• Araka has debuted its new spring menu, which adds to its cocktail list as well as some new vegan and vegetarian dishes like seared tofu and chilled avocado, spinach and sorrel soup.
  • U. City Loop favorite Snarf’s has signed on to take space in the new Mercantile Exchange building on Washington Avenue for location No. 2, joining other local eateries Robust and Pi, which already have committed to the development. Snarf’s co-owner JODI ARONSON tells us she hopes to open the doors sometime this fall. The menu will be the same as the Loop locale with the addition of breakfast and coffee offerings. Some of the Colorado Snarf’s locations, where the chain originated, already offer breakfast, and the menu can be seen at eatsnarfs.com. Aronson also says the new place will be open seven days a week and will feature delivery and catering services, as well as beer and wine.
  • It’s been announced that popular artisan bread purveyor Red Guitar Bread will soon be opening a retail storefront at 3125 Cherokee Street.
  • Beer fans have plenty of choices for hops-related activities this weekend. Urban Chestnut Brewing Company is hosting Maifest 2012 on Saturday, May 12, from noon until 11 p.m. at its Midtown location, 3229 Washington Ave. The brewery will be debuting a special bock beer just for the occasion, and there will be food courtesy of The Block, Smoki-O’s and the St. Louis BBQ Society. The event is open to the public and no tickets are required. Also on the 12th, The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton is hosting its Beerfest 2012 from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be food from the Seoul Taco food truck, and plenty of beers from local favorites, including 4 Hands Brewing, Perennial Artisan Ales, Schlafly, Charleville and Boulevard Brewing Company, among others. Admission is $5, and reservations aren’t required.
  • Balaban’s Wine Cellar & Tapas Bar will be hosting an Old World and New World Chardonnay class on Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. Guests will learn about the various styles and interpretations of this popular wine. The cost is $50 per person and includes a bottle of wine. Call 636-449-6700 or go to balabanswine.com for more info.
  • Purus Vodka, handled by local spirits company Pure Holdings, recently doubled its distribution. The premium spirit can now be found in Illinois, Texas, North Carolina and New Mexico. The brand has been available in Missouri, Arizona, Florida and Ohio since it was launched in 2011.

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