by Nancy Stiles
Sanctuaria (4198 Manchester Avenue; 314-535-9700) in the Grove has a curious growth in its backyard: a conservatory. The metal and glass structure has been under construction for a while, but is set to open in the next few weeks. The conservatory will provide ingredients for Sanctuaria's mixology program.
"Our long-term vision with that is to create an indoor garden space for our mixology division," Sanctuaria co-owner Gurpreet Padda tells Gut Check. The conservatory was actually built in France in the nineteenth century and had to be sent to China to be restructured and then made its way to St. Louis. There's also a gazebo, built in Belgium in the early 1900s that will be used for live music.
"It's a 20 by 30 foot space -- a 600 square foot space. Most of it will become an indoor garden for botanicals to be used in our mixology kitchen and some of it will be used as an event space in the back," he says.
The surrounding patio grows edibles like heirloom tomatoes and berries for the restaurant; a mixture of wildflowers and sunflowers has been planted to create a little prairie.
"We knew as soon as we were able to get the extra land what we were going to do. it's almost done; it feels good! These projects take forever," Padda says. "We think it'll be a very nice enhancement to the Grove. It's not a modern building, so it kind of melded into that neighborhood. It's a cool building, so people driving down the street and walking will welcome it."
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at Nancy.Stiles@RiverfrontTimes.com.
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