3 New STL Hotspots Small on Space But Big on Taste
Truly putting the “small” in small business, a few notable food and drink ventures around town have adopted some unconventionally sized storefronts. The move mirrors America’s current obsession with the miniature—tiny houses, ever-smaller cupcakes, teacup pigs—but it’s their character and output that define these three local examples of this diminutive genre.
Earthbound Brewing, 1,000 Square Feet
Located on the former horse and carriage-loading grounds for the long-gone Cherokee Brewing Company, this nanobrewery packs operations into an intimate space about the size of a one-bedroom apartment. The short bar and cozy seating areas are sectioned off by little dividing walls, giving each area the feeling of being its own space in the long hallway that also houses the brewing operations. The unique shape is a perfect fit for unconventional Earthbound, which heralds beers like the Chicken and Waffles Blonde, a robust ale with maple notes, or the Apricot Gose, made with apricots donated from friendly neighbor Whisk Bakery. 2710 Cherokee St., Cherokee Street, 314.769.9576.
The Little Dipper, 300 Square Feet
Just down the street, The Little Dipper takes the cake for the narrowest space. In a former gangway-turned-design-shop-turned-lingerie-store, founder and chef Jason Paul is serving up nontraditional eats that have a big presence. Try creative vegetarian specials like the Wheatball Sub, featuring veggie-friendly “meatballs” made with seitan, textured vegetable protein (TVP), oats and spices, pomodoro sauce and provolone served on a delightfully crusty baguette. Or stick with one of their classics, like the Carolina Reuben, featuring house-smoked turkey sliced impossibly thin, rich sriracha Thousand Island, swiss and a beautiful Carolina coleslaw on marble rye. On late nights (Friday and Saturday), the space gets even smaller, with Paul serving up street eats only out front, like the recent special of bacon-wrapped pork kebabs served with Pappy’s barbecue sauce. 2619 Cherokee St., Cherokee Street, 314.625.3530.
Tiny Bar, 250 Square Feet
Taking up a slight space in the former Bride’s House building on Locust, Tiny Bar truly celebrates the little things in life: They took on St. Louis Browns’ Eddie Gaedel—baseball’s shortest player—as their mascot, threw the “world’s smallest parade,” began offering tiny pours of wine and present a “Five-Foot Special” (25 percent off if you don’t measure past the 5-foot mark). It looks like the Lou loves tiny, too: Walk by most nights and the full-service bar is usually very close to its 20-person maximum capacity. 1008 Locust St., Downtown, 314.800.7218.
To get the dish on three hotspots that will take your culinary conquest just east of the river, check out this story from our March issue.
This story appeared in the September 2015 issue.