Travis Howard and Tim Wiggins, the team behind Retreat Gastropub (2 North Sarah Street, St. Louis,), announced their forthcoming second restaurant and bar, Yellowbelly, at 4659 Lindell Blvd, part of The Opus Group’s Citizen Park building at corner of Euclid and Lindell. Set to open in mid-2018, Yellowbelly will be a sea and spirits concept with seafood-focused fare and a thoughtful beverage program with a concentrated focus on rum, wines by the glass, craft beer, classic cocktails and more.
In a city with an established cocktail scene of dive bar haunts to acclaimed cocktail bars with speakeasy vibes, Yellowbelly seeks to define the first modern cocktail bar in St. Louis. Yellowbelly evokes a sense of play with a bright, clean design and serious, but fun cocktails and food. As with Retreat, Yellowbelly will be about a mindset–a lively hideout to gather with friends for a good time.
Owner Travis Howard explains, “Our location is right in the heart of the exciting development in the Central West End from Whole Foods to Shake Shack. With residents located right above us, Yellowbelly will be a place for the neighborhood–an everyday hangout where anyone can come relax and enjoy a new experience.”
While the forests and landscapes of the Pacific Northwest inspired Retreat’s décor, Architect Nick Adams of Mademan Designs will bring Yellowbelly’s California coastal feel to life in the 3,000-square foot space. The restaurant and bar’s 16-foot ceilings and complete glass exterior create an airy, bright environment while natural design elements of light, bamboo-inspired wood with subtle tropical tones of deep teal and white add warmth to the space. Custom artwork on two main walls as well as a geometric installation over the 15-seat quartz bar with glass tile backsplash create additional modern touches. The restaurant overall will seat 90 to 95 people with an additional 40 seats outside.
The animated name is a derivative of the literal “yellow-bellied” tropical birds and fish, but it’s also a buck to the term yellow-belly, or coward. With calls to “be brave” throughout the restaurant, Yellowbelly is a playful dare to try something new. While the beverage program will feature something for everyone, the menu will also reflect 26-year-old Partner and Bar Manager Tim Wiggins’ love letter to rum–something that hasn’t been done before in St. Louis.
He explains, “We want to evoke a sense of adventure at Yellowbelly and offer a new, energetic dining and drinking experience. Rum is a passion of mine, and no one in St. Louis is focusing so intently on the spirit. It allows me to not only challenge myself, but also have an open, fun conversation with our guests.” Many of the signature Yellowbelly rum cocktails will be served in fun, cheeky custom glassware. Guests can expect cocktails based off of tropical fish names and traits, such as: Rummy Nose Torpedo, Green Terror, Cherry Barb Punch and more. While the drinks will be bold and playful, Wiggins wants to make one thing clear, “it won’t be a tiki bar.”
The food menu also embraces West Coast cuisine with bright, light flavors, seasonal fruits and vegetables and the best, freshest seafood available. Expect raw seafood dishes such as ceviche and crudo to seafood entrées like whole fish. In addition, the menu will include twists on approachable American fare with shareable small plates, larger approachable entrées, such as a burger, and more.
Yellowbelly also establishes Howard and Wiggins as multi-concept restaurant owners and signifies the start of their restaurant group, On Point Hospitality.