Category: Food

Jan 26

The Scoop: Snax Gastrobar to open in former J McArthur’s space

J McArthur’s An American Kitchen opened doors July 10 at 3500 Watson Road in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood.

{ The future home of Snax Gastrobar }

Arlene Maminta Browne and Stanley Browne have announced their first non-Robust Wine Bar concept: Snax Gastrobar, set to open in early March, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

As The Scoop reported last month, the Brownes, who own both locations of Robust Wine Bar in Webster Groves and downtown St. Louis, announced in December that they would open a new restaurant in the space that once housed J McArthur’s An American Kitchen at 3500 Watson Road. J McArthur’s shuttered on Dec. 31 after a year-and-a-half in business.

While the term “gastropub” often indicates a substantial beer list, Arlene Maminta Browne said “gastrobar” is intended to reflect not only a large beer selection, but plenty of wines and classic cocktails as well. “We were in Chicago and talking about this concept,” she said. “And the name just came into my head.”

Browne said Robust executive chef Joseph L. Hemp V will oversee the development of an “upscale, humble food” menu. “He loves fine dining, but he has a real passion for this type of food,” she said, adding that no specific menu items have been decided upon yet. Hemp also has an ownership stake in the new restaurant.

Browne said there will be approximately 45 seats inside the space, 50 seats on the enclosed patio in front of the building and 25 seats on the back patio. Though the space does require some décor changes, Browne said no major renovations are needed. Initially, Snax will only be open for dinner, but lunch service is a possibility. Browne said it’s possible that other Snax locations may open up around town if the concept proves popular.

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

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Jan 26

The Scoop: Fire breaks out at Giovanni’s on The Hill

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Giovanni’s On The Hill at 5201 Shaw Ave., was damaged by fire on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Co-owner Carmelo Gabriele said no one was hurt, but the building did suffer substantial damage.

Gabriele said the fire most likely started as a result of some electrical work being done on the restaurant’s second floor. He said that level sustained “extensive damage,” and there was also some smoke and water damage on the first floor, though the kitchen itself was untouched. Gabriele said initially he expects the restaurant to be closed approximately 60 days.

“Initially, it looks like it’ll cost more than $500,000 to get us up and running,” he said. He had no estimate as to when the second floor would reopen.

St. Louis fire department Captain Garon Patrick Mosby confirmed that investigators believe the fire was electrical in nature and accidental.

Gabriele said the company has insurance to help cover employees who will be out of work during the rebuilding, and the company is also working to find positions for them at its other restaurants, Giovanni’s Kitchen in Ladue and Il Bel Lago in Creve Coeur. “Our employees are covered. No one is going to be left out in the cold,” he said.

The restaurant was fully booked for Valentine’s Day, so Gabriele said he and the staff are in the process of contacting those customers and finding them reservations at other places. “We’re making this as easy as possible for our customers,” he said. “They’ve been so good to us for 44 years.”

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 11:15 a.m. Jan. 26 to include information from the St. Louis fire department. 

Photo by Allyson Mace

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Jan 25

The Scoop: White Rooster Farmhouse to open brewery in Sparta, IL

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White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery is set to start brewing in Sparta, Illinois, in the near future. Co-owner Mike Deutschmann said the brewery should be up and running at 113 W. Jackson St., this spring.

White Rooster will specialize in wood-aged beers in a variety of styles, including saisons, sours, stouts and barleywines. The name of the brewery is an homage to a certain white fowl that hung around while Deutschmann and his partners, Eric Ogilvie and Chris Van Horn, were doing some homebrewing at Ogilvie’s barn. He said it also references the rooster on the flag of Wallonia, a region of Belgium well known for its beers.

Deutschmann estimated he, Ogilvie and Van Horn have completed 75 percent of the construction at the brewery, which formerly housed a Kroger’s. The 7,500-square-foot building includes enough space for a two-barrel system, a cellar for barrel aging and a tasting room, which will have approximately 75 seats and feature some snack-type options, but not a full kitchen.

Deutschmann said initially the White Rooster Farmhouse will focus on bottling, with maybe a few kegs here and there, and all the offerings will be available through the brewery. He added that eventually the brewery might self-distribute on a limited basis in Illinois.

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Jan 25

The Scoop: Smokin’ Monkey food truck has closed

The Scoop: Smokin’ Monkey food truck has closed

January 25th 12:01pm, 2017

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The Smokin’ Monkey food truck, which specialized in “barbecue with a tropical twist,” is officially off the road.

“It was just time,” said co-owner Kimberly Patterson. “The market is oversaturated. There are a million food trucks now, and people aren’t as excited about it as they used to be.”

Patterson said she and her husband and business partner, Kyle Patterson, who also works in the kitchen at Boundary, will still maintain the business and may do some catering. The Pattersons plan to sell the truck, which they’ve operated since 2013. Patterson said they might revisit the food truck concept in the future or possibly a brick-and-mortar location.

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Jan 25

The Scoop: James Beard Foundation declares Gioia’s Deli an American Classic

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The James Beard Foundation has announced the five recipients of its 2017 America’s Classics award, and one of St. Louis’ longtime favorites has landed on the list. Gioia’s Deli is the first St. Louis restaurant to receive the honor since the award’s inception in 1998.

“It’s a whirlwind. It’s been crazy,” said co-owner Alex Donley. He received news of the event late last year. “I was sitting in a movie theater with my daughter, and I got this call from New York. I just ignored it. I thought it was someone wanting money or something.”

Gioia’s Deli opened in 1918 and began life as a grocery store. The Gioia family sold the deli to the Donley family in 1980, when it began a second incarnation as a lunch spot famous for its Hot Salami sandwich. The Gioia’s food truck debuted in 2014, and a second location opened downtown, with the same menu as the original restaurant, last year.

To qualify for the award, restaurants have to have been in business for at least 10 years and be locally owned. The America’s Classic award honors restaurants that restaurants that “have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community,” according to the announcement from the James Beard Foundation.

“In an ever-changing culinary landscape, these honorees have created enduring restaurants and food establishments that have not only stood the test of time, but continue to bring people together in celebration of the unique flavors in America’s vast food scene,” Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, said in the announcement.

Donley said he’s ready for a bump in business once word of the award gets out. “We’re so excited,” he said. “We’re preparing for the storm and making sure the lines won’t be too long.”

The other awardees include La Taqueria in San Francisco; Sahadi’s in Brooklyn; Schultz’s Crab House in Essex, Maryland; and Bertha’s Kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina. Gioia’s Deli and the rest of this year’s winners will be recognized on Monday, May 1 at the James Beard Foundation Awards Gala in Chicago.

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Jan 24

The Scoop: Kakao wins third Good Food Award

The Scoop: Kakao wins third Good Food Award

January 24th 02:01pm, 2017

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The annual Good Food Awards were announced Jan. 20, and area chocolatier Kakao Chocolate has earned top honors in the confections category with its Norton Pâtés du Vin, a fruit gel made with Augusta Winery’s Norton.

The Good Food Awards are given each year to producers who “push their industries towards craftsmanship and sustainability while enhancing our agricultural landscape and building strong communities,” according to the nonprofit’s website.

Owner Brian Pelletier said this award, Kakao’s third in four years, is especially meaningful. “That was really important to me, personally, because it told everyone that this isn’t a cake walk, that every year it gets tougher, that we have to keep our game up,” he said.

Pelletier said he was also proud to win with a Missouri Norton. “We do everything we can do locally to support the economy, but also because there’s great stuff around here,” he said. “I’m in California right now for the award in the middle of wine country, and to be able to say there’s a lot of great wine in Missouri is really fun.”

Other Missouri winners include Patric Chocolate of Columbia, Springfield’s Askinosie Chocolate and Kansas City Canning Co.

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Jan 20

The Scoop: Katie’s Pizza & Pasta to open Town & Country location

The Scoop: Katie’s Pizza & Pasta to open Town & Country location

January 20th 04:01pm, 2017

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Katie and Ted Collier, owners of Katie’s Pizza & Pasta, will take their popular concept west. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, the duo will open a second Katie’s location at 14173 Clayton Road in Town & Country.

Katie Collier said the space, which once housed Einstein Bros. Bagels and the adjacent storefront, will undergo a complete gut rehab. The end result will be approximately 1,000 square feet larger than the Rock Hill location with seating for around 100 inside and 40 seats on the soon-to-be-built patio.

The Colliers spent two years searching for just the right spot. Collier said there were many reasons the Town & Country location was attractive, including plenty of parking, a lack of other pizza and pasta places and a thriving restaurant community.

“The area has a lot of great restaurants that do really well,” she said. “We thought we would be a good complement to them.”

The restaurant will have the same seasonal focus and share the same menu as the Rock Hill location. Collier said she hopes for a late spring or early summer opening.

Editor’s Note: This post originally incorrectly reported the new location’s address. It was updated at 10:15 a.m. Jan. 23 to correct the error. 

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