Tick Tock Tavern and Steve's Hot Dogs' New Partnership Debuts in South City

Categories: First Look

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Tick Tock Tavern and Steve's Hot Dogs shared a busy debut. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Last night hot-dog fanatics of all ages rejoiced for the anticipated opening of the second location of Steve's Hot Dogs (3457 Magnolia Avenue). The restaurant, owned by local musician Steve Ewing, made its debut with partners and adjoining neighbors Tick Tock Tavern (3459 Magnolia Avenue), a bar that opened its doors for the first time in twenty years under new ownership. As Gut Check reported in May, Tick Tock Tavern's revival comes from its new co-owners Thomas Crone, Fred Hessel and Steve Smith (of the Royale).

See also: Tick Tock Tavern to Reopen After 20 Years with Steve's Hot Dogs

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Ices Plain & Fancy's New Liquid Nitrogen Fueled Ice Cream Shop

Categories: First Look

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Peach chai ice cream. | Photos by Mabel Suen
In late July a corner shop of the Shaw neighborhood decked out in a fresh coat of regal pink and blue paint opened its doors to the public. And with it, St. Louis gained a brand new concept utilizing a sweet treat technique developed in the early 19th century: Ices Plain and Fancy (2256 South 39th Street; 314-601-3604). Inside, sweet surprises await -- luscious ice creams made completely to order using liquid nitrogen as well as vanilla soft serve infused and flecked with cold-pressed Sump Coffee (3700 Jefferson Avenue; 917-412-5670).

See also: Ices Plain & Fancy to Cool Down Shaw Neighborhood

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A Pizza Story Cooks Up Wood-Fired Neapolitan Pizzas in Maplewood

Categories: First Look

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"Fantasy" pizza with tomato sauce, prosciutto de parma, fresh burrata and arugula. | Photos by Mabel Suen
In June A Pizza Story (7278 Manchester Avenue; 314-899-0011) opened in Maplewood serving Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas alongside a full bar. With each pie, former Washington University professors Muhammad Alhawagri and Sherif Nasser aim to serve up crisp, charred crust and a supple interior, topped with fresh ingredients.

See also: A Pizza Story Will Serve Neapolitan Pizza Cooked Up By Two Wash. U. Professors

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Kevin Nashan Brings the Coast to Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.

Categories: First Look

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The Peacemaker bar. | Nancy Stiles

Kevin Nashan's highly anticipated restaurant, the Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. (1831 Sidney Street; 314-772-8858), opened last night in Benton Park with just a few hours' notice. The place was still lively, though, with Nashan himself dismantling crabs in the kitchen window and servers flitting around the rustic, beachy dining room. We stopped by to see just how good the seafood can be in the middle of America.

See also: Kevin Nashan to Open Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. in July

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Companion Bakery Renovates Clayton Cafe, Eyes Regional Expansion

Categories: First Look

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Inside the renovated Companion Cafe. | Nancy Stiles

The newly renovated Companion Cafe (8143 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314-352-4770) reopened Monday, August 11, after quick facelift. We stopped by to check it out and spoke to owner Josh Allen about the new looks.

See also: Chef's Choice: Josh Allen, Companion

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First Look: Wheelhouse Takes Its Sports Bar Downtown

Categories: First Look

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The bar at Wheelhouse. | Nancy Stiles

Our favorite sports bar of 2013 opened its second location at the end of July, just steps from the ballpark. The Wheelhouse (1000 Spruce Street; 314-833-3653) has got 10,000 feet of the Cupples 8 building, designed by SPACE Architects.

See also: The Wheelhouse Downtown, Ices Plain & Fancy Squeeze in July Openings

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A Look Inside Siam STL, New Nightclub Serving Pan-Asian Fusion in the Grove

Categories: First Look

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The "Goku Roll" with shrimp tempura, avocado, red tuna, radish sprouts, masago, baked scallops and spicy crab. | Photos by Mabel Suen
On June 14 Siam STL (4121 Manchester Avenue; 314-533-7426) held its grand opening, filling a void left by the closure of Novak's Bar & Grill -- arguably one of the Grove's best gay bars and nightlife destinations. The new concept for the neighborhood's longstanding hotspot is one-part lounge and dance club and one-part pan-Asian fusion restaurant.

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Salt + Smoke's New Texas-Style Barbecue and Bourbon Menu in the Delmar Loop

Categories: First Look

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Salt + Smoke's burnt-end toasted ravioli. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Frequenters of the Delmar Loop undoubtedly have already noticed the change in the atmosphere lately. The unmistakable smell of smoky barbecue now permeates the air, and it's all thanks to restaurateur Tom Schmidt and his brand-new concept, Salt + Smoke (6525 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-0200).

On June 13 his Mediterranean restaurant formerly known as Nico got a complete makeover after only a weeklong closure. Its new identity is a full-service Texas-style barbecue joint that also specializes in bourbon, craft and barrel-aged cocktails, and beer.

See also: Salt + Smoke Opens This Friday, June 13, in Former Nico Space


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Restituo Offers "A Little Bit of NYC in STL" At New Shaw Neighborhood Cafe

Categories: First Look

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Restituo's "Oh Fudge Me" frappe with Ghirardelli dark chocolate fudge chunks, espresso and housemade vanilla extract. | Photos by Mabel Suen
As the owner of Restituo (4100 Shenandoah Avenue), Nicole McCormack says she "wears every hat in the joint." She refinished half of the furniture in the corner cafe, makes the food and even handcrafted the mugs that the hot drinks are served in. Restituo -- Latin for "refresh" and "renew" -- originally opened as an upcycled retail store on October 3 and rolled out its New York-style coffee-shop concept on April 5.

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Death in the Afternoon's New Lunch Spot in Citygarden from the Owners of Blood & Sand

Categories: First Look

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Tonkatsu ramen with pork belly and loin, soft boiled egg, black garlic oil and mushroom. | Photos by Mabel Suen
Unlike Adam Frager and TJ Vytlacil's critically-acclaimed Blood & Sand (1500 St. Charles Street; 314-241-7263), Death in the Afternoon (808 Chestnut Street; 314-621-3236) -- the latest venture from the duo -- does not require a membership. Luckily for the rest of us, it doesn't even require a reservation.

The lunch-only restaurant, named after a classic cocktail invented by Ernest Hemingway, opened on June 9 in the downtown Citygarden, serving a full menu of snacks, soups, sandwiches, salads and more. The new concept fills the glass-box building formerly occupied by Joe's Chili Bowl and strives to offer a menu befitting of the stellar scenery.

See also: Death in the Afternoon Opens Monday at Citygarden

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