Webster Groves regulars have a new place to eat and imbibe. Frisco Barroom debuted in the neighborhood on July 3, offering rustic American cuisine in a classic tavern-style setting. The concept comes from husband-and-wife duo John and Kelley Barr of Civil Alchemy, a modern-day general store located on the same block.
“These buildings once operated by the train station immediately behind the building on the Frisco line, and my wife and I are bringing them back to their former glory,” John says. “We wanted to offer a down-to-earth, all-inclusive corner barroom that fit the history of the space.”
The space, which formerly housed The Natural Way, features a total of around 250 seats across two stories of dining areas and patios. Bill Elliott of Kenrick Design served as the architect, putting the Barrs’ idea of a classic Americana-style barroom on paper. Restored aspects include an original tin ceiling and pine floors. New facets include a bank of French doors. Second-story seating includes a lounge and rooftop deck.
To carry out their vision for the restaurant, the Barrs assembled a team that includes general manager and consultant Greg Hard, executive chef Tim Montgomery, sous chef Mike Roos, prep specialist John Hopfinger and bar manager Derek Fleig. The kitchen crew brings experience in various meat markets to the forefront of the scratch-made menu.
“It’s honest and familiar rustic American and Midwestern fare. The menu includes simple things we like to eat around St. Louis and Michigan, where we spend a lot of our time – my wife’s from there,” Barr says. “We’re baking our own breads, curing and roasting our own meats and trying to bring simple, familiar from-scratch food to people.”
Highlights include a smoked whitefish dip with smoked whitefish, cream cheese and herbs, served with flatbread sea-salt crackers. Additional snacks and small plates include marinated grilled chicken wings served with Buffalo sauce or Peruvian green pepper sauce; crispy tempura-battered cauliflower served with buffalo sauce or buttermilk dressing; Cornish and vegetarian pasties; and a recipe from Kelley’s family: Polish potato pierogies with caramelized onion, browned in butter and served with sour cream.
A recipe from John’s family also made it into the fold: a simple house salad with chopped romaine and green leaf lettuce, tossed with lemon-herb vinaigrette and red onion. Boards are another popular pick, including options such as the Fisherman's Board with smoked whitefish dip, lox, smoked trout, herbed cream cheese, capers, pickled vegetables, lemon preserves, dried cranberries, assorted nuts, flatbread crackers and crusty bread.
A quarter-pound beef smash burger is also available, as well as sandwiches including a housemade salsiccia sausage with stone-ground mustard and hot giardiniera on an Italian roll from Marconi Bakery. According to John, all other breads are made in house. The menu will also expand to include additional items such as entrees in the near future.
From the bar, choose from a wine list and craft beers including local options and microbrews from Michigan and Colorado. Cocktails include concoctions such as the “Cablecar” with Kraken dark rum, Pierre Ferrand Orange Curacao, lemon juice and simple syrup, served with a cinnamon-sugar rim.
“We wanted to design a menu and drinks that open this place up to being used by everyone. In doing so, we’re trying to have good quality food you can come in and enjoy on any budget,” John says. “We’re trying to share the experience of this great old building that we love, and we want to share it with everybody.”
Frisco Barroom is currently open Tuesday through Saturday from 4pm to 1:30am and Sunday from 4pm to midnight. Additional hours including lunch and dinner available seven days a week are tentatively coming soon.
Frisco Barroom, 8110 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, Missouri, 314.455.1090, the friscostl.com