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Ben Welch will lead a new Italian concept from the team behind Six Mile Bridge Beer in Wildwood

Ben Welch The Midwestern Meat & Drink

Ben Welch, formerly of The Midwestern Meat & Drink, will lead the kitchen at the newly-announced Botanica. 

Six Mile Bridge Beer recently announced that popular local chef Ben Welch would be heading up the brewery's kitchen, but news comes today that the partnership is about to have a much larger footprint. 

Six Mile co-owner Ryan Sherring announced in a press release that the new Italian concept Botanica will open in Wildwood, Missouri, in September, with Welch as the executive chef. The 13,000-square-foot restaurant will be able to seat over 300 guests and feature two event spaces plus a dog-friendly patio. 

“We’ve wanted this concept for a long time, and Wildwood is the perfect location," Sherring said in the release. When thinking of Wildwood, nature and the outdoors come to mind, so we were intentional in bringing that design indoors in a chic and sexy way. The design and the menu are tailored to appeal to the community – whether you’re meeting friends for lunch or dinner al fresco, enjoying date night, a family dinner or just stopping in for a good beer, Botanica is the place for every occasion.”

The menu will blend Italian flavors with influences from the American South; think ingredients like Cajun seasoning, candied pecans and sweet potatoes. Entrees will include dishes like tagliatelle with pork neck ragù, sweet potato pizza and steak burgers with tomato agrodolce.

“My goal for Botanica is to explore the marriage of traditional ingredients and recipes from two of the world’s best food cultures: Italian and the Southern United States," Welch said in the release. "You’ll find little touches of Southern cooking on the menu with the ingredients featured on pizzas, pastas and more. The dishes will change seasonally, but my signature gnocchi will always be on the menu."

And, of course, the restaurant will offer an exclusive beer list from Six Mile Bridge, plus craft cocktails and a wine program. 

The restaurant itself is designed to be inviting, as well as lively. You'll find floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick and wood elements punctuated with vibrant pop art and more as a part of the interior.

"We want Botanica to be fun and high energy," Welch said. "It’s a place where you’ll want to gather with your friends or enjoy a date night out."

Botanica will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm and Sunday from 9am to 10 pm.

Botanica, 2490 Taylor Road, Wildwood, Missouri,

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Former Digital editor

Kasey Carlson is the former digital editor of Feast Magazine. She loves to cook, is obsessed with plants and is on a quest to try every bao she can find.

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