Fans of West End Grill & Pub in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood have had occasion to celebrate since that gustatory mainstay shuttered at the start of the year.
Why? Well, because subsequently, in mid-April, neighborhood residents partnered with two of the original owners – Neill Costello and William Roth – to invest in the casual restaurant’s future, and both revitalized and reopened it.
Nowadays, West End Grill & Pub (known as “WEGAP” to its regulars) sports an updated look to accompany both a new chef and a number of new menu items. Aesthetic improvements to the dining room and bar – which seat roughly 60 and 20 guests, respectively – include fresh coats of maroon and mustard paint, as well as memorabilia reflecting the restaurant’s theatrical environs.
Regarding the menu, executive chef Logan Maus spearheaded efforts to update it. Maus’ culinary résumé includes cooking for such restaurants as BLT’s – Breakfast, Lunch and Tacos and Square One Brewery & Distillery (both of St. Louis) and Cork & Barrel Chop House and Spirits (formerly of St. Peters).
“This really is a neighborhood restaurant with a friendly, open atmosphere,” Maus says. “We serve American bistro fare. There are lots of fun events going on with the connection to The Gaslight Theater under the same roof. This is a place where everyone gets a plate.”
WEGAP favorites including green curry mussels and a braunschweiger sandwich from the original menu remain signatures alongside plenty of new and revised options.
From the small-plates menu, for instance, a new tart flambé flatbread comes with crème fraîche, bacon, red onion and a blend of Italian cheese. Fish tacos, another addition, features corn tortillas topped with fried cod and slaw. Shareables like an onion ring platter with chipotle dipping sauce and a charcuterie board with capocola, Genoa salami, white cheddar, Gorgonzola and toasted pita encourage guests to enjoy dishes together.
Additional highlights include brown sugar pork chops made from boneless pork loin marinated in a brown sugar glaze with rosemary potatoes and seasonal vegetables; pan-seared salmon served over red pepper coulis and topped with crème fraîche, basil potatoes and vegetables; and fish and chips with wild-caught, sustainably sourced Alaskan cod coated with beer batter and served with house fries and tartar sauce. All in all, whether a newcomer or a veteran devotee, West End Grill & Pub would make a fine pre-performance dining spot before enjoying Hello, Dolly! at The Fabulous Fox Theatre.
“For me, this is an introduction to crossing the bridge between the old world and new world,” Maus says of the resurrected WEGAP.
“Having spent a lot of time in Europe during my formative years, I developed a passion for the classics of European cuisine – Italian, German and French cooking – and enjoy finding a way to modernize that and serve them in an American bistro.”
West End Grill & Pub, 354 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis, 314-531-4607, westendgrillandpub.com