Matt Daniels and Aaron Johnson both teach music at St. Louis University. As of August 1, both men are also restaurateurs, as The Tavern of Fine Arts
is now open at 313 Belt Avenue in the DeBaliviere Place neighborhood.
"We are essentially a wine bar," Daniels tells Gut Check. For now, the Tavern of Fine Arts has a limited menu of what Daniels describes as "upscale bar food," including sandwiches, flatbreads, hummus, tabbouleh and gazpacho.
"Our menu will be expanding over time," adds Daniels. "Aaron and I are stretching muscles in the kitchen."
As for the wine, Daniels and Johnson have curated a list that, while modest in size, focuses on wines in which the two men believe. Those wines range over both the new and old world and, in Daniels' words, are "not all super-expensive." In fact, he notes, the average by-the-glass price is $7.
Daniels' and Johnson's backgrounds in classical-music performance and composition will also play a role at the Tavern of Fine Arts, with the venue hosting chamber-music concerts.
"Ultimately, if I could have music here six nights a week, I would," Daniels says. "Right now, we know our first concert will be in the beginning of September."
(The specific date and the name of the performers will be announced soon.)
In addition, Daniels and Johnson will showcase the work of local artists, with the displays changing quarterly. The first show features the works of Jennifer Hayes, Arlene Ligori, Naomi Silver and Tony Renner.
The Tavern of Fine Arts is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 11 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. For more info, visit the website
or call 314-367-7549.