Kevin Nashan, the James Beard Award-nominated chef behind St. Louis' Sidney Street Cafe, is opening a new restaurant in the city. Called The Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co., the restaurant will be located just half a block away from Sidney Street Cafe. According to the press release (below), the menu is inspired by the "Acadian tie between Northeastern and Louisiana cuisines" which means he will serve up riffs on dishes like chowder, gumbo, and lobster rolls. And since the restaurant is named after a fried oyster Po'Boy sandwich, variations of the New Orleans classic will also appear on the menu. Pastry chef Robert Zugmaier will make desserts like seasonal pies, whoopie pies, and snow cones. The 130-seat restaurant will also feature a separate raw bar. The Peacemaker is slated to open in early August. See the press release and photos of the restaurant under construction below:
CHEF KEVIN NASHAN TO OPEN THE PEACEMAKER LOBSTER & CRAB CO. IN ST. LOUIS THIS SUMMER This Summer, Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Cafe and James Beard Award nominee for Best Chef: Midwest will open his second restaurant in St. Louis – The Peacemaker. Inspired by the Acadian tie between Northeastern and Louisiana cuisines, The Peacemaker will feature Nashan's creative interpretations of coastal favorites such as lobster rolls, Po'boy sandwiches, steamed blue crab, seafood boils, chowders, gumbos, and seasonal pies. A raw bar will feature crudos and oysters from the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean. The Peacemaker is slated to open in early August.
"After celebrating Sidney Street Cafe's 10-year anniversary last year, it felt like the right time to embark on a new adventure. While living and working at Commander's Palace in New Orleans and during my travels along the coast of Maine, I fell in love with Acadian cuisine. It's the common thread between those two regions, and I can't wait to share it with St. Louis", says Nashan.
Initially the restaurant will be open for dinner nightly and lunch will be offered in the coming months. The menu will change often and include both coastal classics and playful new creations like lobster frito pie, corn on the cob, peel and eat shrimp, house-made corn dogs, and lobster mac and cheese. Desserts will delight the nostalgic with shoofly pie, blackberry pie, whoopie pies, and snow cones, to name a few. Sidney Street Cafe's dedicated team will stay intact at The Peacemaker, with Robert Zugmaier and Chris Nashan serving as pastry chef and general manager respectively.
The Acadians originated in coastal areas of Maine and Canada, later migrating to Louisiana in the 1700's during the French and Indian Wars. Nashan was inspired to open The Peacemaker after exploring their rich history. "I wanted to open a lobster and crab shack where cuisines from the Northeast and Louisiana could be experienced together; gumbo and chowder can be served side by side, as can Po'Boys and lobster rolls," says Nashan. The restaurant is named for the original fried oyster version of the humble New Orleans Po' Boy sandwich. "The Peacemaker" is crafted from a loaf of French bread which is split, hollowed out and buttered, filled with fried oysters, and finished with lemon juice and pickles. The sandwich dates back to the 1800s when it was offered to angry wives by their husbands as a peace offering for coming home late.
Located in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, half a block from Sidney Street Cafe and in the former Niche space, Nashan and his team completely remodeled the interior to bring The Peacemaker to life. Working with interior designer Sasha Aleksandr Malinich to execute his vision, Nashan sourced Americana décor from local salvage yards to eBay, giving the restaurant a nostalgic and rustic feel. A separate raw bar features a 130-year-old stone oyster trough, and a variety of vintage glass and metal lighting fixtures (some of which are galvanized tubes) illuminate the space. Other design details include a 4'x5' American Flag painted on wood, rare colored Ball mason jars, and blue checkered tablecloths paired with French vintage Tolix chairs in old blue paint. The 3,000-square foot space will seat approximately 130 guests.
Nashan opened Sidney Street Cafe in 2003 with his wife, Mina, and brother, Chris. The restaurant has been a cornerstone of the St. Louis dining scene, and was named Restaurant of the Year as recently as 2013 by St. Louis magazine.