“Compassion is a verb” at Left Bank Books

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Left Bank Books   Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  Left Bank Books

Turns out this idea began when Spike the Left Bank Books cat was ill. According to co-proprietor Jarek Steele: “We’ve only had the coats outside for a couple of weeks on and off. It started when I was on my way back from getting medicine for Spike just before he died. I was feeling pretty low & sort of staring into middle distance at a stoplight when I saw a rack outside a clothing store on Delmar (I think). It seemed like such a simple kindness, such a profound singular thing. Then I remembered we have an old tshirt display in our basement.
The next morning I stopped by St. Vincent De Paul on my way to work and bought 7 or 8 coats to give away.
The clerk was frazzled. It was just before Christmas. I waited in line and when I finally reached her we looked at each other, then the coats.
She started to tell me about her dad dying and how that foiled her plan to give away coats to the homeless this year. It seemed like this was a sign from the universe to slow down and listen so I did. We talked for about 15 minutes and when I left I knew this was a way we as a store could mourn Spike, honor the cashier’s loss and do something very quiet and simple that made things just a little easier for someone.
Within a day all the coats were gone. We’ve bought more and had some donated. I hope it helps.
Thanks and take care. Jarek”

This just in: West End Grill & Pub has been sold

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink  West End Grill and Pub

It’s been a successful 10-year run for neighborhood favorite West End Grill & Pub (WEGAP), but this afternoon it was announced that the restaurant has been sold and will serve its last meal on Saturday, January 12. The new chef/owner has not been announced as yet, but publicist Julie Lally said the new operation, under a new name, will reopen as soon as possible.

Here is the announcement:

West End Grill and Pub to Be Sold – statement from Neill Costello and the other owners:

It is with truly mixed feelings that the West End Grill and Pub announces it will be sold in the coming weeks to a new ownership group. While we are sad to be leaving a restaurant that was borne of, and has become part of, our soul, we are equally excited for the future of this great CWE space! The new owners, who would like to remain unnamed until all the details have been finalized, will spend several weeks doing a refresh. They will reopen with a new name, an updated look and a new menu created by an enormously talented chef-owner. The future looks very bright for this part of the CWE, and we urge you to show the new operators the same love and loyalty you were kind enough to share with us for the last ten years.

We will close our doors after dinner and bar service this Saturday, January 12. We’d like to invite you in to bid us farewell any night between now and then. Thank you for being such a wonderful part of our lives, and I’m sure we’ll see many of you in the future!

A few more holiday gifts to consider

At The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave.,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

How about a gift that keeps on giving for as many months as you desire? Alex Head, proprietor of The Vino Gallery, has started a Wine Club, which is sure to make your favorite someone bubble over with happiness.

There are two categories to choose from: Classic, $35 a month for 2 bottles of wine valued at $20 each, and Reserva, $75 a month for 2 bottles valued at $40 each. On the order form, see below, there is a wine preferences section so Alex and his staff can match your tastes with the perfect bottles from their collection of small batch wines from all over the world.

Wine Club members also receive 10% off purchases, 15% off cases (12 bottles), and 15% off at Vino’s Wine Bar.

Check Vino Gallery’s website for more information or follow this link to get a gift membership started.

At Bissinger’s, 32 Maryland Plaza,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

There are lots of last-minute gifts to choose at Bissinger’s CWE location including, clockwise from left: a keepsake holiday house filled with a 17-piece assortment of Bissinger’s hand-made candies, $30; 4″ milk chocolate Santas wrapped up with a big red bow, $5; Hand-painted Saint Nick, $19; A bag of foil-wrapped solid chocolate holiday presents, $25; old-fashioned Nonpareils, $29; and center, an 8-piece dark chocolate peppermint crème collection, $13.

Visit Bissinger’s website for hours and more gift ideas.

At The Cup, 28 Maryland Plaza Rear,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

Any combination of delicious holiday cupcakes from The Cup would be an easy choice for your holiday gathering. There’s a gingerbread cupcake decorated with a tiny gingerbread man cookie that’s topped with whipped cream frosting, and a delicious-looking “raspberry beret” beauty too, $2.95 each, $33 per dozen.

Limited edition cupcakes are $3.45 each (take a peek at these on the website), and check out gluten-free flavors too. The cupcake stand in the photograph is available for rent, and The Cup has lined up several delivery services too. What could be more convenient than that?

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

The Cup has expanded its gift selection to include party decorations, and nestled among them are old-fashioned Christmas stockings,$6.95, and an assortment of holiday-themed tea towels, $6.95, too.

Enjoy the holidays everyone!