Take Root Hospitality, which operates the nationally acclaimed Vicia in the Central West End and Winslow’s Table in University City, has purchased the Clayton restaurant Bar Les Frères from Zoë Robinson.
Take Root owners Tara and Michael Gallina and the couple’s new business partner Aaron Martinez aim to reopen Bar Les Frères in June with the same name and a refreshed menu and design.
Bar Les Frères and Robinson’s two other restaurants on Wydown Boulevard in Clayton, I Fratellini and Billie-Jean, have been closed for nearly the entirety of the pandemic.
Tara Gallina tells Off the Menu she and Vicia beverage director Kara Flaherty were talking recently about how they would love to add a wine bar to Take Root’s offerings.
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Looking at the real-estate market and thinking about which neighborhoods might be a fit, Gallina says, “I just kept thinking about Bar Les Frères because I’m like, wouldn’t that just be just the perfect thing?”
In November 2021, Robinson announced the sale of all three restaurants to Susan Barrett, owner of the art sales and consultation firm Barrett Baretta Projects. Barrett said at the time she planned to reopen Bar Les Frères and I Fratellini as themselves and turn Billie-Jean into a new concept.
Gallina hadn’t heard more about the project since that announcement, so she decided to contact Robinson and learned Bar Les Frères was available again.
Of the previously announced deal, Robinson tells Off the Menu, “It just didn’t work out.”
Barrett could not be reached for comment.
(Robinson says she is close to a new deal for I Fratellini, while Billie-Jean is available.)
“I trust that the Gallinas and Aaron will continue to carry on the restaurant’s legacy and lead it to a bright new future,” Robinson said in a statement.
The new Bar Les Frères will feature a few staples from the original, including gougeres and French 75 cocktails, but the revamped menu will focus on chilled seafood, charcuterie, salads and cheese. Patrick Fallwell, who currently cooks at Vicia, will lead Bar Les Frères’ kitchen.
“He’s really talented with charcuterie and things like that,” Gallina says.
Wine, though, will be at the forefront of the new Bar Les Frères.
“It’s, I think, (going to be) a wonderful spot if you just want to have a bite and a glass of wine,” Gallina says, “but you can also try everything on the menu and, you know, make a whole meal out of it.”
Bar Les Frères is located at 7637 Wydown Boulevard. Robinson opened the original version there in 2012.
Meanwhile, the Gallinas and Martinez have already announced another new venture for 2022, Taqueria Morita.