Russell’s owner to open Lola Jean in former Grapeseed space

The former home of Grapeseed at 5400 Nottingham Ave., will have a new tenant next year. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, Russell Ping, owner of Russell’s on Macklind and Russell’s Café & Bakery in Fenton, will open a pizza restaurant there named after his daughter, Lola Jean.

“I’ve kind of had this concept in the works for a long time. The Southampton neighborhood has been so good to us that when the building became available, we had to jump on it,” Ping said. The restaurant will primarily serve 12-to-14-inch pizzas.

One of the biggest changes to the space will be the addition of a wood-fired pizza oven, which Ping said he’s in the process of picking out. A key element of the new interior is the removal of a wall between the dining room and kitchen to open the space up and put the focus on the oven.

Grapeseed had approximately 60 seats inside, and Ping said he expects to have about that number as well, plus another 40 seats or so on the rear patio. He said he’s shooting for an opening in late spring 2018.

Before Lola Jean’s debut, Ping has another project to oversee. As The Scoop reported in April, Ping is in the process of opening another Russell’s Café & Bakery at 14888 Clayton Road in Chesterfield, which he expects to happen in early October.

“We’re about 90 percent staffed out there, and the staff is starting to train at our other locations,” Ping said.

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.