Tag - STL Restaurant News

Southside Favorite, Iron Barley Moving to Jefferson County

Southside Favorite, Iron Barley Moving to Jefferson County

Carondelet Comfort Food Purveyors, Iron Barley Heading South to Jefferson County

St. Louis, MO/June 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – South St. Louis is losing a favorite restaurant and some valued members of the community.  Tom and Gen Coghill have announced that they’re moving Iron Barley, An Eating Establishment from its current home in Carondelet to Jefferson County.  The Coghills made the announcement on their Facebook page on Friday (June 9,2017).  The Coghills said they have been looking for a larger place for the past two years because the current restaurant and party space at 5510 Virginia Ave. in south St. Louis has prevented them from accommodating larger parties and private events.  Their Facebook announcement read in part:

On May 25th we closed on a new property in High Ridge Mo.  We have been looking for a larger place for over two years and believe we have found it!  Three times the size of our current location and 70 plus parking slots.”

It went on to say:

Fourteen years ago we poured our hearts and souls into the Iron Barley steadily investing back into the business to help us serve you better.  Fourteen years ago we were told ‘you can’t do that the neighborhood will never support you.’  We have proven them wrong.  A lot of great friendships have been made, many of which we feel to be our second families.”

The Coghills opened their restaurant at 5510 Virginia Ave. in south St. Louis in 2003, offering American food with a definite German influence.  Besides burgers on pretzel buns, prime rib, and smoked salmon, diners flock in for the klops (mini German-style meatballs) schnitzel (breaded pork tenderloin), and spaetzle (hearty, German-style noodles).  Besides amazing food and service, Iron Barley is also known for their dedication to craft beer, bourbon and whiskey.

But Iron Barley was much more than “an Eating Establishment” for the community surrounding it.  The restaurant and its owners were “go-to” sources for community service.  In 2016, Iron Barley was one of just three Missouri restaurants to receive the state Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award—honoring restaurants that give back to their communities.  And this local eatery had a real impact on its neighbors.  Iron Barley’ annual Tomato Fest has raised money for the Lift For Life Gym for more than 10 years.  The Tom Hall Guitar and Resophonic Extravaganzas, which began to aid a single musician, have become annual fundraisers benefiting the music program at St. Frances Cabrini Academy, as well as Lift for Life Gym and Six String Heroes, a volunteer group that teaches returning combat veterans how to play the guitar.  Their annual Memorial Day Rib Fest raises money for organizations like the USO and Fisher House, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers undergoing medical treatment.  They’re also regular sponsors for events benefiting local neighborhood, civic, and business associations, veterans’ services, 9/11 memorial events, etc.

The Coghills say the plan is to keep the current Iron Barley location in Carondelet open through mid-August.  Then in mid-September, they’re hoping to open the new Iron Barley’s High Hog Ridge at 3367 High Ridge Blvd, in High Ridge.  It has not yet been determined who, if anyone, will occupied the premises once the Carondelet Iron Barley has closed.  The Coghill’s say they’re currently looking for someone to “breathe new life” into the Virginia Ave. location.  And so neighbors must wait to learn what comes next.  Whatever it is, South St. Louis will miss the Coghills and Iron Barley.

Tour de Fat Will Bring Beer, Music & Merriment to Soulard

Tour de Fat Will Bring Beer, Music & Merriment to Soulard

Annual Festival Will Raise Money for Soulard Preservationists

St. Louis, MO/May 31, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – St. Louis music and beer lovers are getting ready for one of the more unique beer-music festivals of the year, the Tour de Fat beer, music, and bike festival.  The annual multi-city event is part concert, part beer festival, and part cirque and fundraiser, created by New Belgium Brewing and named for its popular Fat Tire Belgian Style Ale.  The festival features a variety of performers, performance art, bicycles, beer, and costumed revelers.

The traveling philanthropic festival will come to St. Louis on June 10th as part of its 33-city 2017 season.  Dozens of nationally-known bands and performers will be perform in different cities across America.  Nick Waterhouse will headline the festival in St. Louis.  In addition to the headline act, a touring ensemble of artists, cirque performers, and others will appear alongside local street performers. St. Louis audiences can expect to see some vaudeville acts, magicians, comedians, and the like.  Costumes are highly encouraged at this raucous party.

Since its inception in 2000, the Tour de Fat has partnered with local nonprofits in the host cities.  The tour, put on by New Belgium Brewing, has raised more than $4.5 million to support local causes.  In St. Louis, Tour de Fat will benefit the Soulard Restoration Group.  A 501c3 non-profit, all-volunteer community organization, the Soulard Restoration Group is dedicated to fostering community improvement, civic pride, encouraging restoration, beautification, and reestablishment of public areas in the Soulard Historic District.

The 2017 Tour de Fat St. Louis will be June 10th from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Soulard Market Park, 730 Carroll Street, St. Louis.  Tickets are available online through the Tour de Fat website (http://www.newbelgium.com/events/tour-de-fat/city/st-louis), but they can also be purchased on the day of the event.  The box office will open at noon. General admission tickets, as well as those for ADA patrons are $25.  Tour de Fat is a fully accessible event, fully navigable for people with mobility disabilities.  Accessible viewing areas will be made available to ADA patrons who may need to see above the crowd.  Tour de Fat St. Louis is an all-ages show. Kids 12 and under are free!

June is Promising New Eats for St. Louis Diners

June is Promising New Eats for St. Louis Diners – STLRestaurant.News

New STL Restaurants and Breweries Opening in June – New Eats

St. Louis, MO/May 25, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) New Eats – As we wind our way into the unofficial start of summer in St. Louis, we can look forward to long days, warm weather, summer festivals, and several new restaurants!  June is historically a month of new beginnings, so restaurant openings seem all too appropriate.  And this year, June delivers the goods.  There will be new things to eat and drink, and terrific new places to enjoy them.

The King is about to be resurrected—the long-closed St. Louis restaurant King Louie, that is.  Matt McGuire, former director of service for Gerard Craft’s Niche Food Group, is in the process of bringing back his much-loved restaurant, now simply dubbed Louie.  The new 2,800 square foot eatery will occupy a portion of the shuttered Jimmy’s on the Park, at 706B DeMun Avenue in Clayton.  The esteemed King Louie had been known for sensational food and service.  The menu still isn’t set for this new Louie, but diners should expect Italian and French influenced American cuisine.  McGuire has said he’s hoping the new Louie will become a DeMun neighborhood mainstay, rather than a destination restaurant.  Louie is expected to open in June, but no date has been set.  There’s no website yet either.

A new craft beer and hockey bar is soon to open in Midtown St. Louis.  Work is underway to get Center Ice Brewery at 120 Olive Blvd. up and running by mid to late June.  The hockey-focused brewery is the brainchild of St. Louis entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Albers, who founded two hockey tournaments to benefit Shutout Autism, playfully dubbed the Frozen Cup and the Melted Cup.  Before developing his own brews for Center Ice Brewery, Albers spent three years brewing with friends under the name Hat Trick Brewing.  Center Ice Brewing will be primarily a brewery and tasting room with 12 – 18 taps and 60 or more seats.  Since the brewery is right next door to Pappy’s Smokehouse and Southern, Albers doesn’t plan to make food.  Instead, guests will be able to order food in from the neighboring restaurants to enjoy with his beers.  Center Ice’s core beers will include Center Ice American Golden, Hop Shelf IPA, Puck O’ the Irish stout, and Raspberry Picker.  Albers has been video blogging the development of Center Ice Brewery on Youtube:

Steve Albers walks you through the latest developments and installations at Center Ice Brewery as he works to open his Midtown establishment by late June.

Taco Buddha is expected to open late next month at 7405 Pershing Avenue (Pershing and Jackson) in University City.  This taco-fusion spot will offer counter service with seating for 25 inside and another two-dozen or so outside.  There will be a taco-focused menu.  The plan is to offer all sorts of food stuffed into a taco shell.  There will be everything from Asian influenced chicken tandoori tacos to Texas-style breakfast tacos.  Taco Buddha was the name Kurt Eller used for his catering truck.  He and partner Erin McCracken will use it for their new brick-and-mortar restaurant too.  The new taco joint will make use of the unused kitchen behind Cursed Bikes & Coffee (which sells coffee, smoothies, and pastries, so doesn’t use a kitchen).  Initially, Taco Buddha will be open Thursday – Friday for breakfast and lunch, and Saturday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Owners Kurt Eller and Erin McCracken plan to extend the restaurant’s hours to six days a week by October.  Eventually, they plan to apply for a full liquor license, making their little taco joint a hangout destination.

With longer days and shorter nights, plus new local restaurants, June is looking like a great month of beginnings for St. Louis diners.  Yay us!

Lesters Sports Bar & Grill in Ladue

Lesters Sports Bar & Grill in Ladue

Ladue’s First-Class Sports Bar & Grill is Lesters Sports Bar

Ladue, MO/May 10, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Lesters Sports Bar & Grill – It’s rare to find a restaurant that splits its efforts on two or more fronts and does both well.  Most restaurants that try to be sports bars fall short on either the food, service, sports environment, or some combination of these elements.  Lesters Sports Bar & Grill at 9906 Clayton Road in Ladue is that rare exception.  St. Louis businessman Lester Miller opened Lester’s in 2007 as both a comfortable, family-friendly restaurant, and an A-class sports bar.  Their motto is simple and appropriate: “Lesters is a sports bar that serves great food, or a restaurant that serves up sports.”  It does both well.

Miller was friends with St. Louis baseball legend Stan Musial, and a bronze statue of “The Man” greets customers as they enter.  The division between the large, upscale bar and the even larger dining room make this a family-friendly place for a meal as well as a great spot to meet friends for drinks after work, or to cheer on your favorite team.  Unlike some sports bar/restaurant combos, Lester’s doesn’t skimp on the sports environment in the dining room or the food at the bar.  That means whichever side of the place you’re on–the bar or dining room—you can enjoy your favorite sport and a great meal.

The HD TV system at Lesters is well planned, with enough screens (more than 60) that at least one flat screen can be easily seen from every seat in the house.  As a bonus, there’s a really special audio system.  It allows those seated in a booth to tune the personal audio controls to the flat screen of their choice.  When is the last time you got to watch and hear the big game, at the volume you want, while enjoying a great meal at a first-class sports bar?

As if that wasn’t enough, Lesters has a beautiful brick patio lined with comfortable, umbrellaed tables.  The landscaping allows diners to sit surrounded by greenery, even though they are just steps from the parking lot.

The menu at Lesters is also a divided affair.  The restaurant is part East Coast deli and part barbecue joint, with slow-smoked meats and deli-style sandwiches sharing the headlines on the comfort-food menu.  There are appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and desserts.  One of the favorite apps are the Onion Rings.  They’re served with an ancho chile ranch dipping sauce that is a creamy, flavorful foil to the crispy, beer battered rings.  The apps menu also includes three different kinds of sliders: classic cheeseburgers, deli style on mini rye bread, or BBQ.

The star of the menu may be the beef brisket.  Brisket is a cut of meat offering tons of flavor—if done right.  But when it’s done wrong, it can be dry and tough and almost impossible to chew.  Lester’s knows how to do beef brisket.  Theirs is melt-in-your-mouth tender. Seriously.  It’s perfectly cooked and sliced so that it’s succulent and delicious, whether you have it on a slider, on a salad, or on a sandwich.  The baby back ribs are slow-smoked (4 ½ hours) so that they’re fall-off-the-bone tender.  Diners also love the house-smoked, St. Louis style pork steak.  It’s glazed with a sweet-smoky BBQ sauce, and at 16-ounces, it satisfies even the heartiest of appetites.  The pulled pork sandwich is both generous and delicious.  Lester’s smoked half-chicken comes with a delicious pineapple rum BBQ glaze and three sides.  You can also get smoked chicken on the pulled chicken sandwich or atop a BBQ salad. There’s also a nice kids’ menu.

Lester’s kitchen doesn’t use shortcuts.  You won’t find frozen French fries or bottled salad dressing.  Everything is made from scratch, right there in-house.  They make their own salad dressings and brine their own meats before applewood smoking them.  The pastrami and corned beef for the gargantuan New York-style deli sandwiches are cured in-house.  The half-pound burger are made from Certified Black Angus beef, cooked to order and topped with everything from sweet BBQ sauce and onion straws to avocado and pico de gallo.  All of the sides and desserts are made fresh daily too.  And you will want to leave room for dessert.  The St. Louis style gooey butter cake is served warm.  As is the apple pie with caramel sauce.  Or have a warm brownie with ice cream topped with chocolate and caramel sauces.  Yum.

The restaurant is open Monday – Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Lester’s offers a weekday happy hour with drink and app specials from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, as well as a late night happy hour Monday – Saturday from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Lester’s has a full bar, with an ample beer and wine selection.  The draft lineup includes brews from Schlafly, Sam Adams, Four Hands, Angry Orchard, O’Fallon, Guinness, Budweiser, Blue Moon, Goose Island, Boulevard, and others.  Bottled choices include Amstel, Heineken, Corona, Fat Tire, Michelob, New Castle, and Kraftig.  The wine choices are all Californian, from familiar named vintners like Robert Mondavi, Sebastiani, Rex Goliath, Kendall Jackson, and others.  This isn’t the place you go to discover a new craft IPA or exceptional French wine.  Lester’s is the kind of place you go when you want food, drink, and ambiance that is reliably first rate.  At that, Lester’s excels.

Contact Information:

Lesters Sports Bar & Grill
Owner: Lester Miller
Managing Partner: Pedro Beltranena
Executive Chef: Tim Miller
9906 Clayton Road, Suite B
Ladue, MO 63124
Phone: (314) 994-0055

http://lestersrestaurant.com/

Primary Contact is Pedro Beltranena: pbeltranena@lestersrestaurant.com
Executive Chef Tim Miller: tmiller@lestersrestaurant.com

Delicious Things are Planned for New CWE Bissingers

Delicious Things are Planned for New CWE Bissingers

Bissingers Chocolatier to Open CWE Handcrafted Cafe

St. Louis, MO/May 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It was a sad day for St. Louis’ chocolate lovers when Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier closed their award-winning Maryland Plaza location.  The sleek, modern dessert bar offered visitors confections that included indulgent desserts, liqueurs served in chocolate cups, and those handcrafted chocolates too.  But there is light at the end of this dark, chocolate-less tunnel.  Bissinger’s is planning to reopen at 32 Maryland Plaza in St. Louis’ Central West End next month as Handcrafted by Bissinger’s.  The newly renovated establishment will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner—and of course, Bissinger’s delectable chocolates too!

When the new Handcrafted by Bissinger’s in the Central West End opens in June, it’ll operate in collaboration with Bissinger’s sister company, 23 City Blocks Catering.  Led by Executive Chef Nicholas Miller, this is the catering team behind Bissinger’s premiere event venue, The Caramel Room at Bissinger’s Chocolate Factory, 1600 North Broadway in downtown St. Louis.  Chef Miller and his team specialize in infusing chocolate into the menu for a wide variety of special occasions.  Now, they’re creating a menu just for the chocolate company’s new restaurant.

The newly remodeled Central West End Bissinger’s will offer breakfast, lunch, and light dinners.  Breakfast offerings will include quiche (including vegan and gluten-free varieties), pastries, homemade granola, yogurt parfaits, and breakfast breads. There will also be plenty of coffee and coffee beverages.  Patrons will find many of the coffee drinks that had been popular at the Maryland Plaza Bissinger’s before it closed.  Lunch customers will be able to get salads, sandwiches, and soups—including Chef Miller’s signature French onion soup.  Dinner will feature light meal options and smaller dishes.  Look for cheese and charcuterie, fig spread, and flat breads. Bissinger’s award-winning chocolates will be available all day.

Besides the chocolate factory downtown, and the soon-to-open Handcrafted by Bissinger’s at Maryland Plaza in the Central West End, the chocolatier has a retail location at Plaza Frontenac (97 Plaza Frontenac, St. Louis, Missouri 63131, 314-432-1329).  Bissinger’s confections can also be purchased online, through catalogs, and from gourmet retailers including: Whole Foods Market, Straub’s, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, and Dillard’s.

For St. Louis chocolate lovers who’ve long-dreamt of eating chocolate morning, noon, and night—the dream is about to come true.  Yay!

Walnut Grill Restaurant Replacing Sunset Hill’s Ruby Tuesday Location

Walnut Grill Restaurant Replacing Sunset Hill’s Ruby Tuesday Location

Popular Walnut Grill Restaurant Concept Coming to Sunset Hill’s

ST. LOUIS, MO/May 5, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Although some of the neighborhood may still be lamenting the closing of the Sunset Hill’s Ruby Tuesday last year, most will be excited to hear the news that they will soon have their very own Walnut Grill.  The popular Pittsburg based restaurant chain recently announced they plan to open shop in mid-July.

The company is investing close to $1.4 million into opening a 6,200-square-foot restaurant at 10797 Sunset Hills Plaza.  “When we came to the market, South County was on our map.   We love the business district and accessibility to highways,” says Kirk Vogel, President of Walnut Grill Holdings.

The Walnut Grill concept began in 1999 when four friends joined together with a common goal; their desire to create a full-service restaurant with a local feel that was inviting to their guests and served outstanding food and beverages.  In the last few years, Walnut Grill’s casual dining concept has continued to grow in popularity.

In 2014, St. Charles-based Vinery Restaurant Group purchased 40% ownership.  Owner Vogel’s brother, Erik Vogel, as well as Erik’s brother-in-law Stephen Baker, are principals of Vinery and oversee the two other St. Louis restaurants, one in Ellisville at 1386 Clarkson-Clayton Center, and the other in O’Fallon, Missouri at 4401 Highway K. Vinery currently owns four locations in Pennsylvania.

Sansone Group owns the property, as well as, all of the Plaza and Shoppes at Sunset Hills.  John Miller Construction is the general contractor on the restaurant development project.  Vogel says they will be hiring more than 75 employees for the opening and management of the new restaurant in the Sunset Hills location.

Stay tuned… this will be the restaurant group’s third location in the St. Louis area, with two more restaurants in the pipeline.

___

Source: STLRealEstate.News

Cinco De Mayo 2017: A Cherokee Street Festival

Cinco De Mayo 2017: A Cherokee Street Festival

Cherokee Street’s Celebration of Art, Culture, and Community – Cinco De Mayo 2017

St. Louis, MO/May 4, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, denotes a relatively minor holiday in Mexico.  It marks the Mexican army’s 1862 defeat of France in the Battle of Puebla, an early battle in the Franco-Mexican War (1861–1867).  In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has grown into a celebration of Mexican culture—the art, the music, and of course, the food!  After feeling like a cast member in a reproduction of Noah’s Ark, it appears the sun may come out just in time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in St. Louis.

The region’s biggest annual Cinco de Mayo festivals takes place along Cherokee Street.  The annual street party draws more than 50,000 people to Cherokee Street in celebration of the rich culture and artistic community of this Southside neighborhood.  Now in its 15th year, the 2017 festival is set for Saturday, May 6th from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  The day-long, family-friendly festival will shut down Cherokee Street between Nebraska and South Jefferson Avenues.

The festival has grown into a huge multicultural celebration under the stewardship of the Cherokee Street Development League, a 501C3 nonprofit organization aimed at promoting the arts, culture and creative innovation on Cherokee Street.  The group has worked with local arts and youth organizations, as well as the St. Louis Public Schools, to provide a variety of free artistic activities for kids and families at the festival.  The St. Louis Public Schools Kids Zone will feature a water slide, bouncy houses, and interactive games.  The Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis Language Immersion Schools, Artscope, and Justice Fleet will provide a variety of kid’s art making activities.

Festivalgoers will also find Cherokee Street packed with authentic food, drinks, music, and entertainment representing the diverse talents and multicultural backgrounds of the artists and residents that are a part of the surrounding community—more than 100 vendors in all.  There will be three stages offering a variety of live musical performances all day long, plus pro wrestling exhibitions (from Dynamo Pro Wrestling), mariachi, bull riding, giant jenga, a piñata, and more.

At 1:11 p.m. the jovial People’s Joy Parade steps off at Minnesota Ave. and Cherokee Street, winding its way through the Benton Park neighborhood before ending at Cherokee and Texas Ave.  The parade is an annual hodgepodge of crepe paper floats, homemade costumes, dancers, gigante puppeteers, Elvis impersonators, art cars, bike brigades, moving installation artists, drag queens, marching bands, Mexican wrestlers, and anyone else wanting to participate.  There’s no other parade in St. Louis, or anywhere, quite like it!

Free street parking is available in the surrounding neighborhood.  Handicapped parking will be along Cherokee Street, east of South Jefferson Avenue.  Although security at the event has traditionally been quite good, attendees are reminded not to leave valuables visible in their cars.  Outside food, and beverages (including wine, beer, and spirits) are not permitted on festival grounds.  And attendees are asked to leave pets (other than trained service animals) at home.

Cinco De Mayo 2017: A Cherokee Street Festival is free and open to the public (those under 15 must be accompanied by an adult).  It’s a day to celebrate the rich diversity of this south city neighborhood with a nod to Mexico’s long-ago victory over France.  With the sunny forecast for Saturday, this Cinco party promises a day of music, food, mariachis, bull riding, and lucha libre along Cherokee Street.  And then there’s the food! Authentic, fresh Mexican street food, terrific tacos, tortas, tamales, fresh corn on the cob, licuados, sopes, and more.  It’s St. Louis’ gran fiesta for Cinco De Mayos!

More Information:

Cherokee Street Development League
3407 South Jefferson, Suite 515
St. Louis, MO 63118
info@cincodemayostl.com
(314) 632-­6498

Recent Losses in St. Louis’ Restaurant Landscape

Recent Losses in St. Louis’ Restaurant Landscape

Two Closings and A Death in the STL Restaurant Landscape

St. Louis, MO/May 4, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Loss is hard in any industry.  In the close-knit culinary world, it sometimes seems more personal.  Perhaps that is telling of the razor’s edge difference between success and failure in the restaurant industry—the reminder that as many factors contribute to a restaurant’s failure, as to its success.  It is an industry that is at once acutely competitive and yet, exceedingly warm and hospitable.  St. Louis’ culinary community is no exception to this mix of camaraderie and rivalry.  So it’s always a little sad when we have to report on closures and losses in our hospitality community.

It was a shock to the St. Louis culinary scene when we learned that an acclaimed South City restaurant had suddenly closed.  Grapeseed at 5400 Nottingham in the city’s Southampton neighborhood closed at the end of business on Sunday, April 30.  Chef Ben Anderson isn’t saying what he’ll do next, just that he’s exploring a new opportunity outside of St. Louis.  On Facebook Chef Anderson thanked his customers and SOHA neighbors writing: “After a successful run, we have closed grapeseed to be able to take advantage of opportunities outside the area.  We have enjoyed our wonderful location in SOHA and will miss both our customers and this great area of the city.”

We also said goodbye to longtime St. Louis Chef Thomas R. Elkin, CEC, AAC. He died of a heart attack April 28, 2017 at the age of 65.  Following a 33-year career as Executive Chef at the prestigious Bogey Golf Club in Ladue, Chef Elkin went on to teach culinary arts students at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park—a post he held at the time of his death.  As an instructor, Elkin received accolades for his inspirational work, including the 2016 Hermann G. Rusch Chef’s Achievement Award (Central Region) from the American Culinary Federation.  The award honors chefs who have demonstrated the highest level of commitment to both ACF and the culinary profession and have advanced the culinary profession and ensured the enrichment of students and others in the culinary profession.  Chef Elkin is survived by his sons Thomas Elkin II and Tony Elkin.

St. Louis-based Strange Donuts has closed its Columbia, Missouri location.  The doughnut chain had shared the 1020 E. Broadway location with Seoul Taco since 2015.  Seoul Taco will remain open.  On the Strange Doughnuts Facebook page company officials cited a drop in enrollment at the University of Missouri as one of the primary reasons they chose they’re leaving Columba.  Freshmen enrollment at Mizzou declined by about 20-percent for the 2016-17 school year.  The post read in part, “We are planning some huge things for Strange and need the energy elsewhere.”  Strange Doughnut locations in Maplewood and Kirkwood will remain open.

The St. Louis Art Museum will end dinner service at its visually stunning Panorama Restaurant.  The high-end restaurant in the museum’s East Building which has struggled since opening in 2013, only offers dinner on Friday nights.  The St. Louis Art Museum Board of Commissioners have announced evening meal service will end May 19, 2017.  The change is expected to save an estimated $141,000 annually, bringing the museum’s food services closer to breaking even.  The Palo Alto, California-based Bon Appétit Management Company provides all of the food services for the museum, including operating Panorama.  The upscale restaurant will remain open for lunch Tuesday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., and Saturday – Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  More changes could be coming after an assessment of museum food operations is completed later this summer.

Third Time’s a Charm for STL’s Newest James Beard Winner

Third Time’s a Charm for STL’s Newest James Beard Winner

James Beard Foundation Honors Chef Kevin Nashan

St. Louis, MO/May 3, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It’s always an honor for the whole St. Louis community when one of our own receives national recognition.  And so, it is with no small amount of pride that we report that Chef Kevin Nashan is the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef: Midwest Award winner for 2017.  The winners were announced at a gala at Chicago’s Lyric Opera Monday night.  It was Nashan’s third trip to the finals.  He was a finalist in 2014 and 2016 as well. Nashan is the owner and Executive Chef of two acclaimed Benton Park restaurants, Sidney Street Cafe (2000 Sidney Street) and Peacemaker Lobster and Crab (1831 Sidney Street) in South St. Louis.  The award is in recognition of his work at Sidney Street Cafe.

This year, both Nashan and Farmhaus’ Kevin Willmann were repeat finalists.  Nashan is the second St. Louis chef to win JBF Best Chef: Midwest Award.  In 2015, Gerard Craft (Niche, Pastaria, Sardella) won the JBF Best Chef: Midwest Award for his work at the now-closed Niche.  Craft was the first chef in the city to win.  Once a chef has won the Best Chef award for their region, they aren’t eligible to compete for the award again.  Only time will tell if Willmann will follow in Craft’s and Nashan’s footsteps.

In January of this year, the James Beard Foundation also honored Gioia’s Deli (1934 Macklind Ave, St. Louis) with a 2017 America’s Classics Award.  This JBF award recognizes regional restaurants distinguished by their timeless appeal, and quality food that reflects the character of their communities.

A peek at the 2017 James Beard Awards Gala at Lyric Opera, Chicago, May 1st.  Many consider the awards to be “the Oscars” of the hospitality industry.

The mission of the James Beard Foundation is to inspire and encourage the restaurants, chefs and other food and hospitality industry innovators who are bringing America’s diverse food culture to tables across the country.  The JBF Awards were established in 1990 to acknowledge culinary achievements.  The awards are regarded as one of the very highest levels of recognition in the culinary industry.  And it is with that in mind that we at STL Restaurant News offer our heartfelt congratulations to Kevin Nashan for his high achievement.

See a full list of this year’s James Beard Foundation Award winners here: https://www.jamesbeard.org/blog/the-2017-james-beard-award-winners

Another Potential Bidder Eying Panera Buyout

Another Potential Bidder Eying Panera Buyout

Burger King Parent Said to be Exploring Options

St. Louis, MO/April 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – The story that St. Louis-based Panera Bread is going to be purchased by an out of town entity just got a lot more complicated.  Last Tuesday we reported on the rumors that the bakery-cafe chain was going to be bought out by an outside firm.  The next day, we had learned that JAB Holding Company, Krispy Kreme’s parent, had reached a $7 billion deal to buy the company.  The terms of the deal had JAB paying Panera stockholders $315 per share, and assuming $340 million in debt.

But now it seems there is a new bidder interested in buying Panera.  The Warren Buffett-backed private equity firm 3G Capital, based in Brazil, is reportedly exploring the possibility of making a competing bid for Panera Bread.  The New York Post (http://nypost.com/2017/04/10/buffett-backed-firm-interested-in-bid-for-panera-bread-sources/) cites unnamed “a source close to the situation” in its report that 3G, which owns Burger King and Tim Hortons and just entered a purchase agreement with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, has hired investment bank Lazard to study the possibility of a bid for Panera.

The move isn’t unusual in itself, but would represent a new strategy by 3G, since the Brazilian firm has worked with JAB Holdings in the past—both firms have invested in each other’s past deals, according to the Post.  The history of the two private equity firms has a somewhat symbiotic relationship.  JAB Chief Executive Olivier Goudet is also chair of 3G’s Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Each PE would bring something a little different to Panera’s table. Luxembourg-based JAB owns Keurig Green Mountain, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  If they prevail in the purchase, it’s expected that they would offer Peet’s and Caribou products inside Panera’s bakery-cafes.  There is speculation that 3G would use Panera to expand its Tim Horton presence beyond Canada, and in doing so bolster Panera’s breakfast business.

That deal JAB had struck with Panera had been expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.  It’s not clear now if 3G’s interest in the St. Louis-based company will delay a sale, nor how long that delay would last.  Any offer from 3G would need to be substantially better than JAB’s current deal, since that agreement carries a $215 million, or three-percent termination fee if Panera backs out to take a better offer.