> The weather has finally cooled down, and that means it’s time to get outside and enjoy some of the many open-air events going on around town. The St. Louis Wine Festival will be held at the Grand Basin in Forest Park Sept. 25 and 26, from noon until 6 p.m. Get the chance to taste more than 150 wines from around the world and nosh on food from some of the area’s top restaurants, including Roxane, Jim Edmonds 15 Steakhouse and House of Savoy. More info at stlouiswinefestival.org. The 19th annual Best of Missouri Market is scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Activities include live music, pumpkin decorating and some mighty fine food. Details at mobot.org. That same weekend, Taste of St. Louis takes over downtown once again, at Soldiers’ Memorial (12th and Market streets), and promises fun with the Master Chef competition, the Art & Wine Walk, and of course, tons of food. Admission is free, so there’s no excuse not to experience what the Lou has to offer. For details visit tastestl.com.
> Robust is expanding into the full-service food and beverage catering business. The venerable Webster Groves wine bar has brought on ERIC BRENNER, chef/owner of the late, lamented, Moxy Bistro in the CWE, to lend his culinary expertise to the new operation. Executive chef KRIS JANIK will still be running the restaurant side.
> Looking for a career change? How about the restaurant biz? Word has reached us that Maplewood fave Boogaloo, 7344 Manchester Road, is up for sale. According to the agent brokering the deal, while the restaurant has been financially successful, some of the partners want to pursue other projects.
> Summer is on the wane, but there’s still time to dig into some barbecue before the chill of winter sets in. The sixth annual St. Louis Home Fires BBQ Bash, which benefits Friends of the SLU Liver Center, will be held Sept. 25 and 26 at Wildwood Town Center Plaza. More than 100 amateur and professional grillers will battle it out for the grand prize in eight meaty categories. And for you sticklers out there, the event is officially sanctioned by the St. Louis Barbeque Society. Enjoy a last blast of summer and help out a great cause. Call Frank Schmer at 636-256-6564 for more info.
> Making room for more homestyle Italian eats, Sugo is expanding its dining area (four more tables). And coming soon, right next door: Via Vino, Sugo owner Michael del Pietro’s new wine bar, with small plates. Good food + good prices = good business!