Taste, the iconic CWE bar from Gerard Craft, to be replaced by BRASS BAR

Click to enlarge

  • traditional knowledge
  • Taste, the beloved bar that changed St. Louis cocktail culture, has served its last guests.

Once upon a time, if you walked into any bar in St. Louis in search of an elegant cocktail, your options would likely consist of an apple tin or a Stoli Vanila and Coke. Then it came the taste (4584 Lacledy Street), the revolutionary Gerard Kraft Foundation led by acclaimed barman Ted Kilgore, which ignited the spark that lit the city’s drinking scene and changed the way we drink forever.

Now, twelve years later, the iconic bar is heading down the annals of St. Louis restaurant history. In a Facebook statement posted on Wednesday afternoon, Kraft announced the restaurant’s closure, effective immediately.

“Now in 2021, after 12 years of service, we are sad to announce that Taste by Niche has closed its doors for good,” Kraft’s post read. “Like many others in our industry, the past two years have led to a myriad of pivots and changes, and while we hoped to usher in a new era of savory when we reopened in June, the bounce back was more difficult than we anticipated.”

Opened in 2009 at its original location in Benton Park, Taste was an instant success, earning a spot in Bon Appétit . Magazine As one of the top ten new bars in the country. In 2011 the bar moved to the Central West End where it cemented its reputation as the city’s best cocktail establishment and serves as a launching pad for some of the city’s most respected bar professionals.

When the pandemic reached the city in full force in March 2020, Taste, like all establishments in Craft’s Niche Food Group, temporarily closed and reopened in June. Now, after just four months of trying to restart, the bar will be closed for good, signaling the end of an era in St. Louis cocktail culture.

However, the news is not all bad. In lieu of Taste, Craft has announced that a new concept, BRASS Bar, will operate in the space as a complementary concept to its popular adjacent restaurant, Brasserie. Described as a place for French snacks and cocktails, Craft anticipates that BRASS BAR will be the go-to place for pre-dinner drinks or an after-dinner aperitif; To facilitate the connection, the restaurant and bar will soon have an entrance connecting the two concepts.

We’ve reached out to Craft for comment and will update as more information becomes available. Read the full statement on closing Taste below.

In 2009, with the help of legendary bartender Ted Kilgore, he opened Taste by Niche and was soon named one of the top 10 new bars in the country by Bon Appétit magazine. These days, Negroni is popular on any restaurant’s drink menu, but back in 2009 when Taste opened, classic cocktails were a rarity. Late night food was also scarce, and Taste was one of the few places that offered a haven for after 11pm diners looking for great food. It was a perfect era for such a special place to flourish.

Now in 2021, after 12 years of service, we are saddened to announce that Taste by Niche has closed its doors for good. Like many others in our industry, the past two years have led to a myriad of pivots and changes, and while we were hoping to usher in a new era of flair when we reopened in June, the bounce back was more difficult than we anticipated.

The silver lining is that the brasserie has managed to thrive, thanks to an amazing staff, and needs room to expand. We will reopen the place very soon as BRASS BAR serves French snacks and cocktails. It would be a great place to prep a brasserie dinner in advance with an aperitif and a snack, or to finish your meal with a treat and dessert. We will also reserve the entire space for private brasserie events which will be available for upcoming holidays. A door connected to the dining room will eventually be added to the brasserie so that no one has to leave the building. We would like to thank the staff, past and present, as well as all the guests who have supported us since we opened in Benton Park in 2009. Greetings for the beautiful memories and new beginnings.

We are always hungry for tips and comments. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com.

.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *