Milque Toast Bar to Bring Gourmet Toast to McKinley Heights

Categories: Restaurant News

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The future Milque Toast Bar. | Google Street View

Toast is one of the simplest dishes. It's one step away from a plain slice of bread, but somehow it's the perfect vehicle for so many delicious things: melt-in-your-mouth butter, peach compote, avocado, Nutella. Chef Colleen Clawson is taking it up a notch with her upcoming cafe Milque Toast Bar at 2212 South Jefferson Avenue. Yep -- as in gourmet toast.

See also: The Chefs of Iron Fork 2014: Colleen Clawson, Standard Fare

"I live in McKinley Heights in between Lafayette Square and Benton Park, and our neighborhood is kind of under redevelopment right now. There's a lot of really neat stuff happening like Peat [Wollaeger]'s studio and South Jefferson Mid Century Modern [furniture]," Clawson tells us. "I went, 'Hey, let's sell a milk and toast bar, because you can't get coffee or a snack in our neighborhood.' There's nowhere to walk to -- we have to go a different neighborhood to find something."

Clawson and her partners also decided that they didn't want to try to compete with places that are already hitting it out of the park in south city, like Sump Coffee or Park Avenue Coffee. Milque Toast is completely different and new.

"[The menu is] literally toast -- all different kinds of breads, gluten-free stuff, artisanal jams and jellies, flavored butters," Clawson says. "The lunch menu is going to be like this nostalgic thing that hopefully resonates with people's childhood, like cinnamon toast, Nutella toast, toast fried in butter and dipped in powdered sugar, plus a lot of savory options."

Milque Toast will also make its own flavored milk along with nut milk and grain milk. Clawson says its goal is to keep everything sourced from within 50 miles of St. Louis and use things from the local community as much as possible.

"The closest thing is seriously McDonald's! Instead, you can come get something wholesome and nutritious and that gives right back to your community," she says. "It's really super simple and not too fussy but still unique."

The name, which Clawson also says is the overriding concept of Milque Toast Bar, comes from a quote by famous food writer M.F.K. Fisher. She described a milquetoast a "warm, mild, soothing thing, full of innocent strength," which seemed perfect to Clawson.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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16 comments
Kevin Grier
Kevin Grier

McKinley heights just needs businesses besides dollar general, a gas station, a used car lots, and a shady convenient mart

Britni Martinelli
Britni Martinelli

Aww they took our idea lol loving me some toast n spreads Bre Bequette

Tyrone
Tyrone

Will they offer delivery?

Bryan Byerly
Bryan Byerly

Toast? ...Seriously? There's more than one way to make toast to warrant and entire "bistro"? ... was some one laughing when they started that kickstarter campaign?

Brian Wittling
Brian Wittling

are there enough smug hipsters in StL to sustain such a douche-y concept? I give it 3 months.

burnt_toast
burnt_toast

Milk and toast?  That's your restaurant theme?  If this were a jr. high project to dream up your own project, they would send you to special ed.  I get the locally sourced organic vibe.  I've had some phenomenal meals at Five Bistro, Farmhaus, and other local eateries...but this is insane.  I feel like it's a joke.  How can you make a profitable business selling food that won't fill you up and literally everyone has the ingredients to make at home.  Even if you elevate toast to the next level, it's still toast.  I can wash it down with 'grain milk'?  It's going to be fun and whimsical by adding cinnamon?  You know why the adults in the cinnamon toast crunch ads didn't understand why kids love it?  BECAUSE IT'S BLAND!   Which brings me to my next point, the name...I guess it's fitting that the word milquetoast is defined on dictionary.com as "A very timid, unassertive or intimidated: a milquetoast who's afraid to ask for a raise."  Well, I hope your employees will be afraid to ask for raises, because you won't be able to afford to give them one on this concept.  We've had enough restaurant closings lately...do us a favor and leave the idea of getting excited about toast to Heywood Banks.


At least the overhead is low; real estate in that neighborhood is basically free, and you can pick up a toaster at Wal-Mart for $12.  Good grief...I'm convinced this is a joke.

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