by Nancy Stiles
St. Louis was lucky to have so many great restaurant openings last year (see: Lona's Lil Eats, Three Flags Tavern, et al.), but we're looking forward to what 2015 has in store. Some of the restaurants we will come to love probably haven't even been announced yet, but here's what we're excited about so far.
See also: The 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014
The BBQ Saloon (4900 Laclede Avenue)
People were devastated when long-time Central West End cafe the Majestic closed last year, but neighbors Wild Flower bought the space with plans to turn it into a barbecue restaurant. It will have a lot of competition, but that primo location should help. There will also be some unusual offerings, like emu and antelope, and with a whole lot of whiskey.
Rnd. Sopa de jalepeno con masa, trucha ahumada y crema pic.twitter.com/drwe70FvA3— PÚBLICOstl (@Publicostl) January 4, 2015
Pùblico (6670 Delmar Boulevard, University City)
Mike Randolph just won't be stopped. He already runs, along with his wife Liz, two great spots: Half & Half and the Good Pie. So naturally, he's coming at us this year with a tequila- and mezcal-inspired restaurant that, based on test food they've been cooking up over the past few months, will look like nothing else in St. Louis. The Randolphs are working with long-time collaborators SPACE Architects for the design with an open, all-wood hearth. Look for Pùblico to open a few doors down from the Good Pie in a month or two.
Main & Mill Brewing Co. (240 East Main Street, Festus; 314-603-0924)
This brewery was on our list last year, too, but unfortunately it takes a long time to rehab a historic building. On the bright side, though, father-and-son team Denny and Barry Foster are in the home stretch. The building now has electricity and windows for the first time in about a decade, and brewing equipment has been installed. Main & Mill will be the first brewpub in Festus, and the Fosters are working to make it a destination. We can assure you we'll be making the drive when it opens later this year.
Matt Daughaday's Untitled Restaurant (TBA)
In December, Taste executive chef Matt Daughaday announced he'd be leaving to open his own place, along with Elaia & Olio's sommelier extraordinaire Andrey Ivanov. Details are sparse, but it will be an American brasserie in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood, more casual than formal. We do know there will be meatloaf. Daughaday spent an excellent three years at Taste, so we're anticipating good things at his new venture.
Tropical Liqueurs (Soulard TBA)
We will always be Mizzou Tigers at heart, so we nearly lost it when we heard one of Columbia's most beloved institutions, Trops, will be heading to Soulard this spring. Calling the drinks boozy slushies is technically accurate, but doesn't do justice to the glory that is a half Tiger Paw/half Silver Bullet concoction. Summer 2015 just got way better.