Craft Beer in the St. Louis Area

Craft beer is growing fan favorite across the country. Today’s brewers have kicked it up a notch as they try to distinguish themselves from everyone else trying to distinguish themselves. Whether you are a craft brewery or a bar that sells special craft brews, you are in the right market because sales are only looking to grow!

Anyone for steak and onion Kolsch? Or a macaroni and cheese pale ale?

Those were among the flavors at the Strange Brew Festival in Reno, Nevada, this month, where competition for attention has intensified as craft beers have boomed.

Brewers have always experimented, from the medieval Belgians who stirred sour cherries into their beer to newer varieties like the white IPA, a marriage of Belgian and American styles that was developed about a decade ago.

But today’s brewers have kicked it up a notch as they try to distinguish themselves from everyone else trying to distinguish themselves.

Visitors at the festival in Reno could sample a peanut butter and pickle pilsner, a tamale lager and a smoked carrot stout. There were concoctions from big brewers like Sierra Nevada and smaller local brew pubs, sweet beers brewed with Jolly Ranchers and spicy ones that tasted like garlic bread or mango salsa.

The U.S. had 7,346 craft brewers last year, up 93% from 2014, according to the Brewers Association, an industry trade group. Craft beer sales rose 7% to $27.6 billion last year, about one-fourth of the total U.S. beer market.

“People are looking for ways to differentiate themselves and be the next big thing,” said Jon Brandt, a beer aficionado who works for Washington-based distributor Madidus Importers. “A lot of it is just about trying to get noticed.”

A beer with head-turning labels or ingredients can do just that. Denver-based Wynkoop Brewing Co. lures a lot of customers with its Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout, which is made with roasted barley, seven different grains and grilled buffalo or bull testicles.

“It actually started as an April Fool’s joke,” said John Sims, Wynkoop’s head brewer. “It’s pretty popular.”

Wynkoop has traditional ales and lagers on the menu, too. Sometimes, Brandt said, a wacky beer is a way to get people to look at the rest of a brewer’s lineup.

“I’m making a beer for you to notice me, but I really want to sell you my IPA,” he said. Among the oddest beers he has tasted is a Bloody Mary brew from Michigan’s Short’s Brewing Co. He liked it, but other tasters thought it went too far.

There are purists who decry the trend toward wacky ingredients.

“I personally am not a fan of ridiculous brews incorporating materials and gimmicks that have no historical provenance in brewing,” said Charlie Bamforth, a distinguished professor emeritus in the food science and technology department of the University of California, Davis.

Bamforth said laws restricting ingredients — like Germany has — might be going a bit too far. But he would like to see some regulations defining what can and can’t be called “beer.”

“If someone wants to explore bizarre components, then I think they should do it under the umbrella of alternative beverages and not be allowed to sully the good name of beer,” he said.

Others say experiments that stray too far get weeded out quickly.

“It has to be flavorful. It has to taste like beer,” said Hal McConnellogue, cellar manager at San Leandro, California-based Drake’s Brewing Co., which had an IPA made with altar bread, grapes and terpenes at the festival. “It’s got to make you want another one. If it doesn’t, then it’s just gimmicky and you’re going to be out of the spotlight pretty fast.”

Jess Lebow, the author of The Beer Devotional and The United States of Craft Beer, says the high level of experimentation is what makes craft beer so special. Lebow said he might only try a steak and onion beer once. It might be great, but even if it’s not, it might lead to a beer that’s a big hit.

“There are really only so many flavors you can create with water, malt, barley and hops,” he said. “At the end of the day, if the brewer is having fun trying new things, then I’m probably having fun trying their beer.”

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AP videojournalists Haven Daley in Reno and P. Solomon Banda in Denver contributed to this story.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: https://www.stltoday.com/business/national-and-international/as-craft-beer-market-grows-so-do-wild-flavors/article_27dbca1a-3f59-56c0-880f-c6d6f1f157a9.html

Pipeline to Wood River Restarts

The crude pipeline to Wood River is going to restart, says officials. News of the restart strengthened the front-month spread between July and August U.S. crude futures and helped U.S. crude futures pare losses. PLX did not elaborate on the cause of the shutdown in the shipper notice but traders have said the issue was likely due to flooding in the region.

NEW YORK — MPLX LP said on Wednesday that the issue that forced the shutdown of its 360,000 barrels per day (bpd) Ozark crude pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to Wood River, Ill., has been resolved, traders told Reuters, citing a shipper notice.

The company expects to restart the line early on Friday and it will operate at full capacity upon restart, according to the notice.

U.S. cash crude markets at Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures had weakened significantly on Tuesday after the outage.

News of the restart strengthened the front-month spread between July and August U.S. crude futures and helped U.S. crude futures pare losses, traders and brokers said.

Trading in the spread is closely tied to supply and demand at Cushing and it had weakened to trade at the widest level in nearly three months earlier in the session.

Representatives of MPLX did not immediately respond to a requests for comment.

MPLX did not elaborate on the cause of the shutdown in the shipper notice but traders have said the issue was likely due to flooding in the region.

More than a week of violent weather, including downpours and deadly tornadoes, has devastated the central United States, bringing record-breaking floods in parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas, turning highways into lakes and submerging all but the roofs of some homes.

More rain is forecast, and the flooding is expected to spread, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) and local officials.

Source: https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/crude-pipeline-to-wood-river-expected-to-restart-on-friday/article_3ec2e8db-52d6-5519-83d6-448c52917a27.html

Acts of Kindness in St. Louis

Despite the horrible weather St. Louis is currently enduring, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A local teen has been doing random acts of kindness around the city that is impressing people nationwide. The teen helped assist a wheelchair bound man who was stuck in the storms path. The teen helped push the man’s wheelchair up the hill to get him safely back to his house.

ST. JOHN, Mo. (KMOV.com) – In the midst of severe weather Tuesday, a St. Louis teen’s efforts to help a man in a wheelchair stuck in the storm’s path is touching hearts across the metro area.

Gregory Beck was leaving Schnucks on St. Charles Rock Road in St. John when the tornado sirens starting going off. 

“Everyone kept telling me the storm is coming and you need to hurry up and get home,” said Beck. 

Beck lost both his legs within the last year. Diabetes also caused him to go legally blind. He can’t drive, so he pushes himself up and down a hill to his home. 

He says drivers were honking and yelling at him as he tried to cross St. Charles Rock Road. He made it to a nearby gas station when a car pulled up. 

“This lady and her son were hollering at me like ‘are you okay?” Beck said. “Very lovely lady driving and her son. Just the greatest people and very concerned about other people, which America needs to start doing more of.”

Seth Phillips, 16, jumped out of the car and began pushing Beck’s wheelchair up the hill to his home. 

“We need to be caring for each other and helping each other out,” said Phillips. 

Beck says without Phillip’s help, it would normally take him about 25 minutes to get up the hill. He has to stop as many as 10 times to rest.

“My hope is that other teenagers will see that it’s the cool thing to do, you know, it’s good to help other people. It doesn’t make you uncool to stop and help someone who needs it,” said Seth’s mom, Amber Gilleylen.

Gilleylen initially recorded video of her son pushing Beck to share with her mom. She posted the video on Facebook and was surprised to see it shared dozens of times. She says she is so proud of her son for wanting to help, noting it’s not our of character for him. 

“His only complaint was ‘it makes me sad that people would rather fly by and honk at a disabled person rather than to lend a hand,” said Gilleylen.

Beck says he’s very thankful for their help and that even the smallest acts of kindness can mean a lot. 

“You don’t have to give them money, just doing a kind act. Instead of shooting somebody, give them a kind act,” said Beck.

Phillips calls Beck his friend and hopes to re-connect soon. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the man to get an electric wheelchair. Click here for more.

Source: https://www.kmov.com/news/st-louis-teen-s-act-of-kindness-touching-hearts-across/article_67dd8326-7cfe-11e9-8308-5f001b9dcace.html

Portions of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers near St. Louis have been closed

The Coast Guard Thursday closed portions of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to all vessel traffic due to extremely high water levels and fast-moving currents near St. Louis. A no wake order was issued on the Illinois River from mile marker 10 to mile marker 80.2, the Coast Guard said.

The restrictions will be lifted as soon as conditions improve, the Coast Guard said.

ST. LOUIS  — The Coast Guard Thursday closed portions of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers to all vessel traffic due to extremely high water levels and fast-moving currents near St. Louis. 

The Mississippi River was closed from mile marker 179, just south of the Eads Bridge, to mile marker 184, the Chain of Rocks Bridge.

The Coast Guard said it was encouraging all southbound vessels between mile marker 179 and mile marker 168.5, at the Jefferson Barracks Bridge, to operate only during daylight hours.

A no wake order was issued on the Illinois River from mile marker 10 to mile marker 80.2, the Coast Guard said.

The restrictions will be lifted as soon as conditions improve, the Coast Guard said.

Source: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/coast-guard-closes-portions-of-the-mississippi-and-illinois-rivers/article_4280ea02-32e6-5a39-9e05-1440ad6fdc7a.html

Spooky Halloween Events You Do Not Want To Miss

There is no shortage of spooky Halloween events around the St. Louis area. Whether you are looking for haunted houses, corn mazes, scary movie nights or a creepy theatrical performance, there are so many opportunities that you do not want to miss out on! If you have little children, do not worry! There are many kid-friendly options that will not leave them having nightmares.

Source: http://events.stltoday.com/events?neighborhoods=&categories=11

St. Louis Fall Concerts You Do Not Want To Miss

Besides cooler weather and pumpkin spice lattes, there is nothing better than a fall concert. This fall, St. Louis concerts are sure making an appearance! From Blues, Hip-hop, country and Rock n’ Roll — there are an array of different concerts that will resonate with the entire family! For a full detailed list, check out this article!

• Shakey Graves’ “The Tour x9 World Tour” with the Wild Reeds, 8 p.m. Sept. 30, the Pageant, $25-$28, ticketmaster.com

Shakey Graves. Photo by Greg Giannukos

• Parkway Drive, the Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, Polaris, 8 p.m. Sept. 4, the Pageant, $28.50-$30, ticketmaster.com

• Boy George & Culture Club, the B-52s,Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, 7 p.m. Sept. 6, Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard, $49.50-$129.50, metrotix.com

• NPR’s Ask Another with Matt and Kim, Ophira Eisenberg hosts, 7:30 p.m.  Sept. 6 the Pageant, $25-$55, ticketmaster.com

• Brent Faiyaz’s “Sonder Son Tour,” 7 p.m. Sept. 6, Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy, $20-$25, ticketweb.com

• Junior Brown, 8 p.m. Sept. 6, Old Rock House, 1200 South Seventh Street, $25, metrotix.com

• Brad Williams, 8 p.m. Sept. 6, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sept. 7-8, Helium Comedy Club, $17-$22, heliumcomedy.com

• Ringo Starr & His All Star Band with Colin Hay, Steve Lukather, Gregg Rolie, Graham Gouldman, Warren Ham, Gregg Bissonette, 8 p.m. Sept. 7, Fox Theatre, $40-$195, metrotix.com

• An Evening with Firefall, 8 p.m. Sept. 8, Wildey Theatre, 252 North Main Street, Edwardsville, sold out, wildeytheatre.com

• Punch Brothers, Madison Cunningham, 8 p.m. Sept. 8, Touhill Performing Arts Center, One University Boulevard, $37-$79, touhill.org

• ‘90s House Party with Vanilla Ice, Coolio, All-4-One, Montell Jordan, Young MC, Rob Base, Tone Loc, Naughty by Nature, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 8, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, $15-$149, livenation.com

• The Temptations, the Four Tops, 8 p.m. Sept. 8, J. Scheidegger Center for the Performing Arts, 2300 West Clay Street, St. Charles, $49.50-$89.50, lindenwood.edu/j-scheidegger-center-for-the-arts/

• Counting Crows’ “25 Years and Counting” with Live, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 9, Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, $17-$125, livenation.com

• Greg Laswell, 8 p.m. Sept. 11, Old Rock House, $15, metrotix.com

• Ryley Walker, 8 p.m. Sept. 11, Off Broadway, $12-$14, etix.com

• Chick Corea, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sept 11-12, Jazz St. Louis, 3536 Washington Avenue, $75, jazzstl.org

• Shonen Knife, 8 p.m. Sept. 12,  the Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Avenue, $20-$25, ticketfly.com

• Carbon Leaf, 8 pm. Sept. 13, Old Rock House, $20-$25, metrotix.com

•  Rickey Smiley, 8 p.m. Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sept. 14-15, Helium Comedy Club, $25, heliumcomedy.com

• Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sept. 13, Jazz St. Louis, $30, jazzstl.org

• Lupe Fiasco, Mvstermind, 8 p.m. Sept. 13, Delmar Hall, $30-$35, ticketmaster.com

• Gary Numan’s “The Second Savage North American Tour” with Nightmare Air, 8 p.m. Sept. 13, the Ready Room, $22-$25, ticketfly.com

• An Evening with Gillian Welch, 8 p.m. Sept. 13, the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard, $38-$40, metrotix.com

• Maroon 5’s “Red Pill Blues Tour 2018” with Julia Michaels, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13, Enterprise Center, $46-$146, ticketmaster.com

• Scotty McCreery, 8 p.m. Sept. 14, J. Scheidegger Center for the Performing Arts, $29.50-$59.50, lindenwood.edu/j-scheidegger-center-for-the-arts/

• Bobby Bare, 8 p.m. Sept. 14, Wildey Theatre, $50-$55, wildeytheatre.com

• JD McPherson (and his band), 8 p.m. Sept. 14, Off Broadway, $20 etix.com

• RuPaul’s “Werq the World” with Aquaria, Eureka, Kameron Michaels, Asia O’Hare, Shangela, Kim Chi, Violet Chachki, Valentina and host Bob the Drag Queen, 9 p.m. Sept. 14, the Pageant, $55-$65, ticketmaster.com

• Rickey Smiley, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sept. 14-15, Helium Comedy Club, $40-$50, heliumcomedy.com

• Moneybagg Yo, 9 p.m. Sept. 15, the Pageant, $45-$55, ticketmaster.com

• Gabriel & Dresden, 9 p.m. Sept. 15, Ryse Nightclub at Ameristar Casino, 1 Ameristar Boulevard, $10-$25, ticketmaster.com

• Alejandro Escovedo, 8 p.m. Sept. 15, Delmar Hall, $25-$30, ticketmaster.com

• RBRM (Ronnie DeVoe, Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins), 7 p.m. Sept. 16, Chaifetz Arena, 1 South Compton Avenue, $45-$95, ticketmaster.com

• An Evening with Yo La Tengo, 8 p.m. Sept. 17, Delmar Hall, $25-$28, ticketmaster.com

• Bullet For My Valentine, We Came as Romans, Bad Omens, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18, the Pageant, $32.50-$35, ticketmaster.com

• All That Remains, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19, Fubar, $25, etix.com

• Chromeo, Steven A. Clark, 8 p.m. Sept. 19, the Pageant, $30-$35, ticketmaster.com

• Bryon Stripling, 8 p.m. Sept. 19, 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m and 9:30 p.m. Sept. 21-22, 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sept. 23, Jazz St. Louis, $30, jazzstl.org

• The Band of Heathens, 8 p.m. Sept. 20, the Sheldon Concert Hall $20, metrotix.com

• The Record Company, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, 8 p.m. Sept. 20, the Pageant, $24-$29, ticketmaster.com

• Lord Huron, 8 p.m. Sept. 21, the Pageant, sold out, ticketmaster.com

• Miniature Tigers, Jasper Boens, 9 p.m. Sept. 21, Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Boulevard, $20-$25, ticketmaster.com

• Jonathan McReynolds, 8 p.m. Sept. 21, the Firebird, 2706 Olive Street, $20-$75, ticketfly.com

• B Phlat, 8 p.m. Sept. 21, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. Sept. 22, 8 p.m. Sept. 23, the Laugh Lounge, 11208 West Florissant Avenue, $15-$20, etix.com

• USO of Missouri Red White and Blue presents Stone Sour, Shaman’s Harvest, 8 p.m. Sept. 22, the Pageant, $30, ticketmaster.com

• DJ Benny Benassi, 9 p.m. Sept. 22, $15 with VIP options available, Ryse Nightclub, 1 Ameristar Boulevard, St. Charles, $15, ticketmaster.com

• The Fab Four, 8 p.m. Sept. 22, J. Scheidegger Center for the Performing Arts, $29.50-$69.50, lindenwood.edu/j-scheidegger-center-for-the-arts/

•Melvin Seals and JGB, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22, Atomic Cowboy Pavilion, $25,  ticketfly.com

• Never Shout Never, 8 p.m. Sept. 23, Off Broadway, $25, etix.com

• Stevie Ray Vaughan Tribute with Steve Pecaro, Tony Campanella, Mike Zito and more, 8 p.m. Sept. 24, the Pageant, $20-$25, ticketmaster.com

• Blessthefall’s “Hard Feelings Tour” with the Word Alive, Ded, Thousand Below, War Within, 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25, Delmar Hall, $18-$20, ticketmaster.com

• Anne Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway: Sibling Rivelry, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 26, 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Jazz St. Louis, $40, jazzstl.org

• MC50 Presents: “Kick Out the Jams 50th Anniversary Tour,” with the Detroit Tigers, 8 p.m. Sept. 26, the Ready Room, $30-$149, ticketfly.com

• Parker Millsap, 8 p.m. Sept. 26, Old Rock House $15-$18, metrotix.com

• Car Seat Headrest, Naked Giants, 8 p.m. Sept. 27, Delmar Hall, $22-$25, ticketmaster.com

• Donnell Rawlings, 8 p.m. Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sept. 28-29, Helium Comedy Club, $18-$22, heliumcomedy.com

• “Girls Night Live” with Mandisa, Blanca, Candace Payne, Jasmine Murray, 7 p.m. Sept. 28, Family Arena, 2002 Arena Parkway, St. Charles, $31-$66, metrotix.com

• Foxing, 8 p.m. Sept. 28, Delmar Hall, $15-$18, ticketmaster.com

• Philip H Anselmo & the Illegals, King Parrot, Divine Sorrow, Article III, 8 p.m. Sept. 29, Pop’s, 401 Monsanto Avenue, Sauget, $20-$25, ticketweb.com

• Eddie Izzard’s “Believe Me Tour,”  8 p.m. Sept. 29, Touhill Performing Arts Center, $39-$95, touhill.org

• Green Velvet, Faded Sessions, Luke Hansen, Brian R, Just/G and Boomer, 9 p.m. Sept. 29, Ryse Nightclub, $10, ticketmaster.com

• Dire Straits Legacy, 7:30 pm. Sept. 29, Family Arena, $35-$65, metrotix.com

Source: https://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/music/kevin-johnson/your-guide-to-concerts-in-st-louis-this-fall/collection_448d02cc-e3cb-5cbe-b7f3-1dec3f0e045b.html

Wentzville Police Lip Sync

Have you seen the viral lip syncing videos going viral across the country? These videos are especially intriguing when police stations make their own. The Wentzville police channeled their inner Top Gun and even used a drone to complete the video! This video has gone viral and you do not want to miss out on watching it!

As area police departments have joined the viral Lip Sync Challenge, we’ve been treated to all manner of creative entertainment.

We’ve already seen flamethrowers, celebrities, ridiculously good choreography, excellent acting and storylines, references to Warren G and Prince, unusual song choices and an eye-opening recreation of a famous scene from “Titanic.”

What we haven’t seen: An adaptation of “Top Gun” featuring drone video, an officer called “that hottie in the green flight suit” in a Facebook comment, and drawn-on abs. Thanks to the Wentzville Police Department, now we have.

RELATED: From doughnut delights to ‘Uptown Funk’: More than a dozen of the best national police lip-sync videos

Wentzville’s video starts in familiar territory, with an authority figure laying down the law, saying it was time to get things under control. Then this production takes an upward turn, with officers coming out amid smoke to the opening strains to Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone.” 

The drone footage, scenery and creative moments outweigh the relatively sparse amount of lip syncing, which isn’t this video’s strong suit.

RELATED: See the best area police lip sync videos and vote for the best

The unexpected moments include one officer diving into the sand during a volleyball game and then rolling over to reveal perfect abs — hilariously drawn on with a marker, two kids’ perfect comedic timing while swooning over drone pilots and an amusing rendition of Ciara’s “Level Up,” which made up for no reference to Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away.”

Check out the video below and click here if you can’t see it. Then head here to watch other area departments’ videos and vote for the best in our poll!

Source: https://www.stltoday.com/news/local/stcharles/wentzville-police-channel-top-gun-in-drone-filled-lip-sync/article_87a0bf1f-312d-546e-affa-d2b9004937ec.html

St. Louis Sushi Restaurant Takes City By Storm

The newest sushi restaurant makeover in St. Louis has to be on your radar! The original restaurant was owned by the same family, but revamped to cater to the growing St. Louis sushi scene. If you are in the market for affordable, yet delicious sushi and a wonderful night in the city, do not hesitate to book your ride with Chesterfield Taxi! Contact us for more info!

If you want the best value for your money in St. Louis dining right now, you can’t beat the nigiri omakase at Nippon Tei. For $18, chef Nick Bognar prepares five immaculate pieces of nigiri sushi. Your selection likely will include a sushi standby like salmon, but even here Bognar might treat you to sake toro, salmon’s sweeter, more luscious belly meat. And Bognar doesn’t mechanically affix this sake toro onto rice smeared with wasabi paste. Instead, he brushes the fish with nikiri (sweet soy sauce) and then garnishes it with grated real-deal wasabi root.

Or Bognar might torch the salmon belly and balance its now steak-like fatty richness with lemon zest. He’ll set this beside whichever specials have arrived on the most recent flight from Japan: snowy, fleetingly sweet hirame; oily, intensely briny mackerel; shima-aji, its balance of body and sweetness the ideal midpoint between the hirame and the mackerel.


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Nigiri omakase with madai, saba, sake toro, maguro and Wagyu A5 at Nippon Tei in Ballwin. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

If you’re lucky, there will be a luxurious serving of uni from Hokkaido, Japan, creamy as custard, its flavor pure, cold ocean distilled. Is that a sliver of A5 Wagyu beef from Japan, basted with tare, lightly torched and melting in your mouth like steak butter? It is, and it, all of it, whatever you receive, is $18.

If you prefer sashimi, Bognar’s sashimi moriawase, with 12 precisely cut pieces and accompaniments, including a rainbow of roe, is enough for two people and also a steal at $36.

For those of us who have despaired of the state of sushi in St. Louis, Nippon Tei is a revelation. Or, really, it’s two revelations. Not only is the 26-year-old Bognar trying to bring the St. Louis sushi scene into 2018, he’s doing so at the restaurant his mother, Ann Bognar, opened in 2001, when he was 10, a place that years ago settled comfortably into the bland shopping-plaza-scape of Manchester Road near Ballwin.

Growing up as the son of a chef, Bognar felt pressure not to enter the restaurant industry himself, he told me in a phone interview. Inevitably, though, as a teenager, he worked part-time in his mother’s restaurant, and he studied in the culinary-arts program at South Technical High School in Sunset Hills. He learned about preparing sushi at Nippon Tei, he worked catering gigs with his high-school culinary instructor, and he realized he loved cooking.

“I had a drive to get really good at something,” he said, “and I was lucky to be at (Nippon Tei) and talk to the sushi chef.”


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The dining room at Nippon Tei in Ballwin. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

(One of the Nippon Tei sushi chefs he learned from was his aunt, Whitney Yoon, who now opeartes Sushi Koi in the Central West End. Coincidentally, about a month ago, doing research for next year’s edition of the STL 100, I ate a fine meal at Sushi Koi and wondered how I’d missed the place for so long.)

Bognar attended culinary school at Forest Park Community College and went to work as chef and manager at Tei Too, his family’s Thai restaurant in Webster Groves. (Ann Bognar is originally from Thailand.) In 2015, he helped kickstart the area’s ramen boomlet by opening Ramen Tei in what had been Nippon Tei’s bar. I was tough on Ramen Tei in my 1½-star review. In hindsight, the food notwithstanding, I didn’t appreciate how appealingly ambitious the young Bognar was to undertake such a project.

(Bognar has recently revamped Ramen Tei’s operation. I didn’t include it in this review, however.)

Meanwhile, one of Bognar’s childhood friends had moved to Austin, Texas, and was a server at the sushi restaurant Uchiko, where chef Tyson Cole, among many plaudits, had won the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Southwest” award in 2011. Bognar used his connection to land a job there.

“That’s when the real learning began,” Bognar said. “They were doing things I’d done before, but it was all being done in a better way.”

Dishes didn’t appear on the menu until they had been studied and tested for weeks. The ethos, Bognar said, was daunting: “Anything can be improved. Anything can be pushed to its limits.”

After a year, Bognar moved to Cincinnati to be with his girlfriend and oversaw a new sushi concept in that city. His mother liked the more contemporary style of sushi he’d learned in Austin and showcased in Cincinnati and thought it was time for a change at Nippon Tei.


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Tonkatsu at Nippon Tei in Ballwin. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com


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Sake toro maki at Nippon Tei in Ballwin. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

Bognar hasn’t changed the look of his mother’s restaurant. It remains a pleasant retreat from the strip-mall hustle, its ambiance part generic sushi restaurant, part hotel-lobby bar. Bognar’s menu isn’t expansive: a few salads, excellent versions of familiar starters like gyoza ($7) and crab rangoon ($7); rice bowls and pork tonkatsu.

I’m generally ambivalent about the multiple-ingredient sushi rolls popular at American restaurants. At Nippon Tei, I recommend looking for what Bognar himself seeks in assembling his nigiri omakase: the best fish, the fish in season. So on one visit I enjoyed a spider roll ($14) with tempura-fried soft-shell crab and, for a potent seasonal accompaniment, asparagus. The gorgeous sake toro is the heart of its self-named roll ($14), its richness doubled with avocado and cut with lemon zest, ponzu and the heat of togarashi.

You can order nigiri sushi and sashimi a la carte, though you’ll be hard-pressed to assemble the balance of quality and value that the omakase and moriawase selections do. And if the value doesn’t tempt you, know that Nick Bognar hasn’t just made Nippon Tei the biggest bang for your dining buck; he’s also transformed it into one of St. Louis’ most exciting restaurants.

Where Nippon Tei, 14025 Manchester Road •Three stars out of four •More info 636-386-8999; nippon.teistl.com• Menu Sushi and other traditional Japanese fare • Hours Lunch Tuesday-Friday, dinner Tuesday-Sunday (closed Monday)

Go! Sneak Peek from St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Go! Magazine’s go-to guide for the weekend’s best entertainment in and around the Lou, delivered weekly to your inbox.

Source: http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/dining/restaurants/reviews/nick-bognar-transforms-nippon-tei-into-st-louis-most-exciting/article_88b91f18-f749-590b-ab88-d1061effb8bb.html

Farewell Artists Last Stop in St. Louis

As popular artists age, the announcement of “farewell tours” seems almost inevitable. Most artists choose the most popular cities to visit for their last tour ever. In country artist Shania Twain’s case, her farewell tour ended up not being her final one. Twain visited St. Louis in early May for another concert tour. What are your thoughts on farewell artists? Check out this article for a list of “farewell” artists!

Source: http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/music/bye-bye-bye-farewell-concert-tours-don-t-always-mean/collection_bab0b88d-7786-58ae-8f54-0646696182a2.html

Best Buy says it was hit by same data breach as Sears, Delta

It seems that every big company these days is having some sort of data breach or personal information being made public of their customers. One of the better parts of not being such a massive corporation, is not being the target of these hackers, so our customers information and credit card payments are not at risk:

Best Buy said on Friday that some of its customers’ credit card information may have been compromised in a data breach that also hit Sears and Delta Air Lines.

All three companies use a third-party firm, called [24]7.ai, to provide online and mobile chat services for customers.

Best Buy said in a blog post that [24]7.ai told the company that an “illegal intrusion” occurred between September 27 and October 12, 2017.

RELATED: 13 simple things you can do to keep your family’s data safe

“As best we can tell, only a small fraction of our overall online customer population could have been caught up in this [24]7.ai incident, whether or not they used the chat function,” the post said.

Best Buy says it was hit in the same time period when Sears Holding Corp. and Delta Air Lines customer data was exposed in a cyberattack.

Sears and Delta were the first to say they were impacted. The companies said Thursday that some of their customers’ payment information might have been compromised during online chat support.

Related: Sears and Delta customer data might be exposed in cyberattack

Sears said that data from “less than 100,000” customers might have been exposed, but Sears-branded credit cards were not affected. Delta didn’t say how many people were affected.

[24]7.ai said, in a statement after the Sears and Delta cyberattack was revealed, that it was “confident that the platform is secure.”

Business Briefing from St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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Source: http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/best-buy-says-it-was-hit-by-same-data-breach/article_be3ef0c0-508d-54ac-9c8d-2668ba97fd83.html