Being the first espresso bar in St. Louis had its drawbacks. When The Brevé Coffee Company opened its doors in 1995, the concept of a latte was unfamiliar to most residents in the downtown area, and the shop only made $58 its first day in business. But as owner Kevin Wiesehan and his wife added in flavorful small-batch-roasted coffee beans, a panini press, and savory café food, business started to boom. Brevé now has three locations throughout the St. Louis area.
In these coffee shops, baristas serve up expertly poured coffees alongside sandwiches, veggie wraps, and salads. Hand-dipped ice-cream treats with Ghirardelli chocolate, shots of house espresso, or foamy pours of root beer are both decadent and refreshing, much like waltzing with an ice sculpture of Fred Astaire.
Step into 6 North Café and sample a variety of offerings from its plentiful menus. Whipping up palatable grub since 2005, this family-owned eatery percolates with a sizeable selection of coffee, breakfast items, and smoothies. Instead of chewing on an old-timey salted leather bootstrap, nosh on a turkey club sandwich with jalapeño cheese and avocado ($6.30), a honey chicken wrap ($6.50), grilled Reuben ($6.96), or a mixed fruit and walnut salad ($6.96). Although scampering atop busses at the crack of dawn in an adrenaline-pumping chase scene is one way to wake up, healthier alternatives include building a breakfast sandwich buttressed by a croissant, bagel, or toast while sipping on a variety of coffee bean brews and Italian sodas. Escape the doldrums of workaday coffee machines and partake in the café's WiFi hot spottery while munching on tasty grub with today’s Groupon.
In 1927, thousands of feet above the Atlantic, Charles Lindbergh was shielded from the elements only by the Spirit of St. Louis' thin linen covering. His eyes, though, boasted much sturdier protection on that historic flight—a custom pair of goggles designed by brothers A.P. and August Erker. More than 80 years and four generations later, the Erker name still stands behind high-quality optics.
Jack Erker Jr., great-grandson of August, presides over the business's two present-day locations, which have also played their part in adorning famous eyes. During Jack's tenure, Will Smith, John Goodman, and Shaquille O'Neal have all stopped in to swap needlepoint tips and grab a pair of stylish frames, which are sourced from Italian and German design houses, as well as his own manufacturing division, Studio Optyx.
Pint glasses fill with fresh drafts of craft beers from Parma Grill and Tap's microbrewery while cooks prepare platters of Italian fare, such as lasagna and eggplant parmesan, inside the kitchen. A selection of specialty pizzas includes buffalo chicken with blue-cheese or ranch dipping sauce and Elizabeth's Favorite, a vegetable pizza topped with roasted eggplant and fresh tomatoes.
PuraVegan promotes healthy eating by complementing a wholesome menu with weekly changing culinary classes, in which home chefs can learn techniques for crafting meals from raw ingredients. During two-hour crash courses, the culinary pedagogues spotlight cooking fundamentals with live demonstrations as seasoned hash slingers donate tastings, recipes, and sure-to-impress-dates lingo to student repertoires. Globetrotting courses transport tasters to various parts of the world, such as the Taste of Tuscany, which exposes the diet-friendly alter ego of Italian vittles with fresh mushrooms and heirloom tomato lasagna. Corral the necessary know-how to swiftly prep nutrient-packed meals during the Quick Raw Meals class or learn how to warm patriotic noshes with fireworks by taking a Contemporary American course. PuraVegan recommends all students bring a pen to class and arrive at least five minutes prior to the designated start time.