Gut Check: Raise a toast to departed restaurants — then have a beer or three

Last week saw the closing of two restaurants, one a high-profile newcomer, the other a personal favorite.

George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine broke the news that Revival was shutting its doors. The restaurant opened last year in the old King Louie's space at 3800 Chouteau Avenue, with chefs Cary McDowell and Christopher Bork and pastry chef Carolyn Down offering a menu that blended classic American comfort food with modern bistro dishes. It earned plaudits from area critics, myself included, but fell prey to the one-two punch of the bad economy and an awkward location. The space is slated to reopen in a couple of weeks as Chouteau's, with a menu from chef-at-large Mike Johnson (Roxanne, Boogaloo).

Meanwhile, Sauce Magazine was first to report that Benton Park's McLozzi Deli & Marketplace (2870 McNair Avenue) has closed. Riverfront Times dubbed McLozzi Best Delicatessen in 2007; last year it copped Best Sandwiches. McLozzi was one of my favorite lunch spots. The "Italian BP" was my pick, but McLozzi is probably best known for the "Gobbler," a Thanksgiving dinner in sandwich form. I must also add that McLozzi's owners, Dan Krankeola and Mark Catolos, whom I almost always found behind the counter, taking orders and making sandwiches, were among the friendliest people I've encountered on my many, many restaurant visits.

Next week marks the first annual St. Louis Craft Beer Week. Mike Sweeney, author of the popular local beer blog STL Hops, organized the event, which begins this Saturday and leads up to next weekend's Brewers Heritage Festival in Forest Park. Events include a party at the Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday to celebrate the release of Founder's Brewery beers in the St. Louis market, a lecture on the history of craft beer at Schlafly Bottleworks at 6:30 p.m. Thursday and an O'Fallon beer tasting at the Missouri Botanical Garden from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday. For a complete list of St. Louis Craft Beer Week events, visit www.stlbeerweek.com.

Want to learn more about the explosion of the craft-beer scene in St. Louis? Be sure to pick up next week's RFT and read my feature on local homebrewers and the recent proliferation of local microbreweries.

I recommend reading it with your favorite brew close at hand.

Are you opening a new restaurant? Know of a place that has closed? Something else for Ian to chew on? E-mail ian.froeb@riverfronttimes.com. And check out this column's virtual doppelganger at http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/gutcheck.

 
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