A new restaurant offering "American fusion with a hint of soul" has opened in Midtown.
Aromas Restaurant Sports Bar & Grill (2617 Washington Avenue, 314-83305022) replaces Patois Eatery and Social Lounge, a Jamaican-inflected spot that opened last April and closed its doors before the year's end. (Before that, it was a nightclub called the Rustic Goat.) Jessica Cross, an assistant manager at the new eatery, said it had begun hosting special events at the end of January and moved to a period of soft opening a few weeks ago.While Aromas is still a few weeks away from securing its liquor license, Cross says it's currently open daily from noon to 10 p.m., offering a full menu and a host of amusements, including plenty of TVs tuned to sports, pool, darts, foosball and even PacMan.
"We've got an arcade type set-up," she says. "We're in the hub of all these colleges, and since we're going to have the opportunity to stay open late, we wanted to create a place where people could hang out. Everybody who's been here says it's a really chill, laidback feel."
The restaurant is owned by Glenda Osby, and she's hired Lonnie Richardson, better known as "Chef Lonnie," as the executive chef. Kannuh Hagans is his sous chef.
Cross says they're creating a menu that includes down-home food, with burgers, sandwiches and wings, as well as Southern-inflected sides (candied yams, collard greens, black-eyed peas). Taking a cue from Grace Meat + Three, they also offer a fried turkey leg. "People are really excited about that," Cross says. "The only time I've seen that other than here was at Six Flags!"
The restaurant also prides itself on vegetarian and vegan options, including jackfruit tacos, and plans to offer extensive grab-and-go offerings, which are already proving popular with the loft-dwellers upstairs, Cross says.
Once Aromas has its liquor license, Cross says it will be open daily at 10 a.m., with a morning menu that on the weekends may incorporate live music. The place is large, with a stage and several raised levels. But Cross says Aromas intends to be a restaurant first and foremost.
"We're in a location that used to be more about the nightlife," she says. "But we've been getting ready these last few weeks to show ourselves as a restaurant. We wanted to make sure we left a good taste with the public before we announced we were open."
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