the bar at golden hoosier photo courtesy of experience fresh

First Look: The Golden Hoosier in south St. Louis

The Golden Hoosier is slated to open in early May at 3707 S. Kingshighway Blvd. in South City. The space, which was once home to Southtown Pub has been completely renovated as part of The Crown District, a stretch of Kingshighway Boulevard from Magnolia Avenue to Eichelberger Street where real estate agency Garcia Properties own and are renovating several properties.

The owners of Garcia Properties, brothers Ivan and Berto Garcia, overhauled the space, taking care to preserve and restore some of the original design elements. Custom-cut glass that matches the bar’s original mirror work and antique milk glass light fixtures that echo its art deco style give the space a completed look. Other interior touches, from mounted taxidermy animals to the tin ceiling to original artwork, all come together to make for a truly stunning space. The interior has two levels that total about 2,750 square feet and seat around 179, while the outdoor patio space, dubbed “The Campground,” is 2,000 square feet and seats 75.

Chef Colleen Clawson, owner of the temporarily closed Milque Toast Bar, is running the kitchen. Amanda Gaines, who tended bar at Atomic Cowboy and Milagro, was hired to be the general manager and also worked on developing the beverage menu.

“The cocktail menu is inspired from weeks of meetings with Ivan and Berto, who have a [Mexican] heritage – it’s important for them that the margarita is right and that the Paloma is authentic,” Gaines said. The El Dorado margarita is made with Cazadores reposado tequila and Pierre Ferrand dry curaçao and finished with gold dust, while the spicy En Fuego margarita has a hit of jalapeno agave nectar and a Tajin rim. The cocktail list also offers a number of classics like a daiquiri garnished with toasted, slivered almonds and an Old-Fashioned finished with a mist of mezcal. “I wanted to put together a menu that everyone could feel a little familiarity and a little adventurous, no matter their cocktail background,” Gaines explained. 

The drink menu also features flights of spirits like mezcal, gin and whiskey. The Backwoods Barbie flight (named for Dolly Parton) comprises 1-ounce pours of pomegranate agave liqueur, Cazadores blanco and reposado tequilas and a 5-ounce pour of Busch beer and is served with edible flowers, lime cubes and coffee crumbs. “Lime and coffee totally transform the flavor of the tequila, pulling out chocolate and deeper notes,” Gaines said. Flights like this are designed for diners to customize: Dump the liqueur into your beer or pour a little in your tequila to mix and match flavors and create a unique experience. 

On the food side, chef Colleen Clawson wanted the menu to be approachable but offer a little more than standard pub fare. Clawson is reviving a couple dishes from her pop-up Baba Xavi, like smoked tandoori wings and spiced fish and chips fried in a pakora batter and served with curry mayo. Other dishes include The Little Frenchie, a sandwich made with ham, andouille sausage and sirloin steak inspired by a trip to Portugal, while the Superman Potato, a baked Yukon gold potato with Tillamook cheddar fondue, charred peppers and onions, and choice of protein is a riff on a similar one by her favorite deli, Mally’s in north St. Louis. “It’s my guilty pleasure that I love to eat,” Clawson said. Other dishes like vegan enchiladas and vegetarian sloppy Joes aim to offer something for everyone. 

The Golden Hoosier will be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to midnight and will eventually offer lunch service. Check out the slideshow below for a peek at the new restaurant and bar.