The Drawing Board opens in the old Ryder’s Tavern space in south St. Louis

The former bar Ryder’s Tavern at 4123 Chippewa St. in St. Louis is now home to a more food-centric bar and grill called The Drawing Board.  


Co-owners Paul and Matt Wamser teamed up with executive chef Alexa Camp and gave her free reign over the menu. “Matt and I worked together at Urban Chestnut (Brewing Co.),” Camp said.  “I was a sous chef there, and we became fast friends. He liked my food and approached me about the opportunity.” 


The Drawing Board will feature a much more extensive menu than Ryder’s Tavern did, as well as live music, a patio, free games and more. There will still be a bar program, and the popular smash burger will still be available, although that is not the only item on the menu this time.


“I kind of wanted to build a homestyle menu that was simple but approachable,” Camp said. Each item is considered finger food with a bit of Creole influence from Camp’s culinary background. The new menu includes a goat cheese and white cheddar grilled cheese, a selection of flatbreads, red beans and rice, and jambalaya balls, to name a few. “The best way to describe the jambalaya balls is like arancini: a brown jambalaya, form it into balls, roll in panko, fry it, and I serve it with housemade remoulade,” she said. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly options like a falafel slider, for example, will also be available. On the sweet side, look for tiny gooey butter cakes baked in muffin tins for a bite-sized dessert. 


As for beverages, Wamser wanted an emphasis on whiskey offerings. “The bar program is completely Matt,” Camp said. “We have a wonderful whiskey selection. We have six taps, and they’re all going to be local beers that rotate around.”  


The building itself has also had some remodeling done. There is a new, dog-friendly patio in the works, the bathrooms have been completely gutted and rebuilt, and the back bar has also been fully renovated. “We just want it to be a place that's welcoming and inviting to people,” Camp said. “We want people to come and see what we have to offer.”  


The Drawing Board is open Tuesday through Saturday from 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The kitchen closes at 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and at 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, it’s open until midnight with the kitchen closing at 9 p.m. Curbside pickup is available through chownow.com. Updates on live events and more can be found on the Facebook page