Three St. Louis-based restaurants open new locations
At the same time as restaurants in the metropolitan area continue to grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the new year has gotten off to a more positive start, with three St. Louis-based restaurant groups opening new locations.
St. Louis Kolache, The Pasta House Co. and UKRAFT recently opened locations in the Southwest Garden area of Ladue and downtown, respectively.
St. Louis Kolache quietly opened its fifth subway location on January 9th in 5936 Southwest on the corner of Hampton and Southwest. Founded by Russ Clark and Bart Mantia, the five-year-old company offers 30 flavors of savory and sweet kolache, including a collaborative effort with smoked meat from Pappy’s Smokehouse and hot salami from Gioia’s Deli. According to Clark, several other collaborations are being discussed, including one with vegan sausage and sauce.
According to Clark, the new location on a busy commuter street is already brisk business, and new stores are planned for Sunset Hills and Florissant. There are also potential franchise locations that operate as American Kolache at the Ohio and Oklahoma plants.
Just before Christmas, The Pasta House Co. quietly opened a new location in Ladues Colonial Marketplace in 8831 Ladue. The 90-seat dining room (pictured above) opened on January 4th. In early November, SLM reported that the flagship Pasta House location at 8213 Delmar was going to be closed and plans to relocate operations to the former location of Giovanni’s Kitchen, which has been in business since 2014. Total Access Urgent Care’s takeover of The Pasta House’s original location prompted the restaurant group to relocate. Given that The Pasta House’s take-out and delivery business was booming “long before the dining rooms closed,” Pasta House CEO Sam Garanzini said the new store was configured for take-away orders.
In addition to the regular menu (including proven products such as pasta con broccoli, cheesy garlic bread and the typical house salad), guests at the new location can expect more frequent specialties served by the same staff. Some of them have been with the flagship for more than 25 years.
Doors are due to open on Saturday at UKRAFT in downtown Peabody Plaza, 701 Market. The owners of the fast-casual sandwich, wrap and salad concept are brothers Matt and Mike Ratz, both alum from Wicked Greenz. The You-Build-It project for breakfast, lunch and catering was initially conceived as a food truck, which received additional attention when it was launched earlier this year in the 9 Mile Garden. Business began after the Ratz brothers opened a kiosk in the Regions Center in Clayton and another in Ameren’s headquarters while their new cafeteria was being built. “In all of these places we learned the importance of having a captive audience,” says Matt.
The 2,000 square meter stationary location has 70 seats as well as a lounge-like area and seating on the sidewalk on two sides of the building. The brothers plan to build a base for pickup and delivery customers, Matt says, so that every time the sports fans, tourists, and office workers return, we’re “set up”.
Mahe is the restaurant editor for St. Louis Magazine. Originally a fussy eater, he has owned or operated restaurants for most of his life. He started reviewing her for SLM in 1991.
Read more from George Mahe
January 13, 2021