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Next month, Wrigley will roll out Alert Energy Caffeine gum targeting the 25-49 year-old consumers. The gum contains 40 percent caffeine equivalent to a half-cup of coffee or 16 ounces of soda.



Three pointers filled the lunchtime air at Molly Darcy’s in Clayton, where Molly’s helmsman Carl Wnter  and LHM bossman Bob O’Laughlin hosted three of our towns basketball legends: Jim Kennedy; Jim “Bubba” Goessling and Rich Grawer.  While the lynchpins of DeSmet Jesuit’s first State Chamionship exchanged long range barbs, onlooker’s Michael B. Smallwood and Clayton High A.D. Bob Bonebeamed from ear to ear.  Nearby, CBC alum Tom Neusel, with his son Connor,  recounted running into Goessling’s fellow Christ the King of U.City alum Tara McCormack Hogan at Neusel’s 40 year CBC High School reunion.  Other CKS alums include Ronnoco’s Frank Guyol,  the late John Ferrara and former Congresswoman Joan Kelly Horn.  Sayeth Neusel:  “We Catholic’s don’t care  which high school you attended – we want to know which parish you grew up in!”  Future barrister Connor Neusel,  fresh off completing his second year at Mizzou Law, is interning with real estate/golf legend Tom O’Toole’s firm.


Seventeen businesses and organizations have opened in The Grove since 2010 and at least five more are on the way in 2012.  “I’ve never seen the Grove that crowded before, the sidewalks were filled like people moving from venue to venue,” cited the Atomic Cowboy’s Chip Schloss. “It felt like the quarter in New Orleans.”  Beginning the New Year right – nothing like curing a hangover with yoga – at the new Urban Breath Yoga on Manchester Road. New also are No Coast Skateboards, Sameem Afghan Restaurant and Catering and soon – O’Shay’s Irish Pub and Soho Restaurant & Lounge.


Paul, John and Rosa Gabriele

Paul, John and Rosa Gabriele

The holiday season was off to a sluggish start. It’s Christmas, it’s joy, it’s happiness and good luck. Unfortunately, at the foot of Mullanphy Street, the homeless still hover over small fires in an area called “Hopeville.”  The Martin Luther King and Eads Bridges have lost those lights that were gifted to the city years ago by the Veiled Prophet Order. The National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville has transformed once again into a magnificent shower of Christmas lighting.

Don and Joan Davis

Don and Joan Davis

There’s one glitch this year – an intrusion of a full-color, electric sign that promotes FOX2 near the grotto. Then, we drove to Fairview Heights, where another blazing sign beckoned all to the new Agostino’s. It figures that a fancy town like Fairview Heights would have an upscale Italian restaurant. After ordering dinner, Todd, the server, rushed into the kitchen and reappeared with a massive bowl of cioppino worthy of the 14th century’s Huou, chef of the court of Kublai Khan. There was adulation in the air over chef Rosa Gabriele’s
miraculous preparation of Sicilian delicacies and daughter-in-law/pastry chef Francesca’smemorable delights with each dish rising to new heights.

David and Thelma Steward

David and Thelma Steward

Soaring with a burst of floratory, her sons Paul and John traced the 44-year history of Agostino’s that began on The Hill. Onward to Tony’s to help celebrate the birthday parties of Thelma Steward with her hub, David of World Wide Technology, and in another party room, Joan Davis with her hub, Don, who’s hit the ball out of the park with Purus boutique vodka, that has caught on like wildfire in about a dozen states. Next for the Davis’ Pure Holdings LLC is Pomacai, a pomegranate and acai berry-flavored vodka.


Former Post-Dispatch reporter and food scribe Ellen Sweets is setting the cookbook world on fire with her cooking memoir,”Stirring It Up With Molly Ivins.”  Sweets’ roots are in St. Louis and her family once published the St. Louis American, but food writing took her to Texas where she became a friend of the raucously liberal syndicated columnist, who had a particularly pointed pen for the Republican puffery.  Sweets wrote the memoir with recipes after Molly’s death four years ago.  The tome is getting high praise from reviewers and is #87 among cookbooks in the rating.  She’s in town for a book signing at Left Bank Books at 7 p.m., Dec. 13.  She’s been on the signing circuit all over Texas, New Orleans and the Beltway.


We’re the stodgy Midwest. All the social innovation and hip trends start on the coasts. Right?  Then how to explain that the cocktail party wasn’t invented in Manhattan or Beverly Hills, but right here in the Central West End. Not only that, but playwright and poet T.S. Eliot, who lived here scribed a successful play in 1949, “The Cocktail Party.” Moreover, a 1917 St. Paul Pioneer Press story that says in May of that year, Mrs. Julius S. Walsh, Jr. of 4510 Lindell Blvd. invited 50 guests to her house at noon on a Sunday, serving drinks for an hour followed by lunch.  “The party scored an instant hit,” the Pioneer Press declared.  Within a matter of weeks, according to Wikipedia, “cocktail parties became a “St. Louis institution ” In 1924, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis bought the Walsh mansion and it has served as the local archbishop’s residence ever since. (Conventional wisdom credits Christopher Nevinson with holding England’s first cocktail party in 1924.)




In 2003, while making the rounds in our town, Oprah Winfrey was taken to dinner by network aides to the almost 40 year-old Giovanni’s on The Hill. That evening, its founder Giovanni Gabrielle created for her a dish he dubbed, “Pappardelle a la Oprah,” consisting of linguini, porcini mushrooms, gorgonzola cheese and whole garlic. Winfrey was so pleased, she invited Giovanni to prepare the dish on the air. Subsequently Gabrielle fielded hundreds of recipe requests and reservations from people across the states. Now, he has decided to create a massive order of the dish to present to Winfrey and her staff upon the finale of her 25-year reign next week.


Former St. Louis Club kitchen exec Adam Kustra has joined his family at Kemoll’s Italian Restaurant on the 40th floor of the Met Building.  He will be working with his dad, Doug Cusumano, uncle and aunt Mark and Ellen Cusumano and grandma Mary Grace Cusumano.  A Mizzou grad, Kustra is expected to add specialties to the menu, which will change daily during lunch hours.  He will be introducing wine dinners paired with expanded menus during the summer and will oversee the victuals during dinner dances including a gala on the Fourth of July, that will feature fireworks.

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