Hendricks BBQ was set to open on South Main Street in in May 2011 when a 16-inch water main burst and flooded the building—ironically, the former St. Charles Waterworks building.
Owners Ami Hendricks-Grimes and Gurpreet Padda began all over again—cleaning, restoring and refurnishing the 600-seat restaurant and bar.
The blues-themed barbecue restaurant will open Thursday on South Main Street and features a menu straight from a neighborhood backyard barbecue, complete with barbecued beef, pork, sausage and ribs, and the comfort foods we all grew up with and cherish: deviled eggs, sweet potato casserole, potato salad and macaroni and cheese.
The difference? "We went all around the country, trying different recipes. And we made sure ours were better," Padda said.
The bar, with Mason-jar lighting fixtures, has a full range of beers on tap, as well as Old Faithful and Em Er Crafy in bottles and cans and The Biggons and Them Fruit Beers in bottles.
Hendricks also offers cocktails with whimsical names like Grandpa's Cough Syrup, Mule Kick and Porch Puppy's Puddle.
But the heart of the restaurant is in its selection of bourbons and whiskeys, and (what else?) moonshine. You can even get moonshine in flavors like Apple Pie and Blueberry.
The lower level of the building is home to the Moonshine Blues Bar, which will feature live entertainment on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, an upper level of the building will host private parties and gatherings. The building has a huge deck with seating and a lower level with an enormous fireplace.
Hendricks-Grimes and Padda have kept some of the huge iron pipeworks and machinery in the downstairs bar in homage to the building's history, but their own sense of humor is instantly visible in the flying pigs that dominate the décor, a former Piggly-Wiggly sign that fills one wall and a prop faucet that was added to the outside of the building.
Hendricks-Grimes and Padda are the team behind two other signature St. Louis eateries: Sanctuaria, at Manchester and Boyle and Diablito's Cantino on Laclede Avenue. Hendricks BBQ is the pair's first foray into the St. Charles restaurant scene.
The restaurant's soft opening on August 30 will be followed by a grand opening celebration on September 20.