by Ian Froeb
Slated to open next month at 442 Bates Street, near Iron Barley, is the Wedge. Well-known local chef Blake Brokaw is acting as consultant for the kitchen, which will feature pizzas and calzones. The Wedge also plans to host live music as well as other entertainment. Read the full press release after the jump.
September 7, 2008 - Since prohibition, The Wedge has been a staple of the South St. Louis' drinking culture, found at a curious, angular intersection at the corner of Bates and Virginia. After surviving the dreaded repeal of drinks, the bar went through an assortment of owners and names over the years. Now, the classic corner tavern is set to reopen in September under its classic name, The Wedge, with a new drink-and-dining concept.
Without argument, the biggest change greeting those who've been to the space is the thorough renovation of The Wedge's interior. A second-floor apartment's been gutted, creating room for an exciting second-floor space suitable for bands, films and small-scale theatre and improv. The first floor, meanwhile, has been given a total rehab, as well, with a thorough modernization of the space, while still maintaining a distinctly corner bar feel - in fact, about every window in the place looks out at that busy intersection of Bates and Virginia.
Thought not seen by the public, the kitchen's also been going through changes, with consulting chef Blake Brokaw getting the space ready to turn out homemade pizza and calzones, from recipes that he's been developing solely for this venue. Serving lunch and dinner hours at The Wedge, the restaurant will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood, which is generally underserved in food options, especially those of the caliber of Brokaw's cooking. That said, The Wedge will complement the continued success of the noteworthy Iron Barley, located a literal stone's throw from The Wedge's front door.
But with all this talk of food, The Wedge will still be a bar - in fact, it's kept the bar from the last place that called it home, Windy's on the Wedge. High-quality draught beers, premium liquors and specialty house cocktails will all be had, along with local micro-brews.
Just as the Iron Barley has included live music both inside and on its patio, The Wedge will feature music in a variety of forms, as well. Every night of the week on the main floor will feature music over the state of the art sound system, with each night devoted to a particular style of music such as punk, rock-a-billy, honky-tonk country, vintage rock, indie rock, metal, hardcore, industrial, garage and surf. Plans also call for other types of artistic ventures in the second floor space, called The Iggy Ziggy Room. The performance space, which might be evocative to some veteran club goers of the old Hi-Pointe, will include the best live local music, DJs, open-mic nights, comedy, burlesque and karaoke.
The management and ownership team of the Wedge has experience in a wide variety of endeavors. Proprietors Luke Reynolds and Sam Berger have achieved success in a number of real estate ventures, and their holdings include Soulard's popular nightspot, Molly's. Consulting chef Brokaw is the veteran owner/operator of a number of clubs and restaurants in Downtown St. Louis, including the legendary Tangerine. And promotions man Tyson Blanquart has, until recently, been the managing director and promoter for the NonProphet Theatre Co. and has written for PlaybackSTL.
Together they look forward to working on a space that will knit together some of the best aspects of South St. Louis culture into one, unified space: a complete lack of pretense, some rock'n'roll on the stereo and delicious pizza that'll make the spot both a destination and a neighborhood hangout.
The grand opening of The Wedge is scheduled for early October. More information on the date and opening night performing acts will be forthcoming. Meanwhile, visit The Wedge on line at their temporary Web address for updates: http://myspace.com/thewedgestl.