> The pending CWE location of Lester’s Sports Bar & Grill is one step closer to opening. The restaurant, which will occupy the former Companion Bakery spot at 4651 Maryland Ave., now has an approved liquor license, and management says the last remaining hurdle is getting its new facade OK’d by the city. If all goes well, look for an opening in late spring.
> Congratulations are in order for John Viviano & Sons. The venerable Italian market, at 5139 Shaw Ave. on The Hill, recently celebrated 60 years in business. Salud!
> Word is that there will be a new St. Louis Bread Company location at Plaza Frontenac sometime next year. Not a lot of detail to be had right now, but the folks at Panera Bread told us it will be a new building on the plaza property, and the plan is to have it up and running in the third quarter of 2011.
> Local farmers market fave Baetje Farms of Bloomsdale, Mo., took five awards at the 2010 American Cheese Society Annual Conference and Festival of Cheese in Seattle recently. Competition was stiff: 1,462 cheeses from more than 225 producers in 34 states, Canada and Mexico. Owned by STEVE and VERONICA BAETJE, Baetje Farms produces handmade artisan cheeses made with milk from their own animals.
> The wait is over! 3500 Winehaus will debut at 3500 Watson Road. The combination wine store/wine bar will open its doors to the public with a grand opening event Oct. 8 and 9. The venue features 40 seats inside and another 40 on a covered patio.
> Locavore favorite Local Harvest Grocery, 3148 Morganford Road is moving down the block to roomier digs at 3108 Morganford sometime in December. Co-owner MADDIE EARNEST says the old location will be used to expand the Local Harvest catering operation.
> Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood is hosting the Fresh Hop Beer Festival Oct. 16. Area breweries will pour creations made with Amarillo hops from Gamache Farms of Toppenish, Wash. More at schlafly.com/freshhop.shtml.
> And for all you wheat-averse folks who have trouble finding pizza, rejoice! Katie’s Pizzeria Cafe, 6611 Clayton Road now offers a gluten-free crust option. (FYI: Pi has one, as well.)
> The wine dinner has gone high-tech. On Oct. 7, guests at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Clayton, along with those at 53 Morton’s locations nationwide, will enjoy the same meal and wine pairings as their hosts for the evening, members of the famed Mondavi wine family, who’ll be dining and drinking at the Charles Krug Carriage House in Napa Valley. Participants will get a chance to interact with their hosts via high-definition video, as well as Tweet questions to them. The event also will serve as the kickoff of an online auction of a rare 27-litre Mondavi blend, and there will be an additional wine auction locally. Proceeds go to Make-A-Wish Foundation. More info at mortons.com/primeevents/mondavi.