by Mabel Suen
Bad Dog Bar & Grill (3960 Chouteau Avenue) closed its doors on January 1, but the popular Grove spot didn't stay vacant for long. Business owners Chad Fox and Jim Weckmann of Rehab Bar & Grill quietly re-opened the bar as Bomber's Hideaway on January 5 with an entirely new concept coming out of the kitchen: Miss Leon's fried chicken and comfort food.
The humble cook behind it is none other than Dieta Pepsi, an accomplished area drag queen and LGBT-community activist whose culinary experience includes moonlighting at Rehab as well as CJ's on the Hill.
"I'm offering stick-to-your-ribs comfort food -- food that your grandma cooked when you were little, food people eat on Sunday after they come from church. It's not fancy. It's not upscale. It's just some down-home country cooking," chef Leon Augustus Braxton Jr. says.
Braxton describes his partnership with Bomber's as a collaborative relationship: Bomber's takes care of selling drinks at the bar while he offers a full menu available to enjoy anywhere throughout the space. A dining room connected to the kitchen offers a more definitive dining experience, while an adjacent bar equipped with TVs provides alternative seating.
The menu at Miss Leon's begins with appetizers including wings ($6.99-$9.99), buffalo-chicken wontons ($5,50), loaded fries ($8.50) and spinach-artichoke dip ($5.50). A list of five different salads ($4.49-$7.99) follows. Entrees include "Miss Leon's Fried Chicken," which is available as a two-piece ($5.99) or four-piece ($7.99) meal. Here's how you know Braxton takes his chicken seriously: The menu descriptions reads "Fried hot and crispy, the way it ought to be. Cooked to order, so allow seventeen minutes."
Additional entrees include chicken and dumplings ($7.99), pork chops ($8.99) and all manner of fried delights including chicken livers, chicken gizzards and catfish. Each entree comes with a dinner salad, two sides -- mashed potatoes with gravy, Southern-style green beans and mac & cheese, just to name a few -- and a piece of cornbread brushed with a maple glaze.
A variety of sandwiches and burgers ($6-$8.59) with hand-cut fries are also available, as well as two dessert options ($4.99): peach cobbler and a decadent croissant bread pudding. It all comes served alongside Bomber's entertainment programming, which will include everything from country line dancing and drag to burlesque and live cabaret.
Miss Leon's is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday from 2 to 9 p.m. All-you-can-eat fried chicken is available on Sundays for $10. For more information, visit Miss Leon's on Facebook and check out the Bomber's Hideaway website.
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