Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mission Taco/Sugarfire Taco Coming In March

Beginning tomorrow, March 1, a new taco will be gracing the menu at Mission Taco Joint on Lafayette. The Pig On A Mission taco is a collaboration between Mission and Sugarfire Smokehouse. The taco will be available throughout the month at both Mission locations as well as at Sugarfire. A portion of the proceeds for each sale will go to the Strange Cares program.

Strange Cares is a charity program launched by Strange Donuts last year to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls On The Run, and The Children’s Heart Foundation.

The taco will feature Ancho Smoked Pork with Pineapple Salsa, Hibiscus Pickled Onions and Habaneroa Lime Slaw topped with Chipotle BBQ Sauce. A Mission-made tortilla will of course attempt to corral all that goodness.

Source: Sugarfire Smokehouse Facebook page.
The specialty taco will be sold at Sugarfire at part of a special consisting of 3 of the tacos and a side for $11. $1 from each sale will go to Strange Cares.

The Strange Donuts folks made a video to announce the Pig On A Mission taco. Mission's Jason Tilford and Sugarefire's Mike Johnson originally talked about doing a collaboration taco at the recent Mardi Gras Cajun Cook-Off in Soulard and then got the idea to get a charity involved.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

St. Louis Cardinals Back Jack Coatar

In case you live under a rock or don't care about one of the great American freedoms, I'm here to inform you of something. Phylllis Young, the longtime 7th Ward Alderwoman, retired in December. Three Democratic candidates are running in the upcoming Democratic Primary to fill her seat. Voters in this ward will elect one person on March 3 out of the field of John (Jack) Coatar, Chelsea Merta and Samuel Cummings III to represent us.. Sure, this is only the Democratic Primary but there's a 99.9% chance the winner of this race is our next 7th Ward Alderman.

All three of these candidates have been civil to each other in the debates and forums I've seen. They've all pledged to work with whomever gets elected to make this ward a better place. Each has their own strengths and weaknesses. I'm not here to tell you who to vote for, although I'll say right now I consider Jack Coatar a friend and will be voting for him on Tuesday, March 3. I encourage readers to check out all three candidates and vote for the one they feel will truly make the 7th Ward and St. Louis a better place.

That being said, I'd like to point out something. You see, I generally don't really care which companies contribute to political campaigns. The 7th Ward Independent Democrats think you all should care that Red Brick has donated to the Jack Coatar campaign. Don't be fooled by the Independent part of their name. The blog is awash in pink, the hallmark of Merta's campaign. The blog regularly takes shots at Samuel Cummings III, who apparently was once a member of the organization.

The blog conveniently put out this post condemning Red Brick's contribution to Coatar's campaign at a time when the company's policies during the Mardi Gras season are a hot topic in the neighborhood. On the subject of Red Brick, think about where Soulard would be without the company. How many of these homes occupied by renters now would be vacant? How many businesses would be here? Red Brick isn't perfect, no company is.

We could argue all day about Red Brick as a neighbor, but that's not what this post is about. Should you be holding a contribution of $1,000 by the company against the candidate? If anything, it shows that the candidate is on good terms with whomever controls the purse strings in that company and has their ear. That's a good thing, in case I didn't explain myself well.

However, if we are going to talk about donations from companies, there's an interesting line item in one of Coatar's financial reports. Eight days after he took $1,000 from Red Brick, he received a $2,500 donation from another St. Louis business. This business is the most important business in the 7th Ward; the most important business to St. Louis City and probably the most important business in the St Louis region. It's also beloved in many parts of the country, at least where the sweet sounds of KMOX can be heard in the Spring, Summer and Fall evenings.

That company that donated $2,500 to the Coatar For St. Louis campaign is of course the St. Louis Cardinals.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mardi Gras Grand Parade Day at The Biergarten at A-B

Over on RealLifeSTL you can find the details for what's going on at The Biergarten at Anheuser-Busch this Saturday.

The Brewery is of course on the Southern edge of Soulard and might be a bit of a walk for some, but then again, maybe you have a golf cart? Chef Travis Odle makes some delicious food and the restaurant area is really done right. The prices are reasonable and the tent in the winter time is a great experience.

The Biergarten is offering what amounts to a $25 breakfast buffet that includes three beers. No menu yet for the buffet but it is guaranteed to have an omelet station. If you've eaten over there before, you know that the food is most always pretty delicious. A post on The Biergarten's Facebook page says that you will be able to choose from 18 beers on tap for your three beers.

The Biergarten will be open from 8 AM - 8 PM on Saturday with the breakfast buffet being served from 8 AM - 11 AM and a "New Orleans-inspired" menu being served after that. The restaurant features separate indoor and outdoor seating areas with the outdoor area covered with a tent and heated in the colder months.

2015 soulard mardi gras

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 Mardi Gras Grand Parade Day Parties

Mardi Gras Grand Parade Day is quickly approaching on February 14th. The Bud Light Mardi Gras Grand Parade will step off from Busch Stadium at 11 am and wind its way south to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.

Here's a roundup of all of the major ticketed tent parties happening in Soulard on Grand Parade Day. I did not include the &10 ticket events such as as iTap and Social House. These tickets may or may not get you a free beer. They will get you access to private restrooms, however.

Note that all parties include in and out privileges all day unless otherwise noted.

Malibu VIP Tent @ Molly's -- $100

Open Bar: 11am - 10:30pm
Food: 1pm - 5pm
Private Restrooms: Yes

Get your tickets to the Malibu VIP Tent @ Molly's

iTap VIP Mardi Gras Party -- $100

Open Bar: 11am - 6pm
Food: Catered by Epic Pizza & Subs
Private Restrooms: Yes

All 44 taps will be open for open bar. At least one Cider beer will be available. This party is just for the inside area of iTap. Your ticket will also get you into the patio party but you will have to enter through a different entrance for that

Get your tickets to the iTap VIP Mardi Gras Party

Mardi Gras VIP Lounge At The Porch -- $70

Open Bar: 10am - 5pm
Food: Snacks
Privates Restrooms: Yes

Open bar will consist of Hurricanes, beer and well drinks

Get your tickets to the Mardi Gras VIP Lounge at The Porch

Joanies Mardi Gras Party Pacakge -- $85

Open Bar: 10:30am - 6:30pm
Food: Unlimited Cajun Buffet
Private Restrooms: Yes

Open bar will consists of beer, well drinks and Hurricanes. DJ Record Spin will be playing music in the heated tent.

Get your tickets to for the Joanie's Mardi Gras Party

Big Daddy's Ultimate Mardi Gras All-Inclusive Package -- $100

Open Bar: 8am - 6pm
Food: Kegs & Eggs Breakfast Buffet from 8-11am. Lunch Buffet from 11am-5pm
Private Restrooms: Yes

Open bar will consist of beers, call and Three Olives vodka drinks. Shots not included but discounted. Bloody Mary bar from 8am-11am. Whiskey Dixon playing 9am-Noon. Social Remedy 2pm-6pm. DJs playing upstairs and Main Bar all day & night. Shuttle service running all day from parade route to bar.

Get your tickets for the Big Daddy's Ultimate Mardi Gras All-Inclusive Package

Monster Tent (DB's Parking Lot) -- $99

Open Bar: 10:30am - 4 pm
Food: None included. Food available from DB's
Private Restrooms: Yes

Open bar is "premium" and will included Bud Light, Bud Select, Budweiser, Busch, Lima-A-Rita, Jack Daniel's, Jack Daniel's Honey, Souther Comfort, Finlandia Vodka and Hurricanes. 32oz mug included. Heated tent. Music from DJ Pur, DJ Rostam, DJ Lou and Slante/JWin throughout day.

Get your tickets to the Monster Tent

Party with the Point & J├Ągermeister -- $75 (Franklin Room)

Open Bar: No. 5 free drinks
Food: Yes. "Mardi Gras-inspired"
Private Restrooms: Yes

This part at the Franklin Room will feature a large indoor dance floor, indoor bathrooms and various giveaways. The party goes from 10am-6pm. Live music from DJ Patrico.

Get your tickets to The Point's Mardi Gras party.

Bud Light Party Tent (Soulard Market Park)  -- $125

Open Bar:Yes
Food: Buffet catered by Joanie's
Private Restrooms: Yes

This isthe official Mardi Gras Party Tent. Three climate-controlled tents house the party. Bud Lights giveaways and a special Bud Light gift.

Get your tickets to the Bud Light Party Tent.

Captain Morgan Mardi Gras Tent (10th & Geyer) -- $75

Open Bar: 11am - 6pm
Food: No
Private Restrooms: Maybe?

Get your tickets to the Captain Morgan Mardi Gras Tent

Dannic, a DJ fron the Netherlands will be performing in the Captain Morgan tent. Premium open bar will include Captain Morgan, Smirnoff and other brands from the Diageo family as well as beer and hurricanes.

Mission Taco Joint Mardi Gras -- $125

Open Bar: 9am - 6pm
Food: Breakfast Buffet 9a-11a, Taco & Nacho Buffet 12-6pm

Bloody Mary and Mimosa bar open for breakfast only. Unlimited draft pours from 12 taps after that. One Cider guaranteed on draft. Mardi-Ritas and high-quality house spirits and mixers included.

Get your tickets to Mission Taco Joint Mardi Gras

Ninth Street Deli -- $75

Open Bar: 10:30am - 5:30pm
Food: Breakfast 10:30-12:30, Lunch 12:30-4:30. 2 meal tickets per person

Live Music. Newly Wed Game with $75 cash prize to winner.

For Details See Cashier At Ninth Street Deli

Tony La Russa to be Grand Marshal of the 2015 Beggin' Pet Parade

It was announced late last night via a tweet from Mardi Gras, Inc that former St . Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa will server as the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Beggin' Pat Parade in Soulard. The 22nd Annual Beggin' Pet Parade will take place this Sunday in Soulard as part of the 2015 Soulard Mardi Gras schedule.

La Russa is a huge animal advocate and is the co-founder and chairman of Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation. la Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals from 1996-2011. The team went 11408-1182 in those games while winning 3 National League Pennants and 2 World Series Titles. La Russa's career managerial record was 2728-2365 in 33 seasons where his team's won 6 League Pennants and 3 World Series Titles. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 2014.

Any humans wanting to participate in the parade with their pet can register for a suggested donation of $10. Registration has moved to the corner of 12th and Allen this year and will begin at 10am. The parade will kick off at 1pm and then Blues Traveler will take the stage on 9th street for a free concert. There will also be a costume contest this year after the parade with prizes in three categories, Best Sports Personality, Best Mardi Gras and Best Celebrity Look-Alike. The winner in each category may choose from either $1,000 or a St. Louis Cardinals ticket package.

The first heat in the Wiener Dog Derby will begin at 2 pm at Wiener Stadium in Rudy Commons in Soulard Market Park.

Here's Rick Swesen of Nestle-Purina and Tracy Quackenbush of Open Door Animal Sanctuary discussing the festivities on Fox 2 News in the Morning.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shelly's Gets A Logo

Soulard lost a longtime business back in September when Clementine's sold its last stiff drink on September 29. The building and parking lot across Allen were sold and a new bar will open in place of Clem's.

The new owners have done a lot of work to the building, Here's a recent picture of the outside.

Mark Packer first spoke at the November General Membership meeting of the Soulard Restoration Group about the building he had purchased and his plans. He said he wanted to make the place into a "true sports bar" and shot down rumors that the place would be a "gentleman's club". He said they were targeting a January 1 opening. A representative of the bar again spoke at the January SRG General Membership meeting where they invited residents to stop by for a tour if they were out and about. They also spoke of some mess that was caused by having to completely redo the main water line into the building.

There's no word yet on the opening date, but Shelly's In Soulard does have a Facebook page and a logo.

Shelly's In Soulard sports bar

The logo came from 99designs. a crowd-sourcing site. From the project page, 134 designs were submitted by 44 different designers and cost the owners of Shelly's $499. The bar also submitted a blurb about the description of the bar and its target audience.

"Description of the organization and its target audience

Shelly's will be a sports bar in the Soulard neighborhood in St Louis.
The Soulard area is a historic French district (mid 1800s victorian)
that is the nightlife and partying center of St. Louis. Soulard hosts
the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country.
Shelly's will be located in a 1860 vintage brick victorian building
with New Orleans style balcony. We are in the heart of Soulard. The
bar will be sexy but classy. We will have a "good time" party
atmosphere. We will have attractive outgoing flirty servers. Many flat
screen TVA for sports. We will do some live music. The Interior
features a large classic wood bar and lots of exposed brick and rich
wood. Drinks and food will be moderately priced. We are aiming at
business and working guys during the day and a fun crowd at night.
Target age range is 35-65.
We feature attractive outgoing flirty servers. I would like to see
some designs that convey a sexy look (without being sleezy or tacky or
making us look like a "strip club" - which we're not) - something that
says flirty, tease, suggestive, provocative. Maybe include some
element(s) like: the form or suggestion of the female body, an
attractive face, lips, high heals, mardi gras beeds, mardi gras mask,
a sly smile, martini glass or similar.
I would also like to see some designs that convey fun and party.
Something that is more wild and/or casual in styling and less "iconic"
and symetrical. Something that's a bit louder and more daring. We want
our bar to be the the place to party in Soulard. Looking for something
that says: fun, wild, up for whatever happens."

To the best of my knowledge, Shelly's In Soulard was recently granted a liquor license by the City of St. Louis's Excise Division.

Debate about Shelly's has been quite fierce on Next Door, the community social app. Feel free to post your comments below while keeping note of two things:

1) While this description doesn't scream "family-friendly", it doesn't say "half-naked waiters/waitresses who can hook you up with the white powder coke" either. It's pretty logical for any new place to want "attractive, outgoing flirty servers". Businesses (other than Clem's and their ridiculously stiff drinks) exist to make money. You want people to have a great experience. There's a difference between how much money you need to bring in when you've owned a building/business for awhile and how much you need to make after shelling (get it?) out a ton for rehabbing a building. Can you imagine how much it cost just to get the stale smoke smell out? Add in the cost of quite a few televisions and you are looking at a lot of money.

2) I'm tired of hearing "Soulard doesn't need ANOTHER sports bar". The only way that argument is accepted is if you can point me to all of these great sports bars you think we have in Soulard. I sure haven't found them. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mardi Gras 2015 In St. Louis Begins Tuesday With Twelfth (12th) Night

The Mardi Gras or "Carnival" season begins each year with Twelfth Night on January 6th. Thus the Mardi Gras 2015 season begins this Tuesday. In St. Louis, and specifically Soulard, this holiday is celebrated in a unique way.

At 5pm. Soulard Mardi Gras dignitaries will gather on the second floor of Johnny's at 1017 Russell for an all-important gathering to decide the fate of Mardi Gras 2015. From 5 until roughly 6 pm, interested parties are invited to petition the board to attempt to sway their decision-making. Petitioners may do this in whatever way they see fit. Bribes are accepted and encouraged.

At roughly 6:30 pm the ceremonial King of Soulard Mardi Gras 2015, known at "Rex", will greet those gathered on Russell from the front steps of the restaurant. From there, he will announce the dignitaries' decision.

Should the decision be made to move forward with Mardi Gras 2015, a walking parade will then begin at Johhny's and wind its way through Soulard before ending at Soulard Market Park. Dignitaries and other locally-famous people will greet revelers at various establishments to toast the season. A presentation will be held in front of Soulard Market and the Soulard Mardi Gras flag will be raised high above the streets of Soulard.

This is all assuming that petitioners are successful in convincing the dignitaries to move forward with plans to celebrate Mardi Gras 2015 in St. Louis.

This is one of the coolest Soulard traditions so make sure to come out Tuesday night to Johnny's. Why Johnny's you ask? Well 1017 Russell is the birthplace of the Soulard Mardi Gras celebration. It was there in 1979 that Bob Brinkman and four of his buddies decided to throw a party. Hilary Clements owned 1017 Russell at the time and it was decided they would have the party at his house. The men each threw in $250 and invited 50 people. The event has now turned into the largest celebration in the region and what many claim is the second-largest Mardi Gras celebration in the United States.

If you're coming out to the Twelfth Night celebration on Tuesday, be sure to dress for the weather as it is an outdoor walking parade. Also, do not drive along behind the procession with your car, like a couple local reporters did two years ago. That's just asking for trouble.

As a reminder, the 2015 Bud Light Mardi Gras Grand Parade is scheduled for Saturday, February 14th. The Fat Tuesday Parade through downtown St. Louis is scheduled to begin at 5:30 pm on Tuesday February 17th.

Also, if you are on Twitter, remember to follow @STLMardiGras and tag your Mardi Gras-related tweets with #stlmg


There will be a Wig Contest at Nadine's that night as well. Where a wig there or when you stop by on the 12th Night parade and you could win up to $60 from Nadine's.