Niche, Pastaria by Niche Headed to Clayton's Centene Plaza

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Jennifer Silverberg
Chef Gerard Craft of Niche and its siblings
The worst-kept secret in local restaurant news is a secret no more: Gerard Craft and Centene Plaza announced this morning that Craft's flagship restaurant, Niche, will relocate from Benton Park to the Centene Plaza office tower at Hanley Road and Forsyth Boulevard in Clayton. Pastaria by Niche, Craft's previously announced new venture, will also open in Centene Plaza.

"[It's] a great opportunity, business-wise, to go into that building," Craft tells Gut Check. "We get to make some of the [desired] changes to our restaurant -- how we designed it, how many we sit."

Currently, Niche seats 42, plus a bar. The new Niche will seat 62, plus a bar.

"That's a really nice number," Craft says.

As to the menu at the "new" Niche, Craft explains that the format will be "familiar," though he cautions, "We're a restaurant in motion. We like to consistently evolve." Still, he says, "All of our regulars will be comfortable."

As Craft detailed when announcing Pastaria last summer, his new restaurant will feature rustic Italian cuisine: pastas, wood-oven pizzas and roasted meats. Pastaria will seat about 130, and it will be more family-focused than his previous ventures, which Craft believes makes Clayton the perfect fit. He notes, for example, the number of families that live in nearby University City, as he does with his wife and two daughters.

Craft acknowledges that some city boosters won't be happy about Niche's move to Clayton: "All I can say is that it's a great opportunity, and we really wanted to jump on it. Life's too short to have what-ifs.

"We still have two restaurants," he adds, referring to Central West End neighbors Brasserie by Niche and Taste. "It's not like I'm abandoning the city."
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What's more, Craft owns Niche's current building and plans to retain the space for the immediate future, using it as a production and butchering facility for his other restaurants.

Could it one day be home to the next restaurant in the Craft empire?

"I love the space," he admits, laughing. "We'll kind of see what happens."

Niche will remain open in Benton Park until the new location is ready to go in late spring. Look for Pastaria to open this summer.

Location Info

Taste

4584 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

Brasserie by Niche

4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, MO

Category: Restaurant

Niche

7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, MO

Category: Restaurant


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16 comments
mike
mike

As I walk by this new place daily it is in high foot traffic and will make more in a day probably then they use to do all week. Bottom line Clayton has more people with more money = higher revenue. So, in the end good decision. Believe it opens today think I will give it a shot.

Eyes Wide Open
Eyes Wide Open

This spoiled punk (grandma is Eileen Ford of the NYC modeling agency/grandpa was Pres of MOPAC Railroad) has paid a fortune to public relations firms to flood RFT and SAUCE with so much bs about what an artiste he is, that you don't realize he's a New Yorker (DC, anyway) who did a lot of research to pick STL as the place where the rubes were so green they would buy the hype and pay a fortune for "small plates" of pretentious shite.   His PR people actually pushed SAUCE to feature "best of the tatooed chefs", just to star their boy Gerard.  In fact, his public relations coup has been far more impressive than his food. I love to see the 1% being drained by one of their own.

Ircasha
Ircasha

His business and he can take it where ever he wants.  That being said, if it's in Clayton, I won't be going there (I go now a few times a month since its in the City, close, and very good)

Chris McKenzie
Chris McKenzie

I dont care if this guys is slinging shitcakes out the back of his rusted out 58 Buick - bet your ass that will be the best tasting shitcake you have ever had.  

Eileen Gannon
Eileen Gannon

I bet they'll love the "naughty vegetarian" in Clayton.  Stupid pizza for a stupid place.

Chris
Chris

I can't say I'm happy that he's moving to Clayton, but it's his business, and he can do whatever he wants.  I will welcome him back to the city whenever he's ready (and sick of all the assholes in Clayton).

JP
JP

What a shame. We are losing another great restaurant. I hate Clayton..will not patronize.

Leathersmart12
Leathersmart12

Accessories do compliment the looks, and leather made stuffs are just indispensable in that. Numerous brands haveexcelled in that, and getting them all under a single address is definitely the sought after one. RightShopping.in makes it possible, and www.rightshopping.in/leather/i... is the link to visit.

 

Guest
Guest

Well said JHL!

JHL
JHL

I cannot believe  the negative comments from Wooly and Guest, I wish the guy well. Gerard Craft  ( I wouldn't use the other stray terms)  has created three positive restaurant experiences for our community be   St. Louis City  or if they  move to Clayton . If you don't have something positive or negative to say about the restaurants ,  keep your opinions to yourself. (calling him names, and for the guy glad to see the valet parking leave. You are kidding right?, It   is a  complementary service,  so  sorry if it ticked ya off)  If you don't like the guy or his  restaurants  say it to him, but not here. Have you ever talked to Gerard? I would bet not....he is one of the most down to earth people. He geniunely wants people to enjoy coming to his restaurants. He obsesses over the little things and truly  cares, I wish everyone did, there would be less petty and snarky comments.  Show a lil respect, show a little class, so far I don't see either in some of these comments  and one  couldn't even get their sentence right. Yeah I read all your comments...so negative. Use your power of Free speech for good and you might live a happier and healthier life....you're liable to end up a curmudgeon. No one likes hanging out with that...not long term.  

Hey folks we can carry a chip on your shoulder about the City vs the County or you can do something about it. Ever tried to start a business in the City? ( might reconsider if you had to battle the redtape and hurdles). Ever realize it costs an extra percent to live here? All I am saying is, its not easy....and the guy should be applauded for doing whats right for his business. This maybe a good move for both City and County?

I live in the city for over 25 years, I dine at his restaurants and others, and yeah I go to the county too. YES,  I will be sad to see Niche leave Benton Park. Who says he doesn't do something different there? Taste moved to the CWE....but who says he won't put yet another restaurant in the current Niche space. Time will tell. In the interim I will still go, enjoy myself and encourage you to do the same.  I wish him well....so should you. Hope you haters ...."Have a Nice Day "!! ( yeah that probably pisses ya off too )      

Your best friend
Your best friend

That's the problem with St. Louis, innit? The culture's in the city, and the money's in the county. Perfect storm for this sort of pragmatically-minded disappointment. I can think of innumerable reasons to hang out in the general Benton Park area after a dinner at Niche, but any reason to hang out in downtown Clayton for anything but (selectively-chosen) dinner or buying a magazine from World News died when they closed Library Ltd.

Charlie
Charlie

Too bad. I was a regular visitor as Niche was within walking distance. I will not drive to Clayton.

Jason
Jason

Shhh...he's building an empire, one pretentious prick at a time.

Guest
Guest

Finally I don't have to deal with their valet parking bullsht.

Wooly
Wooly

What a asshole, go back to Salt Lake City Craft

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