ao&co. owner ben poremba opened his neighborhood specialty shop june 7. photo by meera nagarajan

First Look: AO&Co. in Botanical Heights

Restaurateur Ben Poremba has opened his latest project, AO&Co., at 1641 Tower Grove Ave., in the Botanical Heights neighborhood. The first day of business for the boutique neighborhood market and beverage spot was Thursday, June 6.

AO&Co. (the name derives from the initials of Poremba’s children), features approximately 1,000 carefully curated products. Customers can find everything from wine, spirits and canned cocktails to bespoke kitchen and barware to a wide array of meats, cheeses, condiments and comestibles along with 100 varieties of cigars and even fresh flowers.

A separate cafe area boasts a variety of hot and cold tea and coffee drinks featuring Kaldi’s coffee and pastries from La Patisserie Choquette. Poremba said eventually there will be sandwiches and other grab-and-go options available. Customers can enjoy their purchases inside or in the eclectically appointed outdoor seating area.

AO&Co. also has a separate area for those who want to peruse the selection of cigars, wines and spirits.

Fans of Poremba’s restaurants can find some of their favorite items to take home, including Olio’s egg salad, Nixta’s mocha salsa and The Benevolent King’s baba ghanoush. Poremba also has a private label olive oil for purchase. Other local favorite items include charcuterie from Salume Beddu and Volpi and Marcoot Jersey Creamery cheeses. The store also offers handled boxes that can be filled with goodies for those with a hankering for a picnic.

AO&Co. is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday with the cafe area closing at 5 p.m. Here’s what Botanical Heights latest has to offer:

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine.