the patio at 4 Hands + Peacemaker Kirkwood photo by meera nagarajan

First Look: 4 Hands + Peacemaker Kirkwood

It’s been two years in the making, but the Kirkwood collaboration between 4 Hands Brewing Co. and Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. is finally here. The long-awaited tasting room – 4 Hands’ third – opened on June 10 at 150 W. Argonne Drive in downtown Kirkwood, with Peacemaker operating the kitchen.

What 4 Hands and Peacemaker have done with this space is remarkable. 4 Hands hospitality manager Tom Behnen said the interior has space for around 130 seated guests, while the patio has space for around 170 guests. The large interior is divided into two separate bar areas, with more seating in a dining room located between the two bars. The front lounge is more intimate, while the larger bar at the back is bright and sunny with large windows on three sides. The latter bar offers direct access to the patio which runs alongside the railroad tracks, with Kirkwood Station just a few yards away. Passing trains provide an occasional interruption, and are sure to delight younger diners.

It's also noticeable how seamlessly 4 Hands + Peacemaker Kirkwood blends into the neighborhood. Sit on the slightly elevated patio and look out across downtown Kirkwood; when you’re ready to leave, can you resist stopping at Clementine’s just a few steps away for an ice cream? Although the tasting room has only been open for a week, it already feels like a genuine community hub: Both bars were close to being full within minutes of opening on the day we visited.  

“The response from the community has been awesome so far,” said Liz Swyers, Chief Marketing Officer at 4 Hands. “We've seen a ton of people that we know and don't know, and it's just been really cool to see what people think about it. “It's been a labor of love, that's for sure.”

Food and drinks can be ordered direct from your table by scanning a QR code. Peacemaker’s kitchen also has a walk-up ordering counter that can be accessed from the bar or via a street entrance that enables an easy takeout ordering process. The menu covers many of Peacemaker’s traditional bases, with highlights including the lobster rolls, Buffalo crawfish steamed buns and the current seasonal salad, which includes kale, roasted corn, red onions, pickled shrimp, tomato relish, cotija and Creole vinaigrette.

Peacemaker’s seafood boils aren’t offered here, but they do have snow crab legs, po’boys utilizing shellfish, oysters and brisket. There are also bar-friendly snacks like the pretzels with Dijon mustard, beer cheese sauce or whitefish dip, an elite-level corn dog and the Frisco melt with pickles and beer-braised onions. Customers can also order food at a separate walk-up window on the patio.

“We're super excited to be here,” said Peacemaker co-owner Chris Nashan. “Obviously it took a little bit for the space to come to fruition, but it's a wonderful partnership.” After working with 4 Hands’ for many years operating the kitchen at the brewery’s original LaSalle Park location, Nashan said he is excited about the challenge the ambitious Kirkwood space presents. “The nice thing about this space is we all work as a team,” he said. “It really makes a big difference in accomplishing giving the customer the best experience possible.”

The draft beer selection mirrors the range at other 4 Hands locations, with the brewer’s core beers like City Wide American pale ale, Divided Sky and Single Speed. The beer list also naturally includes the Peacemaker Belgian-style white ale, as well as recent 4 Hands releases like the latest in the Voltron collaboration series. Swyers said 4 Hands has started talks with the Kirkwood Fire Department on creating a collaboration beer that would be exclusive to the Kirkwood location. The cocktail list includes drinks showcasing the wares of 4 Hands’ sister brands 1220 Spirits and Withered Oak.

4 Hands + Peacemaker Kirkwood is open from noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from noon to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. The kitchen closes at 9 p.m. every night.