by Tom Finkel
Local chef/restaurateur Gerard Craft took to Twitter earlier today to counter misconceptions that his Benton Park twosome, Niche and Taste by Niche, have closed for renovation.
Niche will "close day after Valentine's, reopen a couple of weeks later," Craft tells Gut Check.
Of course, Ian Froeb gave Gut Check readers precisely this heads-up last week, noting that Craft had realized his initial timetable was "a little optimistic" and pushed back the schedule to February.
But what the heck, it's a lot of moving around, so let's go over it one more time, shall we?...
Taste by Niche, which Craft recently sold to 24-year-old up-and-comer Adam Altnether, will relocate to 4584 Laclede Avenue in the Central West End -- right next door to Craft's other venture, Brasserie by Niche (where Altnether worked as executive chef). The new site, formerly occupied by Moxy, allows Altnether to expand Taste by Niche, which in its Sidney Street incarnation is smaller than a west-county guest bathroom. (The concept will remain boutique cocktails and small plates, and the lord of libations will remain Ted Kilgore.)
Meantime, as Gut Check reported in late September, Craft intends to redo the Sidney Street space and reopen as two new restaurants. What now houses Niche will reappear as Porano, offering an Italian-inspired menu. Niche will retain its name but reopen next door -- that west-county guest bathroom -- as an intimate dining room where Craft can showcase multi-course tasting menues three or four nights per week.