BEAST has brought its critically acclaimed barbecue across the river.
BEAST Butcher & Block debuted in the The Grove on June 15 with six smokers on site. It is the second location of the popular eatery from husband-and-wife team David and Meggan Sandusky, who founded the original BEAST Craft BBQ Co. in Belleville, Illinois, five years ago.
As reported by Feast last year, visitors can find BEAST mainstays on the menu such as Duroc pork steak, Wagyu brisket and Texas pork belly. Additionally, the St. Louis location will feature two entirely new concepts: The Butchery, a full-service butcher shop, and The Skullery, described as a cross between a chef's table and an R&D kitchen.
The St. Louis team is made up of David Sandusky as pitmaster with executive chef Ryan McDonald (previously of Good Fortune), butcher CJ Baerman (previously of Paddy O’s), sous chef Kelvin Johnson, pit boss Jim Thomas and director of operations Helen Beshel.
“There’s a lot going on here. I just want it to be really cool barbecue,” David says. “BEAST’s niche is sourcing the best animals in the country and doing as little as possible to them to show the quality of the sustainable farming in which they were raised. We’re about putting out our best all the time.”
BEAST Butcher & Block fills a 6,000-square-foot space with a 95-seat dining room for the main counter-service restaurant. A front patio will eventually feature seats for another 25. Blackline Design + Construction and JEMA served as the architects for the venture, while Meggan developed the interior decor.
According to Meggan, the space evokes an urban outdoor barbecue feel with string lights for ambiance, monochromatic cinder-block walls juxtaposed with brightly colored chairs, and murals by local artist Killer Napkins. Wooden tables throughout the space were crafted by Narrative Furniture.
The Butchery features its own storefront space, filled with grab-and-go goods such as sausages, prepared sides and canned beers. Meanwhile, The Skullery has its own separate area outfitted with a kitchen that utilizes hot coals and a massive custom block to eventually showcase the city’s first “fire-to-table” restaurant concept.
From BEAST’s casual dine-in menu, choose from highlights such as a heritage-breed snoot, available by itself or as part of the “Triple Pig,” which features sauced snoot, rib tips and hot link over seared potato salad. Pigs are sourced from Compart Family Farms in Minnesota. To drink, BEAST offers canned and bottled beer as well as four taps that will feature exclusive craft beers.
“I think St. Louis is a very unique barbecue market,” David Sandusky says. “After traveling the country and doing barbecue crawls all over, it’s my opinion that St. Louis has the best barbecue outside of Austin, Texas. We want to be at the forefront of what this city has to offer.”
BEAST Butcher & Block’s restaurant hours are currently Sunday through Thursday from 11am to 9pm as well as Friday through Saturday from 11am to 10pm.