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Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Narwhal's Team to Open Loaded: Elevated Nachos in St. Charles Early Next Year

Posted By on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 at 7:23 AM

Brandon Holzhueter and Brad Merten will open Loaded Elevated Nachos in St. Charles in early 2021. - KELLY GLUECK
  • Brandon Holzhueter and Brad Merten will open Loaded Elevated Nachos in St. Charles in early 2021.

Exciting news for fans of all things nacho: Loaded: Elevated Nachos (1450 Beale Street, Suite 130, St. Charles; 636-202-0841), a new restaurant dedicated entirely to the crispy tortilla triangle, will open early next year in St. Charles.

Loaded is the brainchild of business partners and friends Brandon Holzhueter and Brad Merten, the pair behind Narwhal's Crafted bars. According to a release announcing the nacho project, the idea for Loaded has been in the works for nearly two years and represents an opportunity, in their words, to "take nachos to the next level." This means a selection of nacho-centric dishes that go beyond the gooey orange cheese-covered ballpark staple and cross over into more thoughtful, chef-driven territory.

To carry out their vision for Loaded, Holzheuter and Merten have tapped Daniel Sammons to serve as executive chef of Loaded. Sammons, who was most recently executive chef at Polite Society and its ghost kitchen, Sub Division, says he is excited to be bringing such a novel idea to life.

"Everybody loves nachos, so it will certainly be a fun format to work within," Sammons says in the release announcing Loaded. "I don't think there is anything just like this out there, and we're on the cusp of opening something people should be excited to try."

Guests at Loaded can expect a variety of different nacho choices based on recognizable dishes, such as toasted ravioli, crab rangoon, banh mi and Reuben sandwiches. In addition to the savory offerings, Loaded will also serve dessert nachos, and the restaurant will also offer nacho flights for those who cannot choose just one dish.

Though no firm opening date is set, Holzhueter and Merten expect that Loaded will be up and running in the next two months. In the meantime, the partners and Sammons will be holding a series of pop-up nacho events around town to test out their dishes.

"With Loaded, we saw an opportunity to elevate and change the perception of what people think of when they hear 'nachos,'" Merten says. "It can be so much more than the standard Mexican or ballpark nachos. By no means are we discounting the classics most people know and love, but instead we are wanting to expand on that and take nachos to the next level."

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