Openings/Closings: New Doughnut Locations From Strange And Pharaoh's Donuts, Unique Concepts At The Dark Room And Craft Art Bar

By Molly Rippinger
In Food

Openings
Monday, March 10: For the past 20 years Pharaoh’s Donuts has been baking doughnuts to be sold at area convenience stores and corner markets, but now the father-daughter team has a storefront of their own in Downtown. Amon Aziz and Syeeda Aziz-Morris have turned a small space that they used for their baking into a retail shop open to the public. Aziz likes to stick to the classics—think along the lines of glazed, twists and long johns—but will soon expand his repertoire with lunch options like hot dogs and turkey legs to celebrate the Cardinals’ home-opener. Open Monday through Friday from 6am to 6pm and Saturday from 6am to 4pm. 200 N. 7th, Downtown, 314.351.0285.

Image courtesy of Craft Art Bar

Image courtesy of Craft Art Bar

Tuesday, March 11: Bobby Plager, the former Blues hockey player from the 1970s, opened a new sports bar last week in Downtown. Joining the ranks of the growing restaurant and bar scene on Washington Avenue, Bobby’s Place Downtown is the third location for Plager and includes a separate lounge space with a more private atmosphere. Like the other locations in St. Charles and Valley Park, Bobby’s Place Downtown will offer a wide array of sandwiches, burgers, and hockey-centric starters like “Lord Stanley’s loaded fries.” This Thursday, March 20, will mark the grand opening with $1 drinks from 10pm to close. Open Monday through Saturday from 11am to 1am and Sunday from 11am to 12am. 1130 Washington Ave., Downtown, 314.241.3900.

Friday, March 14: As mentioned in The 314, the Grand Center is growing with the opening of The Dark Room, a combined wine bar and photo gallery concept. According to a press release, The Dark Room “offers patrons an opportunity to experience fine art and fine wine under the same roof.” On the menu expect to see charcuterie and cheese boards, various small plates and desserts, while on the walls patrons can enjoy the exhibit called “New to the Scene.” Open Tuesday through Wednesday from 4pm to 12am; Thursday through Saturday from 4pm to 1am; Sunday from 4pm to 12am. 615 N. Grand Blvd., Midtown, 314.531.3416.

April 2014: Craft Art Bar, another multifaceted space (part bar, part gallery and part studio), will soon open on Cherokee Street this spring. Owned by Tatyana Telnikova of HandleBar and Tom Halaska formerly of Sasha’s on Shaw, the new venture will focus on a locally sourced menu featuring homey Russian-inspired fare, like pierogi, that are easy to eat one-handed while painting. At the bar expect to see craft beer on tap, a curated list of wines and a fine selection of spirits. 2732 Cherokee St., Benton Park, 314.769.1274.

April 2014: Templar Brewing will soon begin production as a wholesale brewery in Alton, Ill. Without a tap room, the microbrewery owned by Richard Blevens and his sons will focus solely on brewing. Expect to see Templar IPAs and ales on draft at area bars and also available in 22-ounce bombers as soon as this April. 331 Belle St., Alton, Ill. 

May 1: The former Mosaic Tapas location will soon house Michon’s Smokehouse, an Atlanta-based barbecue restaurant owned by the mother-daughter duo of Gaye Wilson and Natalie Michon. The smokehouse has its roots in St. Louis with the original location of Michon’s being in Ferguson from 1990 until 2003 when they moved to Atlanta. Expect to find slow-cooked specials like smoked bologna, chopped pork and beef ribs that are dished up with Southern sides like mac and cheese or greens. 1001 Washington Ave., Downtown.

Spring: The Riverfront Times reported that the owners of Strange Donuts are opening a second, undisclosed location. According to co-owner Corey Smale, the location will be even smaller than their Maplewood storefront but will continue the same unique creations and local collaborations that have gained a near cult-like following.

Closings
Saturday, March 15: After nine years in business, Urban Lounge closed its doors at 3216 S. Grand Blvd. last weekend.

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