bar Les Frères, meaning “The Brothers Bar” in French. “[It] works well with I Fratellini,” Robinson noted.

Another eatery that will soon see new digs is Sweet Art Bakeshop & Art Studio. The bakery-cafe is moving eastward from its location at 2203 S. 39th St. in the Shaw neighborhood to 2800 Shenandoah in Fox Park, as reported by Brandon Chuang of Feast. According to an employee at the bakery-cafe, Sweet Art will move to its new home during the month of May. The Scoop has been unable to discuss details of the move with co-owner Reine Bayoc.

— Rendering courtesy of SPACE Architecture + Design

The Scoop: Zoe Robinson to open a petite bar-cafe in Clayton

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Zoe Robinson, owner of Bobo Noodle House in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood and I Fratellini in Clayton, has another project in the works. As reported by George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine, Robinson plans to open a small bar-cafe across the street from I Fratellini, in the space at 7637 Wydown Blvd.

“It’s really, really little,” said Robinson of the space formerly occupied by a shoe repair store. “That is why I am using the word ‘petite.’ It’s just 24 seats. We’ll have a cute little patio too.” The restaurant has yet to be named and many other details are still in the planning stages, noted Robinson, who is working with Space Architects on the design of the bar-cafe. “There is a ton of work to do. The space is very antique and nothing has been done in there in 84 years. There is barely electricity. We have to redo everything, but I don’t want to lose the antiquity of it. It is going to be just a darling little place. I think those little intimate spaces are the best,” she added.

Despite the diminutive size of the space, a kitchen will be built so that patrons can also enjoy dinner rather than just come in for a drink. Robinson also hopes that the new space helps with the spillover crowd at I Fratellini. “We are always at capacity here,” she said of that restaurant. Robinson expects to open her new restaurant in early to mid-summer.


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