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Alex Head

Bakers for Black Lives Benefit at The Vino Gallery Sunday

Word spread across social media like hotcakes last Friday after a group of St. Louis-based bakers announced they were planning an old-fashioned bake sale to benefit ArchCity Defenders. Campaign Zero, and STL Mutual Aid.

The bakers, Tai Davis (Alchemy Bakery), Meaghan Coultrain (Formerly of Niche Food Group), Simone Faure (La Patisserie Chouquette, the link is to an entertaining Sauce Magazine interview), Sharon Harter (Bellwether and Polite Society), Hannah Kerne (formerly of Vicia), and Shimon Otsuka (Nathaniel Reid), named the fundraiser Bakers for Black Lives and enlisted Alex Head, proprietor of The Vino Gallery, to host the event on the patio at 4601 McPherson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink  The Vino Gallery Tai Davis Simone Faure Shimon Otsuka Sharon Harter Meaghan Coultrain Hannah Kerne Bakers for Black Lives Alex Head

The event began at 10 a.m. By 10:20 a line stretched from The Vino Gallery to the former Llyweyln’s Pub.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink  The Vino Gallery Tai Davis Simone Faure Shimon Otsuka Sharon Harter Meaghan Coultrain Hannah Kerne Bakers for Black Lives Alex Head

Examining these photographs as I post them, I realize how quickly I’ve adjusted to the latest version of normal. People wearing face masks standing 6′ apart alongside boarded-up galleries and shops.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink  The Vino Gallery Tai Davis Simone Faure Shimon Otsuka Sharon Harter Meaghan Coultrain Hannah Kerne Bakers for Black Lives Alex Head

Cheers erupted from the crowd when a fire truck from the neighborhood’s Engine House 28 traveled east on McPherson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink  The Vino Gallery Tai Davis Simone Faure Shimon Otsuka Sharon Harter Meaghan Coultrain Hannah Kerne Bakers for Black Lives Alex Head

This was the scene inside The Vino Gallery as organizers arranged baked goods to bring out to the patio for sale. The CWE’s The Cup donated cupcakes and Insomnia Cookies participated as well.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink  The Vino Gallery Tai Davis Simone Faure Shimon Otsuka Sharon Harter Meaghan Coultrain Hannah Kerne Bakers for Black Lives Alex Head

The event was scheduled to last until 2 p.m. but by noon all the pastries were gone, and because shoppers were invited to pay what they wished Bakers for Black Lives raised $12,000 in 2 hours!Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink  The Vino Gallery Tai Davis Simone Faure Shimon Otsuka Sharon Harter Meaghan Coultrain Hannah Kerne Bakers for Black Lives Alex Head

People continued donating long after the pastries were gone. I’ve copied part of organizer Hannah Kerne’s post on Facebook describing how the morning went. For more information, and how you can still donate, here is the link to Bakers for Black Lives Facebook page.

Within 2 hours, we raised more than $12,000 for ArchCity Defenders, Inc., STL Mutual Aid, among other racial justice organizations. I wish Facebook allowed us to bold that number. Before we opened at 10am, people had donated $1,000. By 10:30am, we were at $5,000 and had to cut off curbside pickup because our 1,500 inventory of baked goods was running out and the line was more than 2 blocks long. 1 hour into the event at 11am, we had raised $7,000. By 11:15am, we had to tell people they may not get baked goods but encouraged everyone to still donate. By 11:30am, we ran out of baked goods and were at $8,000, but people wanted to stay in line to donate for the cake raffle. By noon, people were still stopping by to donate and donating online. We soon realized that we had raised more than $12,000.

Reminder that this event was supposed to go until 2pm, and dozens of people continued to donate to get us to this number. Hundreds of people respectfully wore masks and socially distanced the entire time and joined in chants and applause as we ran down the sidewalk to announce the new donations numbers.

St. Louis showed the f*ck up today, and it’s clear there is a hunger to do more to ensure that tomorrow, and every day after that #BlackLivesMatter, and that the anti-racism work goes so far beyond a bake sale and its roots live far deeper than police brutality.

Also, we started this because food is our love language, and it turns out, it’s everyone’s love language.

We have already received messages from chefs and bakers around the country wanting to have similar events, and we plan to have future events, (hopefully around Juneteenth!), so please follow us on Bakers for Black Lives and on Instagram at @Bakers4BlackLives.

This weekend: Amy Johnson at The Vino Gallery, Centro launches BluDot, & an Easter Egg Hunt at Kennedy Park

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink For Children Shop News  Todd Lannom The Vino Gallery Kay Oss Elliot Head CWE Families and Friends Centro Central West End Blu Dot Amy Johnson Alex Head

There are several events happening in the neighborhood this weekend that might help you jump into a springtime frame of mind, in spite of the gloomy weather.

Amy Johnson, a former engineer who decided that designing clothing would be much more fun, is celebrating her 10th year in business as KayOss Designs. You’ll find her today and tomorrow from 1 to 7 p.m. at The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave. After popping up in many CWE locations over the years she now has a permanent showroom at 4530 McPherson Ave., which will be open by appointment after tomorrow. Visit KayOssDesigns for more info.

Amy’s wearing what she says is her new favorite design, a black overlay, $149, which is “something you can throw on over anything all year long.” She’s holding KayOss knit pants, $149, made of viscose, a breathable natural fiber that’s comfortable during the summer months.

A painting by artist Elliot Head, the talented brother of Vino Gallery’s proprietor Alex Head hangs on the wall above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink For Children Shop News  Todd Lannom The Vino Gallery Kay Oss Elliot Head CWE Families and Friends Centro Central West End Blu Dot Amy Johnson Alex Head

A lovely hi-low “Joey” dress in viscose, $219, is named for a customer who kept asking for a wrap dress.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink For Children Shop News  Todd Lannom The Vino Gallery Kay Oss Elliot Head CWE Families and Friends Centro Central West End Blu Dot Amy Johnson Alex Head

Hearts and love are a theme this season at KayOss—the “love” dress is $139. Love tees with reverse message ,$22.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink For Children Shop News  Todd Lannom The Vino Gallery Kay Oss Elliot Head CWE Families and Friends Centro Central West End Blu Dot Amy Johnson Alex Head

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink For Children Shop News  Todd Lannom The Vino Gallery Kay Oss Elliot Head CWE Families and Friends Centro Central West End Blu Dot Amy Johnson Alex Head

Other choices include a vibrantly striped viscose dress, $169, and right, a sleeveless lined blue floral dress, $139. Other pant selections are shown on the rack above. All KayOss fabrics are sourced from Italy and France.

Amy Johnson’s KayOssDesigns at The Vino Gallery, 4501 McPherson Ave., today until 7 p.m., Saturday 1 to 7 p.m. Thereafter by appointment.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink For Children Shop News  Todd Lannom The Vino Gallery Kay Oss Elliot Head CWE Families and Friends Centro Central West End Blu Dot Amy Johnson Alex Head

After receiving a press release (below) from Centro, I stopped in yesterday afternoon to check out the shop’s new furniture line, Blu Dot from Minneapolis. At the time Todd Lannom and the rest of the staff were putting finishing touches on the display. In lieu then of an actual photograph of the furniture, please view the photograph from the press release and then visit the shop at 4727 McPherson Ave. tomorrow between 10 and 6 to see Blu Dot for yourself.

Lannom hopes that the new more affordable line of furniture (sofas start at $2,000) will attract young apartment dwellers who have moved to the neighborhood following the construction of Citizen Park, The Milton, The Euclid, The Orion and Lofts at Euclid.

Here is the press release with all the details:

Join Centro Saturday, March 24, from 10 to 6 for the St. Louis debut of Blu Dot, an American brand of affordable modern furniture. Blu Dot was founded in 1998 by designers John Christakos, Maurice Blanks and Charlie Lazor, who built their business to support their design habit and to have control of the entire process, from product development all the way through to the customer experience. Everything that Blue Dot makes and sells was designed in their Minneapolis studio.

Enjoy a blue refreshment—blueberry-flavored Champagne and macarons from La Patisserie Chouquette—while you shop over 80 products in an area of Centro’s showroom that is dedicated to the Blu Dot brand. Enter to win a NEAT Lounge Chair in Thurmond Marine Blue fabric (view chair on website).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink For Children Shop News  Todd Lannom The Vino Gallery Kay Oss Elliot Head CWE Families and Friends Centro Central West End Blu Dot Amy Johnson Alex Head

And finally on Sunday afternoon, join CWE Families and Friends for the annual Easter Egg Hunt in Kennedy Park, one block east of Euclid on Washington. Everyone’s invited.

Have a wonderful weekend.

 

It’s what’s inside that counts/Holiday Shopping Guide Part I

My plan was to get my annual holiday gift guide published a couple of weeks before Christmas. What happened to December? Instead, here is Part I of last minute suggestions for everyone on your gift list.

Shopping local has become the mantra of all seasons, even more so for this, the merriest of all. So, please heed the call and support our neighborhood retailers. Ours is a symbiotic relationship. we need them while they need us—even more.

This year I’m combining photos of holiday shop windows spruced up for the annual Window Walk, along with some gifts you’ll find inside. And I hope you will ignore the glare from the shop windows below, for no matter what time of day I snap them, it’s always there.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The Vino Gallery:  Windows designed by Enchanting Embellishments’ Michael Shreves.

When I stopped in The Vino Gallery this week, I was met with shipping boxes galore stacked near the entry awaiting the arrival of FedEx.  While continuing to check off his fulfillment list for online wine sales (the gift business has mushroomed this year), proprietor Alex Head pulled some celebratory suggestions from the shelves.

From left: Central Coast (CA) Fableist Pinot Noir, described as having a nice, rich fruit-forward flavor, $23. Moët & Chandon Champagne, $45, comes with a zippered insulated jacket to prolong the chill. Include a holiday wine stopper, $10, to prolong the gratitude.

The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave, (314) 932-5665. Mon. 4 to 6-ish, Tues.-Thurs. 1 to 9, Fri.-Sat. 1 to 10, Closed Sun.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The Candle Fusion Studio: Windows designed by Yours by Design.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

At The Candle Fusion Studio, which just celebrated its 1st anniversary, you’ll find a “relax and unwind” gift basket that includes 8-ounce bottles of lavender cinnamon goats milk & honey body lotion and liquid hand soap, a jar of natural brown sugar scrub, lilac & lavender spa salts, and a 4-pack of soy-wax candles in olive blossom, bergamot, verbena & clothesline (yep!), $70. Each candle burns for 15 hours.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

Top photo: Holiday Cheer candles packed in 8-ounce mason jars are scented in a seasonal blend of cranberry, balsam, fir and brown sugar, $16.

Bottom photo: Candle Fusion just introduced 8-ounce bottles of goats milk & honey hand soap, and lavender cinnamon or mango mint lotion, as shown in gift basket above. Can be purchased separately, $15.

The Candle Fusion Studio, 4742 McPherson Ave., Tues.-Thurs. 11 to 7, Fri. & Sat. 11 to 8, Closed Xmas Eve.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

Centro Modern Furnishings

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

From top left: Field Design’s Outline Half-Round Drawing Tool, $50, Fort Standard Standing Bowl, $84, Field Design’s Magnifier, $140, Fort Standard’s Crest Bottle Opener, $48, Fort Standard’s Fire Kit, $98. Areaware Table Tiles Coaster Set, $18, and EXTO+2 Power Cord by Conway Electric to replace the unsightly power strip, $55.

Centro Modern Furnishings, 4727 McPherson Ave., (314) 454-0111.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

East + WestNicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

Top photo: Carhartt’s “Work in Progress” line of brushed cotton shirts, $108.

Bottom photo: from left, Designed by LA-based husband & wife team, Rogue Territory’s specialty denim jacket is $325. A waxed canvas Field Jacket is $330, and Lineal’s Supply Jacket is $365.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

CWE-based Sarah Doriani’s holiday cards, $5 each.

East+West, 387 N. Euclid, Mon. to Sat. 11 to 7, Sun. 12 to 5, Open Xmas Eve: 10 t0 4.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The Silver Lady:  Window designed by Retail Design Group St. Louis Chapter.Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

From left, dramatic silver earrings, $129, stunning satin cuff, $338, and satin “x” ring, $160.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

From top left: Artisan Somers’ sculptural jewelry includes Mobier teardrops, $300, Sarah bracelet, $685, and a Merilee necklace, $425.

The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson Ave., (314) 367-7587, Weds. – Fri. 12 to 6, Sat. 11 to 6, Sun. 11 to 4.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

di OlivasNicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

di Olivas, an oil and vinegar emporium located at 115B N. Euclid across from Whole Foods, stocks plenty of gift ideas for food lovers, i.e., almost everyone.

While on one of his frequent trips to Tuscany, proprietor Robert Palleja discovered artist Peter Nika’s hand-made wooden cutting boards and fish-shaped pasta measuring tool (1 to 4 servings), $19.99 each. Top, Cascina Marchesa Pesto Alla Genovese, $8.99, Boat Street French Plum Pickles (I taste-tested these and they’re a winner). Serve with brie, chicken sandwiches, paté, etc., $9.99. Morelli organic red chilli pasta, $7.99.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

The proprietor sings the praises of his recent import, Cortono Olio Nuovo, with its fresh cut grass taste and peppery finish, 200 ml $19.95 to $47.95 for 750 ml bottle.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Shop News  The Vino Gallery The Silver Lady The Candle Fusion Studio Sarah Doriani East + West di Olivas Centro Modern Furnishings Alex Head

And for an extravagant gift, di Olivas carries Reserva Tartufo truffle balsamic, $75.

di Olivas, 115B N. Euclid, Mon.- Thurs. 11 to 8, Fri. & Sat. 11 to 9, Sun. 11 to 6.

Part II to follow.