damn fine hand pies photo by alexa beattie

Damn Fine Hand Pies is opening in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis this weekend

The brick-and-mortar version of Damn Fine Hand Pies at 4000 Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis seems set for opening soon. Here are the clues: The old Five Aces Bar-B-Que sign has been rudimentarily covered in (apparently rainproof!) butcher paper bearing the bakery’s name, and there are two mint picnic tables out front. A peep inside the window reveals some new kitchen equipment (giant Hobart mixer, rolling racks, et cetera) and five rather fine leathery stools at the bar. “This was a total buildout,” said Madeline Hissong who co-owns the bakery and cafe with business partner Gene Bailey.

The pair has been a fixture at Tower Grove Farmers’ Market since 2021 and quickly became known for, among many other things, their brown butter-glazed cake doughnuts. Up until now, all their baked goods have been prepared at a commissary kitchen in Maplewood. “It was tough,” Hissong said, going on to describe the prep for a typical market Saturday when they would bake through the night, often producing close to 1,000 individual items. While the new space means they will pause farmers market appearances for now, they're hoping to make a few appearances this year.

Hissong and Bailey signed the lease for this Shaw property at the end of September. Although they will continue to use the commissary kitchen in minor ways, this new space will allow them to blow out their operation significantly. In addition to all the old favorites – sausage and gravy pies, doughnuts and fritters and sandwiches – expect some new items. Some of them will roll out this coming Saturday, June 1, when Damn Fine Hand Pies hosts an opening bash from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the inside seating for five, another 20 seats will be available outside.

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