Barbecue Boom For St. Louis

By Molly Rippinger
In Food

Tom Schmidt and Dave Bailey cleverly delivered the news of their upcoming barbecue joints via Twitter last night. For Schmidt, the announcement was that his current Delmar spot Nico would shift gears from Mediterranean to slow-smoked barbecue and cured meats. The new concept will be called Salt + Smoke BBQ and should be up and running this summer after renovations are made to the current space. Nico will remain open through May.

Image courtesy of Bailey's Range

Image courtesy of Bailey’s Range

Schmidt explained that his staff at the sibling restaurant to Nico, Franco, have been experimenting for years with their own cured meats. “We have found the perfect extension for that passion with slow-smoked BBQ. Our classically trained chef will be applying that same care and skill to our BBQ while ensuring that the sides and accompanying menu are capable of standing on their own as truly outstanding,” said Schmidt.

The other half of the Twitter conversation focused on Bailey’s plans to bring barbecue to his ever-growing family of restaurants. The concept will land in the historic 100-year-old building located at 1011 Olive St., just across from Bailey’s Range. The two-storied building has enough space for 200 seats plus a rooftop bar that will be an excellent perch during warmer weather. Though currently nameless, the new Bailey space will offer whole-hog barbecue, craft cocktails and an emphasis on local ingredients. Between renovations and menu development, the project is expected to open this winter.

The Central West End will soon follow suit with news that the owners of Wild Flower Restaurant, Phil and Tracy Czarnec, have purchased the space at 4900 Laclede Ave. and intend to open a barbecue concept, called BBQ Saloon. The location was previously occupied by Majestic Restaurant & Bar, which saw its last service this past weekend when owners Louis and Bill Politis retired from the restaurant industry. The prime Central West End spot will be cranking out barbecue and serving up small batch spirits as soon as July 1.

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