> According to its Facebook page, longtime Loop favorite Brandt’s Cafe has shuttered, and Clayton eatery The Fatted Calf has announced it’ll be closing its doors at the end of the month. Meanwhile, another Loop restaurant, Ranoush, is expanding. The popular purveyor of Syrian cuisine is opening a second location this month at 200 N. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood.
> Authentic Mexican eatery Las Brisas has opened up at 1135 S. Big Bend Blvd. in Richmond Heights. The restaurant is co-located with longtime wine and spirits store Starr’s. Many of the menu items are created from chef SERGIO ZEGAR’s family recipes. We’ve been told they make a mean Margarita, too!
> Scottish Arms in the CWE is no longer just about the whiskey. The restaurant has introduced a new wine program, which includes 15 wines by the glass and about 50 by the bottle. The extensive wine offerings range across the Old and New worlds, and took about a year to put together, according to owner ALLY NISBET.
> Lots of great milestones to report this week: UnKorked Wine Garden in Wentzville and local wine distributor Harsha Wines are both celebrating their first anniversaries this month. The locavore’s favorite, Local Harvest Grocery, just turned 4 years old, and one of the cornerstones of the Maplewood dining scene, Monarch, is toasting eight years in business. And LoRusso’s Cucina is celebrating its 25th birthday with Toga Tuesdays. Every Tuesday in June, dinner patrons get 25 percent off the food portion of their bill.
> We mentioned a while back that a new restaurant, Tavern of Fine Arts, was in the works at 313 Belt Ave. in the DeBalivere Place neighborhood. Co-owner MATHEW DANIELS tells us the eatery, which will feature an art gallery and live classical music, should be open by the end of the month.
> Sushi Ai Japanese Restaurant is opening location number three at 2981 Highway K in O’Fallon, Mo., this month. The folks there have been pretty busy; they just opened the second restaurant in St. Charles last month, and the plan is to add one more location later this year in Manchester.
> Beer fans have another new brew to try in the Lou. Alexander Keith’s, from Nova Scotia, is now available at some area Schnucks stores. The brewery has been around since 1820 but just recently made it to our shores. Currently, there are three beers to choose from: Nova Scotia Style Lager; Nova Scotia Style Pale Ale; and Nova Scotia Style Pale Brown Ale.