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


{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