none of the above at city foundry stl photo by michelle volansky

First Look: None of the Above at City Foundry STL in Midtown

Cocktail lounge None of the Above will open in the tunnels beneath City Foundry STL at 3730 Foundry Way in Midtown on Dec. 14. The underground speakeasy-style bar concept is the 12th concept from chef-owner Gerard Craft’s Niche Food Group and Niche’s fourth at City Foundry, joining Fordo’s Killer Pizza, The Kitchen Bar and the forthcoming Expat BBQ, which is slated to open in 2024.

The bar lies behind a nondescript steel door, illuminated by a lone light fixture. It’s easy to miss and walk right on by, but if the entrance does catch your eye, and you’re the curious type, enter that first door. Next, you’ll encounter another door, designed to resemble an industrial-scale control panel. Don’t be thrown off: Head through that doorway, along a winding passageway and down the stairs, and you’ll emerge at None of the Above.

“We started working on [None Of The Above] before we actually closed Taste,” Gerard Craft said. Craft began working with Steve and Will Smith, the father-son duo behind City Foundry, in late 2019, consulting on the City Foundry food hall as well as developing The Kitchen Bar and Fordo’s Killer Pizza. “This has been in the works for a while. Luckily, I think it’s happened at the right time. We’re feeling the interest,” Craft added.

From the low-key exterior and the circuitous entryway, None Of The Above gives off serious speakeasy energy. Emerging from the gloom of the passageway, guests are greeted with a dimly lit lounge that evokes a bygone era. Designed by The Lawrence Group, the space features dark wood appointments with brass accents, deep blue walls and Art Deco flourishes. Each of these details lends a sophisticated feel to the space, which boasts 80 seats, a mix of velvet booths, two- and four-top tables and 10 seats at the custom-made wood bar. Behind a gold-framed mirror is a hidden back room known as The Library. The Library features additional seating and a cozy faux fireplace and can be reserved for private parties of up to 20.

“The Library kind of gives me that old upstairs Taste vibe in an even better way,” Craft said.

According to Craft, transforming the old tunnels into an upscale cocktail lounge was quite the process. The space was actually underwater when the Foundry was in its early stages, and far from habitable.

“[Steve and Will] didn’t even know there was a basement and all these tunnels down there,” Craft said. “When they sucked all the water out they found it and instantly thought ‘This would be an amazing hidden bar.’ When they approached me [about City Foundry] I think that was the first thing they showed me. We had to jump down into the tunnel back then. It was a very raw space.”

Craft said the end result has exceeded his expectations. “It’s luxurious and kind of comforting and it sort of instantly transports you to a different place,” he said. “I think that’s the greatest success for a restaurant or a bar, being able to take somebody out of their daily life.”

 While the space itself is stunning, the bar offerings are no less impressive. Curated by Niche Food Group Bar Manager Fionna Gemzon, the drinks at None Of The Above include custom house cocktails along with classics and a small list of beer, wine and zero-proof specialties. The inaugural originals list includes the Downpour (sumac vodka, allspice, saffron, grapefruit cordial and lemon), In the Mood for Love (black sesame rye, pimento dram, lemon, cumin and coriander) and Fallen Angels (chile crisp fat-washed tequila, Cynar, cassis, lime, and ginger beer). Traditional tipples like the French 75, available with gin or Cognac, Widow’s Kiss, with apple brandy, Strega, Benedictine liqueur, and Angostura Bitters, and the venerable Old-Fashioned, are also available. The plan is to expand the cocktail menu in the near future to offer upward of 30 selections.

The food menu consists of small bites like chilled smoked mussels served with sofrito, lemon and Wakame rye crackers, the charred scallion dip from the old Cinder House menu (served with kettle chips, with an optional caviar add-on at extra cost), candied ham and white cheddar popcorn, and marinated olives with citrus, fennel and fresh herbs. There isn’t a kitchen at None of the Above, so all of the items are designed to be served cold. The food will be prepped at Expat BBQ, another of Craft’s upcoming Foundry projects, and brought down to None of the Above for service, Craft said.

None of the Above will be open Thursday through Monday at 5 p.m. The last guests will be seated at midnight, with last call for drinks at 12:30 a.m. Guests can walk in or join the waitlist on Resy starting with the grand opening on Thursday, Dec. 14.