Ben Poremba's specialty market, AO&Co., will open in January


Bengelina Hospitality Group, the folks behind restaurants Elaia, Olio, Nixta, La Patisserie Chouquette and The Benevolent King, is expanding into the retail biz.


In an email newsletter, chef-owner Ben Poremba announced the company will open a boutique market, AO&Co., at 1641 Tower Grove Ave., just across the street from Elaia & Olio and La Patisserie Chouquette, in January.


According to the newsletter, the store, which takes its name from the first initials of Poremba’s children, will carry a wide variety of artisan fare and goods, including cheeses, salumi and charcuterie, olive oil, vinegars, wines and spirits and house-made items, including prepared meals. The space will also serve as a coffee and tea shop featuring Firepot Tea and Kaldi’s Coffee.


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“It’s something we’ve wanted to do since we opened [Elaia & Olio],” Poremba said. “We’ve had customers come into the restaurant to buy a quart of hummus or a quart of egg salad, and this will just make it easier for them.”


Poremba said he will release more details about the shop in the near future.


Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.