Only the good die young...
but only the great rise again like the phoenix.
Sorry for the cliche overload but it's hard not to wax poetic when discussing Steve Jones' still-open-but-not-for-long Steve's Cheese on NW Thurman and his newest venture Cheese Bar due to open mid-March at 60th and SE Belmont.
I spoke with Steve late last week and here's the scoop...
How would you describe Cheese Bar?
Cheese Bar is a cross between an old world delicatessen and a tabac.
What's a tabac?
In France and Italy both there are these things called tabacs and they're on almost every corner. It's where old men come in in the morning and buy their tobacco -- although we obviously won't be selling tobacco -- and then they'll stand and have a glass of espresso and maybe a croissant. And then in the evening they'll come back and have a glass of grappa and piece of cheese or something.
I've always really liked the social aspect of them. People coming in and out -- and quite often they're in and out in twenty minutes. It's really the only fast option you have in Europe -- everything else takes forever. So it's kind of cool you can get a little bite or boost and keep on moving. That's kind of been my intention with this. If people want to linger they can but Cheese Bar is more for when you're on your way home and you stop and have a glass of beer and a piece of cheese, or a glass of wine and a small bite.
Other differences between Steve's Cheese and Cheese Bar?
I keep telling everyone [Cheese Bar is] everything you've got now [Steve's Cheese] and more. We'll still carry everything including all the meat and cheese but you'll also be able to have a beer while your shopping. That's, you know, my dream moment. To get a beer and then shop for cheese. I mean, hell yeah, that's perfect.
I think if we've got a really long line I'm just going to grab a pitcher of beer and just pour everyone a little glass and say, "Here, have a beer." I used to shop at an old meat shop in St. Louis and no matter what time of day you'd walk in they'd ask -- "Want a bavarian beer?" It's 9:30 in the morning and they'd be offering you a beer..."
Other things I learned about Cheese Bar:
The small menu will be stocked with sandwiches, soups, salads (such as garbanzo, tuna, and red pepper) snacks (sardines on toast), and hot plates ranging from $2-$10.
Cheese Bar will have the same rocking cheese selection (available in-house or to-go) as Steve's Cheese as well as all the other retail food and drink products such as vinegars, pastas, pickles and more.
There will be in-house beer, wine, and beer and wine cocktails. Curious about the latter -- we shall see.
And the look and feel? Lots of reclaimed wood and reused materials, four tables, two small bars (one standing bar, the other with stools), and a warm color scheme with lots of reds and browns.
I know where I'll be come mid-March.
Cheese Baropens mid-March 503.222.6014 6031 SE Belmont St. 10am-11pm Tue.-Sun.