Balaban’s opens for carryout in its new Central West End location
Balaban’s has returned to the Central West End, offering carryout at 412 N. Euclid Ave., across the street from its original location. Karen Halper bought the restaurant last year and decided to move it back from Chesterfield, where it had been since 2009. But delays in construction due to the pandemic forced her to get creative about reopening.
Longtime executive chef Phil Stemmler is now operating out of Halper’s Patty Long Catering kitchen to produce Balaban’s French and Mediterranean dishes.The catering company is located in the same building as the restaurant, and Stemmler is now managing its menu as well.
Balaban’s to-go menu includes many fan favorites such as the trout pancake and beef Wellington.“We are definitely going back to the original Balaban’s style,” said director of operations Ken Fowler. Orders can be placed over the phone through Patty Long Catering at 314.621.9598 or on Balaban’s website 48 hours in advance of pickup on Wednesdays through Sundays. The restaurant also offers its own delivery service to select neighborhoods for a $15 fee. Fowler said the two-day wait time should be reduced or eliminated soon.
Balaban’s dining room is still at least two years away from opening, but outdoor seating options may arrive much sooner. “We are hoping within a couple of weeks we can actually have some tables out in the streets,” Fowler said. Balaban’s would join the many restaurants participating in the Central West End’s Streateries, located on sections of Euclid Avenue shut down to traffic on Fridays and Saturdays.
When Balaban’s does open for indoor service,the interior will be reminiscent of its original location.“It’s definitely going to be a modernized version of what was in the Central West End,” Fowler said. “Another thing to be excited about is offering in-home private chef services,” he added. Also within a few weeks, Balaban’s hopes to have its chefs cooking for small dinner parties in diners’ homes. Sommelier Jasmine Bernard will also be available for hire, “if you’d like to have a wine-tasting dinner,” Fowler said.
A to-go menu and private dining was not how Balaban’s expected to return to the Central West End, but it is forging ahead. “We are still gaining traction,” Fowler said. “We are trying to find ways to get creative.”
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