well met photo courtesy of google maps

Team behind Polite Society and The Bellwether will open Well Met in Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis later this year

Well Met, a new cafe concept from the team behind Polite Society, The Bellwether, and a string of City Foundry STL food hall venues including Sub Division Sandwich Co., Intergalactic Burgers and Good Day, will open at 4100 Shenandoah Ave. in the Shaw neighborhood in late spring or early summer 2023. The 700-square-foot space will offer paninis, salads, espresso drinks and more from breakfast to dinner, with an emphasis on to-go orders. 

Co-owner Brian Schmitz said he and his partners had been “craving another creative outlet” in recent months and were interested in exploring another part of the city. “When the space came to our awareness, it accelerated that. It went from a conversation about what we might want to do next to playing around with ideas.”

Well Met’s food and drink will be “focused on people popping in and popping out,” Schmitz said. There will be space for dine-in customers, limited to around 10 to 12 seats, but food and drink items will be designed to take home, to work, or to nearby Tower Grove Park. “There’ll be one little section along one wall where we’ll have a built-in banquette,” Schmitz said. “But with such a small footprint, we’re really going to just make it as welcoming and charming as we possibly can.” It may also be possible to add a few tables and chairs outside, taking advantage of the cafe’s enviable location at the corner of Shenandoah and Thurman avenues.

The kitchen won’t have a hood, so the food will focus on items that can be easily prepared within those constraints. “If we want to do some more elaborate preparations, we’re fortunate to have some really great kitchens nearby that we can almost operate from, commissary-style,” Schmitz said. “It's going to allow us to play around a lot.” 

For breakfast, Schmitz said the team is currently thinking about a menu featuring breakfast sandwiches, pastries and coffee, among other offerings. “After the breakfast period, I’m imagining 10 paninis with the ability to substitute and create what one might want,” Schmitz said. 

Schmitz said Well Met’s offerings will grow and evolve out of a dialogue with customers. “Our philosophy is really what kind of amenity, what kind of service, would the neighborhood appreciate or benefit most from?” Schmitz said. “We're going to be responsive to what the neighborhood traffic patterns tell us.”

Well Met will also have a liquor license, with plans to offer beers, wines and more. “If someone stops by on the way home, we would love to be able to curate a small selection of really interesting, good wines,” Schmitz said. 

Schmitz said construction on the space will take in the region of 60 to 90 days, but the permitting process could take longer. He estimated a late spring or early summer opening for Well Met.