The Biscuit Joint and Dinner at the Loft will open in Midtown St. Louis in August
The team behind Dinner at the Loft has announced they will open a permanent home for their multi-course private dinner events, as well as operating The Biscuit Joint, a grab-and-go biscuit concept, out of the same space. The dual-purpose concept will open in August at 2649 Washington Ave. in Midtown St. Louis.
The Dinner at the Loft team is crowdfunding the project through a Kickstarter campaign. The goal is to raise $50,000 by May 30.
In the daytime, the 650-square-foot space will be home to The Biscuit Joint, which owner Elliott Brown said will likely operate five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday. Brown said The Biscuit Joint will serve breakfast and lunch from around 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be “very much a grab-and-go type of situation,” though the restaurant will have around 24 seats for customers who prefer to eat their biscuit sandwiches on the premises. There will be no servers at The Biscuit Joint – instead, orders will be placed via QR code and picked up at the counter, with a self-service water station available.
Brown said The Biscuit Joint’s menu will be built around flaky, layered biscuits baked in-house. For breakfast, there will be fried chicken biscuit sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, and a biscuit French toast, but Brown is most excited about the breakfast sandwich they’ll be cooking up, which will feature a breakfast sausage smash patty. “I've always loved smash patties, smash burgers are one of my favorite foods,” Brown said. “And I've never heard of a smash patty on a breakfast sandwich, so I tried it one day and it was amazing.” The sandwich will also include an over-hard egg and an umami chile crisp aioli.
In the evenings, the lights will be dimmed and a couple of extra tables brought out for pre-booked Dinner at the Loft events. Brown – along with collaborators Brandon Panosh (a Sauce Ones to Watch 2023 honoree) and Jordaryl Logan – launched their multi-course private dinner series during the Covid-19 pandemic, hosting events in Brown’s Midtown loft apartment as well as taking reservations for dinners in their clients’ homes. Panosh is also the executive chef at Winslow's Table in University City. "Brandon won't be helping with this project as much," Brown said. "He's kind of holding it down at Winslow's, so he doesn't have as much time. He helps from time to time but it's mostly me and Jordaryl at the moment."
Brown said the new space will allow Dinner at the Loft more flexibility as it grows. “We can only accommodate eight people at my loft, and so we've had to turn people away because they didn't have space in their own home,” Brown said. “I'm happy with what we're doing and we've been successful in what we're doing, but I just feel like I want to take things up another level.”
The goal will be to preserve the homey, intimate feel that is one of the signature features of Dinner at the Loft’s meals. “We definitely wanted to keep the concept of that at-home, very comfortable kind of vibe,” Brown said. “The bar’s going to be a walnut butcher black, which I think gives a really good, homey feel to it. There's exposed brick and stone inside of there, which really helps warm up the space and not make it seem so restaurant-y.”
Brown said there are also plans to host regular Dinner at the Loft pop-ups in the new space, as well as making the space available for hire for private events. The Dinner at the Loft team is also open to having other chefs use the space to host their own dinner pop-up events. “I've noticed a lot of chefs that have little side gigs or they're trying to start a more private series like we've been doing, and I think it would be really cool to let people use our space,” Brown said.
Dinner at the Loft will continue to accept reservations for events at Brown’s loft, and clients can still also book dinners to be hosted in their own homes – the Midtown space just gives guests one more option. Brown said the kitchen will also double as a commissary for the team’s traveling dinners, as well as for catering, an area of business in which he plans to expand significantly. Brown said his vision for catering gives clients the ability to tailor their packages to suit the exact themes or needs of the event. “I don't want to say elevated catering, but in a way that's kind of what we're trying to do,” he said.
Brown said that as a Midtown resident for the past decade, he’s excited about bringing one more fast-service dining option to an area that urgently needs more choice. “There's nowhere to get quick food, and honestly I was like, ‘This space would be perfect,’ because if you want to get breakfast here, you want it to be fast,” he said.
Brown also offered an update on Scouts, the French- and Italian-inspired, New American cuisine restaurant he plans to open at 3007 Olive St. The project was originally slated for a late 2023 opening, but construction has been delayed due to permitting issues. Brown said those obstacles have now been cleared and that he hopes to begin construction later this year.
Editor's note: The story was updated on May 17, 2023, to clarify that Elliott Brown is the sole owner of the new restaurant at 2649 Washington Ave. The story was updated again on December 13, 2023 to update the restaurant's street address.