Seafood by Crushed Velvet Moving from Belleville to Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO/September 8, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – When Chef Jasmine Brooks opened a seafood restaurant in the heart of Belleville, local seafood lovers rejoiced! So naturally, many metro-east diners were saddened to learn that Brooks is moving her restaurant, Seafood by Crushed Velvet, to the St. Louis side of the Mississippi. The restaurant has already closed in preparation of the move. Belleville’s loss is St. Louis’ gain.
Seafood by Crushed Velvet opened at 121 East Main Street in Belleville in mid-May 2016, following a very successful stint as a vendor at Belleville’s Art on the Square. Brooks had actually rented the storefront on East Main just for the weekend of the fair, but was so well received she kept coming back weekend-after-weekend. The restaurant quickly gained a following for its fresh steamed crab, shrimp, and lobster tail, served in half and whole platters with corn on the cob, a boiled potato, sausage and a hard-boiled egg—all drizzled with a decadent garlic butter sauce. Another popular version of her platters adds a spicy kick with a generous sprinkling of Old Vienna Red Hot Riplets Seasoning. Brooks describes her food as a cross between Florida seafood and New Orleans style.
Over the past year or so, Brooks has been creating sumptuous seafood platters in the tiny kitchen of her restaurant. Every day, she made fresh crab cakes, gumbo and her signature garlic butter sauce from scratch in a prep area the size of a small home kitchen. The restaurant struggled with building maintenance issues since opening in the space. Some of the issues even forced Brooks to close her doors for a few days at a time, or offer only takeout orders. She cited those facility issues as one of the primary reasons she’s moving to a new location along Washington Avenue.
Brooks made the announcement on Facebook August 31st. She addressed her message to the customers and neighbors who’ve supported her Belleville endeavor:
“I’d like to take the time to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support in making Crushed Velvet a success over the past year and a half. I’m sad to announce that our Belleville location will be closing due to the building not being very accommodating for our setup.”
Brooks hasn’t given a specific address on Washington Avenue for the location of the new Seafood by Crushed Velvet, but she has indicated the new restaurant will have a larger kitchen, allowing her to expand the menu, and it will also feature a full bar. The Belleville location didn’t have a liquor license. Brooks said she anticipates opening the new restaurant in October. In the meantime, she plans to continue catering and will also do some pop up dinners on both sides of the river.
Brooks isn’t leaving Belleville entirely. She co-owns Scoops Ice Cream at 8205 West Main Street in Belleville (with business partner, Rayneshia Garrett) which opened earlier this summer offering a unique take on ice cream sundaes and milkshakes with mix ins and toppings from the cereal aisle.
In announcing Crushed Velvet’s move, Brooks also took the opportunity to thank those who supported her restaurant and to hint that she may be back. “I’d like to say a special thanks you (sic) to the city of Belleville and it’s residents for being so welcoming to us.,” she wrote. “We look forward to returning home to Belleville in the near future.” For now, metro east seafood lovers will have to watch the Seafood by Crushed Velvet Facebook page for pop up dinner announcements, and plan to drive into St. Louis for that signature Crushed Velvet seafood platter come October.