Get Your Caffeine Fix At Everyone’s Favorite New Coffee Bar, Courtesy Of Sardella’s Jordan Howe
One of St. Louis’s master chefs, Gerard Craft opened his highly anticipated new venture, Sardella, which replaced Niche in November of 2016. While the menu is the delectable force of nature one would expect from Craft, the coffee bar is no exception. And we can thank barista Jordan Howe for that.
Howe is on his way to becoming a household name amongst St. Louis coffee lovers. He has previously honed his craft at Foam, Living Room and Reeds American Table, acquiring the kind of vital experience necessary to shape the coffee program in Sardella’s classy-meets-casual environment. In particular, the culmination of many factors coming together is what makes this place so special.
“The whole morning team at Sardella embodies the same level of work ethic and creativity that Gerard and Nick Blue have put in place,” Howe said. “We have to trust ourselves, embrace failure and always strive to get better. All of this leads to a better experience for our guests, which for me is just as important as serving great coffee.” Customer service is the zenith of Sardella—more so than the delicate pastries that tempt the early risers during day service, and that’s saying a lot. Howe is just as passionate about guest satisfaction as the immaculate espresso he pulls for them.
He frequented coffee shops before he became a barista, always returning for the welcoming atmospheres and the types of people who enjoyed similar environments. Eventually Howe realized that in the special place around those people was where he wanted to be. So when Howe felt the pull of this calling, he didn’t simply answer it. He dove in headfirst. “Once I started as a barista, the creativity of making something started me down the rabbit hole of specialty coffee. Coffee has a spectacular journey from seed to cup, and few things feel better than being able to share that with our guests and make them something they love.”
Howe’s dedication doesn’t stop at the coffee bar. He’s constantly researching new trends in coffee, as well as relearning techniques and processes to further his understanding of the craft. “Sharing what we can offer with new people is such a joy,” he says. But the restaurant industry has its challenges, especially when coupled with an exquisite coffee program: very early mornings, cramped spaces and rushing around guests while attempting not to look flustered. The equipment is also very expensive, though Howe says the risk is absolutely worth the reward.
All challenges aside, Howe and the rest of Sardella’s team of food and drink magicians wouldn’t have it any other way. “Our method makes sure we step out from behind the bar and have an involvement in the entire experience. One of my favorite aspects of counter service is that you have a face and a name for every drink you make. There are few other jobs that connect you to your customers like a café setting.”
Sardella’s coffee program extends into dinner hours, even offering a killer affogato (ice cream with an espresso shot poured over it) as dessert. But we recommend getting the entire unadulterated coffee experience during the restaurant’s day service, which runs 7am to 2pm Monday through Friday.
7734 Forsyth Blvd
Clayton, MO 63105
Cover photo by Greg Rannells