MARC DEL PIETRO, chef/owner of Luciano’s Trattoria in Clayton, is bowing a new venture called The Block at 146 W. Lockwood Ave. in Webster Groves. The 2,500 square feet of space will house a butcher shop, restaurant and bar and will have about 75 seats. All of the restaurant’s meat will be butchered and aged in-house. Del Pietro says the name is a play on ‘butcher’s block,’ as well as a reference to being part of the community ‘on the block.’ Look for a February opening.

ADAM ALTNETHER, executive chef at Brasserie by Niche, is now the proud owner of Taste. Altnether bought the eatery from boss Gerard Craft and took the reins effective Dec. 1. Craft will continue to be a Taste investor. Brasserie’s sous chef, Michael Petres, will be stepping up and taking over as Brasserie’s executive chef. Taste is relocating to the space next door to Brasserie at 4584 Laclede Ave. sometime in January and expanding both the seating and the menu.

BRIAN PELLETIER, owner of Kakao Chocolate at 2301 S. Jefferson Ave., and chocolatier extraordinaire, has announced that a second locale will soon debut at 7272 Manchester Road in Maplewood. He says the space will open sometime in January and will be in full effect come Valentine’s Day. Pelletier says the new space will have the same open floor plan as the original location, so customers can see the chocolate makers at work. While most of the operation will mirror that of the Jefferson Avenue location, Pelletier says he has something in mind to make the new space unique and differentiate it from the original, although for the time being he’s not telling. We’ll keep you posted.

Hollyberry Baking ( is partnering again this year with St. Patrick Center on the Gifts That Give Back program. Owner HOLLY CUNNINGHAM says Hollyberry utilizes the culinary suite at St. Patrick’s BEGIN New Venture Center to train and mentor five of the center’s clients, who then assist in the preparation and shipping of Hollyberry’s holiday gift packages. The company gets some extra holiday help, and the clients take away some concrete skills and a good reference. A true win-win!

Schlafly Beer is celebrating 19 years of brewing in St. Louis with a birthday party all day on Sunday, Dec. 26, at The Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust St. The celebration will feature 1991 beer prices!

Congrats to Sanctuaria Wild Tapas at 4198 Manchester Ave. in The Grove neighborhood, which just celebrated its first anniversary. The restaurant recently gave itself a birthday present: JOEL CLARK, formerly bar manager of the Pi location in the CWE, came onboard last month to help out behind the bar.

Not all farmers markets have shut down for the winter. Some have just moved inside! Every second Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. through April, the St. Louis Community Farmers’ Market is at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 3664 Arsenal St. And every third Saturday from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. through March, the Maplewood Farmers’ Market is at Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave. No excuses left for not supporting local farmers during the cold months!

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