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Thursday, August 8, 2013 / 2:35 PM

Jim Edmonds Puts the Shift On: Hopes to Open Edmonds Parkside Grill in Clayton

Jim Edmonds Puts the Shift On: Hopes to Open Edmonds Parkside Grill in Clayton

For years, the 24-story residential tower Clayton on the Park at 8025 Bonhomme had been the in-season home of many a professional athlete. Word comes today that Jim Edmonds plans to move in there as well…sort of.

Edmonds’ Partner Mark Winfield told Relish today that if all goes well with upcoming meetings with the City of Clayton, Edmonds Parkside Grill could open by year’s end.

Those familiar with the grey concrete and glass building will remember the mezzanine space originally as Smith & Slay’s (a collaboration of Ozzie Smith and chef David Slay)and then as Finale (a restaurant/music venue owned by Contemporary Productions' Steve Schankman). Finale closed in 2010 and the restaurant space has been vacant ever since.

When the Koman Group purchased the building (below) early last year, the intention was to convert the building to high-end apartments (an interim buyer had other ideas) and seek out a restaurant appropriate for the space. The folks from Scape showed interest last year, but it was Edmonds who ultimately stepped to the plate. 

The theme of the restaurant will be Casual American, according to Winfield. “Think of it as a cross between BRIO, BrickTops, and Houston’s.” The décor and vibe will be informal, too, Winfield said. "It's being designed by Sue Ellen Langford, who was also responsible for the interior at J. Gilbert’s in Des Peres."

Several major physical changes are planned for the space: the entrance, formerly accessible only through the lobby of the building, will now be off of Brentwood Boulevard, and the patio (off that same western façade) will be expanded as well.

The rooftop (above)—with one of the best vistas in all of St. Louis—will be used only for private cocktail parties. “There are no kitchen facilities up there nor a full-time bar,” Winfield said, “so we’re somewhat limited.”

And gather round, all ye locals who think local beer is never served cold enough. The bar will feature a Chill-Rite 32 Beer System, which can deliver beers at different temperatures, even as low as at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Guinness will be served at its intended temperature while American light lager drinkers should be on the lookout for ice crystals. Expect to see 20 beers--craft and otherwise--on draft.

Winfield said the menu will lean toward to smoked meats--”pork, brisket, turkey, half-chickens”—with a full complement of salads, sandwiches, flatbreads, and lighter, less expensive entrees. He noted that with its higher price points, their other restaurant—Edmonds 15 Steakhouse—over time had drifted into “special occasion” territory. “You have to adapt,” Winfield said, “and we are adapting.”

So on August 31, Jim Edmond’s 15 Steakhouse at 1900 Locust Street will close and  reopen in October as The Precinct, a casual, burgers-and-beers joint that will have a built-in clientele: the 400-800 police officials who will be moving into the former Wells Fargo building around the corner.

BUT… the 175-250 person event venue (below will live on, as Jim Edmonds Space 15. "It's a great space," Winfield remarked, "and not subject to as many vagaries as a full-time restaurant."

“The downtown space will almost appear like it’s two separate businesses,” Winfield noted. “All we’re really doing, though, is better utilizing what we have.” 

Winfield says that Edmonds has been spending 75% of his time in St. Louis and plans to be somewhat of a fixture in the new restaurant, “like Ozzie and Stan were in their day.”

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