White Box Eatery Nears Opening in Clayton

Modesto Tapas (5257 Shaw Avenue; 314-772-8272) co-owner Brendan Marsden announced a new venture back in May: a breakfast and lunch restaurant called White Box Eatery at 176 Carondelet Plaza in Clayton. Renovations are wrapping up, permits granted and Marsden is eyeing an opening during the second week of August.

See also: Modesto Celebrates 12 Years on The Hill

Jon Hoffman, formerly the executive chef at Oceano, is taking the reins at White Box, with Jamie Hardesty as his pastry chef. She recently worked with Marsden's brother on his food truck, Vincent Van Doughnut. Marsden calls the menu quick, upscale breakfast and lunch food.

"For lunch, [it's] sandwiches and salads, but very creative combinations -- multi-ethnic, combining flavors from all over the world," he tells Gut Check. "We're trying to use as much local and organic [ingredients] as we can, but we'll appeal to anybody's diet. There are very, very healthy items and some not-so-healthy items."

Just about everything will be made in-house, including muffins, jams and jellies, except for the bread. Marsden says he's eyeing Companion and a few others.

White Box is meant to a be a place you can get in and out of quickly, so Marsden's putting an emphasis on carry out and implementing a rapid pick-up system via online ordering. He's also working on some other ideas for ordering on multiple platforms. White Box will also have prepared foods and drinks in a refrigerated case for people who are really on the go.

There will be beer and wine, too, and White Box will serve Blueprint Coffee and fresh-squeezed juices (there's a $6,000 machine just for juicing oranges). Marsden says White Box will probably have some sort of expanded brunch menu on the weekends as well.

"The name [White Box] is going to appear throughout the space and the packaging," Marsden says. "We are using the term as a representation of a blank canvas because we're not focusing on one particular style. We're just getting really creative with it."

White Box will be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at [email protected].

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