by Nancy Stiles
Owner and executive chef John Perkins announced this week that Juniper (360 North Boyle Avenue; 314-329-7696) is adding a happy hour and implementing one of its biggest menu changes to date. The menu usually rotates every couple weeks, and Juniper has always had craft cocktails, but Perkins aims to give them more of a focus.
Juniper now opens at 4 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m. with a short menu of half price snacks and a smaller menu of six-dollar cocktails. There are a few new entrees, bread and appetizers, but the entire dessert menu is changed (except for the moon pies, of course).
"We try to keep things as fresh as we can and whether that's food or drink, we want to keep it seasonal and keep the interest there," Perkins tells us. "I've been wanting to get people in and pay a little more attention to our cocktail menu, which I think is fantastic. We get a lot of attention for the food, but our happy hour gives folks an opportunity to come in."
One standout cocktail Perkins mentions is a the "Georgia O'Peach," made with rum, peach bourbon syrup, orgeat, lime, peach and plum bitters.
Perkins hasn't taken any favorites off the menu -- you can still get the fried chicken, the house-made charcuterie and those amazing biscuits. But many of the new items utilize seasonal produce, something Perkins has always done, but he feels it tends to get lost in the "Southern table & bar" moniker.
"Our menu isn't just a bunch of fried stuff, which is easy for people to think of with southern food. We have a lot of fresh food that's not going weigh you down in the heat, but that's seasonally relevant," he says. "You'll be pleasantly surprised by bright, fresh flavors."