South City’s latest bar and restaurant partnership recently debuted in Tower Grove South. Chatawa bar and its sister restaurant Grand Pied opened on Aug. 18, featuring a beverage program and shareable fare influenced by cities along the Mississippi River corridor, including St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans.
Thomas Crone – previously a co-owner of Tick Tock Tavern – owns Chatawa and curates its drink offerings, while chef Tony Collida owns Grand Pied and manages the onsite kitchen service. Collida’s industry experience stretches back more than 20 years, including a stint as kitchen manager at Civil Life Brewing Co. and helping out with his family’s longtime business, The Piccadilly At Manhattan.
The two-pronged concept fills the space previously occupied by Seed Sprout Spoon, with seats for around 25 guests inside and 30 more on a patio. A mural of the region by local artist Stan Chisholm adorns one wall of the dining area, while Crone’s eclectic art collection enlivens the rest of the room between exposed brick walls and a tin ceiling.
“I like to refer to it as ‘southside chic,’” Collida says. “We hope people feel welcome and comfortable here, and we hope it feels like we’re part of the neighborhood.”
According to Crone, Chatawa was inspired by many trips to and from New Orleans over the years and is named after a tiny town in southern Mississippi, just off of Interstate 55. His beverage buying policy will reflect this southward gaze, featuring spirits and beers from the Mississippi Valley and the Mid-South region. While researching names for the corresponding food side of the business, Collida happened across a story about a Bigfoot sighting in Chatawa and landed on Grand Pied – “big foot” in French.
To order food from Grand Pied, guests can simply scan the QR codes available on each table to peruse the menu for the day, order and pay. To order drinks from Chatawa, visit the counter to have a drink made to enjoy onsite or to purchase canned and bottled options to-go.
Collida’s Midwestern and Southern-inflected menu changes regularly based on seasonality, but expect to see recurring staples such as sweet and savory beignets. The deep-fried dough pockets are inspired by his time in the kitchen at the now-shuttered New Orleans eatery Cafe Ventana and are currently available “St. Louis style” with caramel and powdered sugar or served in a garlicky preparation with Prairie Breeze queso and citrus marmalade.
Additional opening menu highlights include a crispy egg and kale salad, ham and potato croquettes, fried green tomatoes and charcuterie boards available in omnivore, vegetarian and vegan configurations. A Sunday brunch menu is also in development, following in the footsteps of the space’s predecessors Seed Sprout Spoon and Local Harvest Cafe.
Crone’s ever-evolving beverage list features canned St. Louis craft beers, natural wines by the glass and bottle, a variety of spirits and cocktails such as the SoCo OhNo with Southern Comfort, Excel Bottling Co. ginger ale and lemon. The Red Snapper – a gin Bloody Mary – is another concoction signaling the brunch offerings to come, complete with finishing salt from local company Relish and housemade pickled green beans.
Chatawa and Grand Pied are open Wednesday through Saturday from 4 to 10pm and Sunday from 9am to 3pm.
Chatawa and Grand Pied, 3137 Morganford Road, St. Louis, Missouri, grandpied.com