The Rose Barrel to open in Ballwin early December

A new spot for upscale comfort food is slated to open in Ballwin this winter. Business partners and first-time restaurant owners Corey Buckley, Aaron Keller and Susan Haake will open The Rose Barrel at 15483 Clayton Road in early December.

“We’ve been in the industry our whole lives, and we were trying to figure out something that we could both inspire people with while keeping it as family-friendly as possible. So, we came up with an ‘upscale comfort’ idea,” Buckley said.

The Rose Barrel will put its own unique twist on familiar favorites, from “city-fried” filet mignon rolled in cornmeal breading to toasted ravioli with country fried chicken and country fried steak breading. Signature burgers will include a truffle swiss burger, a black and blue burger with Gorgonzola and a roasted tomato and smoked Gouda burger. The Rose Barrel will also have a full bar accounting for 2,000 square feet of the 4,875-square-foot space.

Buckley and Keller spent nearly a year and a half searching for a location, and finally a strip mall spot across from the Wolf Café caught their eye. “We just fell in love with the place when we walked through. Everything in there was old and outdated, but the great thing about that is we can build from scratch,” Buckley said.

Formerly a Fortel’s Pizza Den, the space will undergo a full remodel, with new floors, countertops, and even ceilings for an industrial modern look. It is going to be more elegant in the dining room while the bar will be decorated with sports memorabilia.  Roughly 100 seats will be available inside between the bar, dining room, and private room. An outdoor patio surrounded by trees will also be added to the back of the restaurant.

“I don’t even mind if it’s like the island of misfits. I want everyone to feel welcome. At the restaurant I used to work at, we made sure that a 23-year-old could hang out with a 65-year-old at the same bar and have a conversation, so I really want it to be open to everyone,” Buckley said.

The Rose Barrel plans to host a soft opening during the first week of December, and Buckley hopes to be open to everyone by Dec. 15.