Thirteenfiftysix Public House owner will open Craft restaurant in January

Wildwood is getting a new bar and restaurant from Ballwin’s Thirteenfiftysix Public House owner David McDonald. Craft is slated to open Jan. 1, 2019 at 16524 Manchester Road.

When McDonald moved to Wildwood, he noticed a lack of dining options. “I really liked the area, but there weren’t too many restaurants around,” he said.

The new restaurant will feature signature dishes from Thirteenfiftysix Public House like beef tenderloin sandwiches, prime rib sandwiches, blackened chicken and seasoned fries, as well as typical gastropub fare like bruschetta, fried goat cheese and pork shank wings.

“All of our food is homemade, and we have all different types of menu items – chicken sandwiches, pastas, steaks, homemade ravioli, homemade pizza, burgers,” McDonald said.

Craft will also offer a full bar complete with an extensive wine list and 39 beers on draft with a focus on local craft brews.

“We have a really cool system from BrewFirst; it’s really easy to use and makes really good beer,” McDonald said, adding a few of the taps will feature house-brewed beers.

Formerly housed by Big Bear Grill, the space will be completely remodeled, featuring upscale decor, multiple TVs and an outdoor pergola with seating for about 48 on the patio and room for slightly less than 100 inside.

“Our greatest struggle has been waiting for permits,” McDonald said. “Wildwood has approved everything as of now, so we are hopefully all set to go. Now we’re just waiting on the county’s stamp of approval.”

McDonald, who has been a chef in the past, has not yet chosen an executive chef for Craft. “I’m very hands-on, and it’s hard to let go of the reins,” he said.

Sophie Tegenu is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine.