Piccione Pastry Coming to The Delmar Loop
With a lead time of 30-60 days, it's not often a monthly print magazine can break a story about a local restaurant opening--especially in this town--but it happened this month.
As noted in this Q&A from the November 2012 issue of St. Louis Magazine, Richard Nix, Jr. (left), the owner of Butler's Pantry Catering and Events and Bixby's at the Missouri History Museum, will be opening a pastry shop/coffee house in the spring of next year that specializes in Italian pastries and sweets. Piccione Pastry is named after his grandmother, Grace Piccione, a longtime business owner in the Delmar Loop and will be located at the corner of Delmar and Skinker. Seems Nix's family has a fondness for Delmar Blvd: in 1966, it was his father who opened the original Butler's Pantry a bit further west, where The House of India is now located.
Piccione Pastry is loosely patterned after Mike's Pastry, a hole in the wall shop Nix discovered while visiting Boston's storied North End, a place that specializes in traditional, unadulterated Italian specialties and, according to Nix, "attracts crowds in Boston like Ted Drewe's does here."
Piccione's appeal and the hook, he says, will be to offer the same Italian standards--like biscotti and cannoli--as well as sweets not available at your neighborhood bakery--items like pizzelle, torrone, boconnotto, and sfogliatelle. (Mike's is especially proud of something called a "ricotta pie.") It's no secret that our city is lacking when it comes to Old World-style pastries, and there's certainly nothing here that approaches the cool factor of Mike's.
Just like Mike's, Nix sees the new endeavor as a grab-and-go joint for single-serve goodies; but unlike Mike's, the 2000 SF space will allow for more seating, and should, according to Nix, prove to be "a gathering place" as well. He sees his customer as people already in the Loop as well as those in transit from dinner in the CWE or an event in nearby Grand Center. And figuring that his patrons may have already had their dosage of alcohol, none will be served.
The November issue of St. Louis Magazine (below) is on newsstands now. Or to learn more about Piccione, about how the catering business differs from the restaurant business--and why Nix ever got into the latter in the first place--check out the Q&A right here, right now.
Photograph by Kevin A. Roberts