Sneaky’s Bar & Burger Joint now open in former Recess Brewing space in Edwardsville

The food truck Sneaky’s Burger Truck transitioned into a full-service restaurant in the former space of Recess Brewing at 307 N. Main St. in Edwardsville in early May, as reported by The Intelligencer

Sneaky’s Bar & Burger Joint co-owners Tyler Ottwein and Casey Hinman have kept largely the same menu the truck offered, adding one burger, along with Bavarian pretzels served with warm queso and spicy mustard. The new burger is called the Uncle Julio burger and is topped with pepper jack, mac and cheese, and Red Hot Riplets. There are several other burgers available, as well as tater tots, loaded tots and sweet potato tots for sides.

“Our philosophy overall is we do what we do really well, and we don't do anything else,” Ottwein said. “We feel it's better to offer a really amazing burger and nothing else than a pretty good burger, and pretty good chicken and pretty good salads. ...

“People are loving the food, loving the beer, and we have been running around in circles trying to keep up,” Ottwein said. “In our first week, we did more than we did in our best month as a food truck.”

Since the truck’s inception in April 2022, Ottwein and Hinman have partnered with Miller Wagyu Ranch in Milan, Illinois, sourcing a steady supply of locally raised beef with the highest percentage fat marbling available. Due to demand, they have begun to source their beef elsewhere, but still use Miller Ranch when possible.

“Casey and I tried different blends of different cuts,” Ottwein said. “We were looking for the upper limit of how fatty should a burger patty be, and we never found the upper limit. As far as we know, the fattier the better.”

Ottwein recommends his signature burger, the DJ Goomba, which features a wagyu patty topped with mushrooms sautéed in miso broth, melted Swiss, bacon and a sesame-wasabi sauce. He suggests pairing it with one of his favorite lagers: Ayinger Altbairisch Dunkel.

The bar offerings are “pretty succinct,” according to Ottwein, and include several whiskeys, along with a few gins, vodkas, rums and cocktails. There are 14 beers on draft, along with about 75 bottled or canned offerings, including local makers such as 4 Hands Brewing Co. and Schlafly Beer. For wines, there are three reds, three whites, one prosecco and one rosé.

Ottwein and Hinman had partnered with Recess Brewing since April of last year, selling their burgers out of the food truck on Friday and Saturday evenings. Recess closed permanently on April 30.

The 2,700-square-foot building seats 100 people inside and an extra 70 on the 500-square-foot patio. The space’s interior has been updated and “intentionally left eclectic,” Ottwein said. “We did a lot of aesthetic changes, but no major construction. It looks drastically different though, like a whole different bar. We had a lot of painting done and big graffiti piece added to front of bar. There’s a big pink disco ball and string lights, but we tried to make it funky with old beer mirrors and signs.”

Since moving into the new space, they have expanded hours to 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, noon to 11 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 7 p.m. on Sunday. The restaurant is closed on Monday. 

These hours are temporary and will be expanded as they hire more staff and build out the in-house kitchen. Since opening the brick-and-mortar space, the Sneaky’s team has continued to cook out of the original food truck. They are working to secure plans and permits for their full kitchen. The truck might continue parking it at events around town in the future, but nothing has been decided yet.