Pop-Up Dinners Help ‘Good Fortune’ Refine Restaurant Concept

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – May you have Good Fortune! That’s the name of a new Chinese restaurant from the founders of popular local eateries Strange Donuts and Byrd & Barrel.

Byrd & Barrel founder Bob Brazell says that while six months ago they were aiming to do Americanized-Chinese food “done right,” now they’re going for more of a handcrafted, traditional Chinese restaurant.

He joined Michael Calhoun and Travis Sheridan on last week’s episode of Nothing Impossible, our weekly show about local innovation. You can hear the entire conversation at KMOX.com/audio.

“We’re really diving in to more of the real, traditional methods of cooking. We’re doing a lot of our own in-house fermentation, we’re making our own soy sauce, making our own fish sauce, fermenting our own black garlic. We’re doing a lot of really cool, fun stuff,” he says.

Brazell says they refined the concept through a series of pop-up events, including one called “Monday Night Meals,” where they cooked up some prospective dishes for people who’d signed up to pay for it, pick it up, take it home… and give it a try.

He gave another example: “We did a pop up dinner in an old church in north city that has been converted to a skate park. I don’t think anybody else in St. Louis can say they’ve done that,” he says.

The restaurant space itself will be of modern design.

“On the right side there will be more intimate seating and the left side is some more casual seating, and you come up to the counter, get your food to go, have a beer, and hang out,” he says.

Brazell says they’ve purchased a building in Botanical Heights on Tower Grove Ave., not far from the acclaimed Olio and Elaia restaurants, and Good Fortune could be open by July.

“We’re really shooting to get it open this summer.”

(TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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