Gerard Craft will open Expat BBQ at City Foundry STL in fall 2023
Niche Food Group, the hospitality group from James Beard Award-winning chef Gerard Craft, has announced its latest concept, Expat BBQ, will open this fall at City Foundry STL at 3730 Foundry Way. Expat BBQ will bring globally inspired barbecue that blends flavors from across the globe with U.S. barbecue techniques.
The concept and the eatery’s name stem from the abbreviated word “expatriate,” which describes a person living outside their home country. The concept aims to embody its name by giving guests the fun and exciting experience they find when exploring different cultures through food while traveling, but without having to leave St. Louis.
“It is no secret that St. Louis is home to a lot of amazing U.S. barbecue, so we knew that we couldn’t add anything there,” Craft said. “This allows us to give people something they are familiar with, but also make it fun, unique and different.”
While the menu will include barbecue favorites like brisket and St. Louis-style ribs, those items will be prepared in a way that features flavors not typically found in traditional U.S. barbecue by taking inspiration from methods used in Brazil, Africa, Australia and Thailand. Those methods extend beyond meat, since the menu will also include vegetable options for anyone following a plant-based diet.
“We have played around with utilizing barbecue with global flavors since the very early Niche days, and it’s only been building from there. As we’ve played around with fun flavors at Fordo’s with the vehicle of pizza, we’re looking at barbecue through the same lens,” Craft said. “We dove deep into the barbecue culture of South America through Cinder House, and it’s shown us that barbecue has always been this great equalizer. Every culture has it, and it’s super accessible, so it’s such a fun platform to express different flavors,” Craft continued.
Expat BBQ will be the group’s eleventh concept and the third located at the food hall, joining Fordo’s Killer Pizza and The Kitchen Bar. Their latest venture will be located on the south side of Foundry Way in a 16,000-square-foot, multi-story space. Guests will experience a full-service dining room on the ground floor, a first-floor mezzanine for private events, and a more casual experience on the second level that will utilize kiosks and app-based ordering. Also on the second level will be a bar, terrace patio with room for over 70 guests, plus a live music stage.
The menu will be created by St. Louis native chef Sam Nawrocki, formerly chef de cuisine at Oak Steakhouse and 404 Kitchen in Nashville. Nawrocki's experience is perfectly suited to the concept, since she’s spent the past 15 years of her career working in kitchens that focus on Southern cuisine with global influences. Niche Food Group’s director of beverage and bar operations Melinda Cooper will oversee creative on the concept’s beverage program, which will include cocktails that complement the global flavors on the food menu, as well as a robust selection of international beers.