Narwhal’s Crafted serves up frozen drinks to go in Midtown and St. Charles
First, the co-founders of Narwhal’s, Brandon Holzhueter and Brad Merten, applied craft cocktail standards to the boozy slushy to create elevated frozen drinks. They use real fruit purées, fresh herbs, and offbeat tinctures to produce a rotating roster of 16 frozen concoctions, from a basic hibiscus gin and tonic to a potent riff on the innocent chocolate-covered strawberry.
The partners followed with carbonated cocktails on draft, traditional classics shaken with local spirits, and spiked ciders, as well as such hot offerings as a bananas Foster latte.
Narwhal’s two locations (Midtown and St. Charles) switched to a curbside-only model in April, but the partners are eager to introduce a sister concept, Loaded, next to the St. Charles Narwhal’s. It’s not what you think, though: The duo have taken the same make-it-better philosophy and applied it to…nachos.
“Taco chips are a blank slate,” says Merten, “so our idea is to showcase different cuisines and present nachos in an inspired and Instagrammable way.”
Narwhal’s Crafted is opening a massive new location in the Grove
By Nick Messina // September 29, 2021
Popular boozy slushy hangout Narwhal’s Crafted, with locations in Midtown St. Louis and St. Charles, is gearing up to open another spot in the next year or so. This time, they’re bringing their magic to the Grove.
“[Our plan is] to move the flagship location over to the Grove,” said Brandon Holzhueter, co-owner of Narwhal’s. “Since we opened five years ago, we’ve learned a lot. We were able to take things we learned from building our first [location] to our second location to the new location. … We’re still going to keep the old spot, but we’re not sure what we’re going to do; it might be a test kitchen or an event space or something like that.”
The building, which has yet to be constructed, is rendered to look like a giant ship at the corner of Vandeventer and Manchester avenues. The first level of the building will be about 5,000 square feet and will house Narwhal’s, as well as sister concept Loaded: Elevated Nachos, the first location of which is next door to the St. Charles Narwhal’s. The two concepts will be separate so people under 21 can still dine in at Loaded. “[Customers] will be able to access both locations and move between the two,” Holzhueter said. “[It’ll be] a seamless experience.”
The second level will be about 3,000 square feet with an all-weather patio space and regular patio seating with fire pits. But while the plans for the new building are essentially finalized, the actual construction process is quite a ways from beginning.
“There is [currently] no estimate for when we break ground. It could be nine to 12 months from now, but it could be longer,” said Holzhueter. “We need certain approvals, the support of the alderwoman, zoning clearance. We’ve had community engagement meetings, and the community response has been good, but it could be longer [than nine to 12 months]. We’re keeping it down low, keeping things quiet while we work through approvals. We don’t want to apply undue pressure on those that still need their voices heard.”
The Grove would provide some much-needed local traffic for Narwhal’s. “Visibility is so much better than where we are now. We love the building and space [in Midtown], but unless you know we’re there, it’s harder to stumble upon us,” said Holzhueter. “The Grove is a place where people are going out, there’s a lot of action and foot traffic, a lot of fun things happening. We love the people, we love the businesses. People have been asking about this concept for months. It’s a bigger, badder, better Narwhal's.”
1450 Beale St #125, St Charles
accepts credit cards
good for groups
garage parking, private lot parking, valet parking
happy hour specials
offers military discount
open to all
social distancing enforced
staff wears masks
staff wears gloves
hand sanitizer provided
sanitizing between customers
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Narwhal’s Crafted, a master mixologist’s version of a frozen drink emporium with locations in Midtown and St. Charles and Loaded Elevated Nachos, is planning to anchor the east end of the Grove in dramatic fashion. Scalene Solutions LLC (get it?) purchased the property from Koman Group last October. Their original plan presented in September 2020 called for renovating the existing building and adding a covered patio. The grander design adds a new two-story building meeting the sharp corner of Vandeventer and Chouteau reminiscent of a ship with a narwhal at its bow and outdoor area like a deck on a cruise ship for hanging out with a drink with an umbrella in it. The architect is SPACE Architecture + Design who are also located in the Grove on Manchester..
StL Mag profiled the principals Brad Merten and Brandon Holzhueter in April.
Will there be more Narwhal’s or Loaded locations?A conversation with Brad Merten and Brandon Holzhueter of Narwhal’s Crafted and Loaded: Elevated Nachos
BM: We bought a triangular piece of property at the corner of Manchester and Vandeventer, right at the entrance to The Grove, which is exactly where we want to be. We feel that with all that’s happening nearby—City Foundry, all the new housing, the bike trails—that part of Vandeventer will be where the action is for the next several years. That location will definitely be some version of Narwhal’s and Crafted. We could be building in two to three months, but realistically, the opening is probably a year from now. Right now the property is an expensive storage space for us!
Update Sep 24, 2021 – STL Mag has more details – Narwhal’s Crafted sets sail for a new location in The Grove
Charles narwhals st
Narwhal's plans to open a new location in St. Louis with a building unlike any other
ST. LOUIS — A St. Louis cocktail shop known for whipping up frozen drinks is getting ready to set sail into The Grove.
Narwhal’s Crafted plans to build a new location along Manchester Road and the building will be quite the eye-catcher – it’s designed to be in the shape of a ship. Early renderings show the structure has portholes, a second-story deck and a large narwhal statue on top leading the way. The backend of the "ship" includes a ground-level patio with plenty of space to sit outside.
“The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive,” said lead architect on the project Tom Niemeier. “People seem to like a building with a strong concept.”
The “ship” would be situated on a triangular plot of land on the eastern edge of The Grove, cornered by Manchester Road, Chouteau Avenue and Vandeventer Avenue. There’s currently a parking lot and an old car service station at the location. Niemeier said the building will serve as a great entrance into the bustling Grove neighborhood.
“With a large roof deck similar to what you might see on a ship, we opened the building up to the Grove views and nightlife on the north side, and closed down the views to the south, for improved acoustics and sun shading,” he told 5 On Your Side. “We strategically located the porthole windows to provide some breeze and view to the south and building upon the nautical theme.”
The project still has a few permits to gather and meetings to go through, but with the positive reception so far, Narwhal’s co-founder Brandon Holzhueter said they’re hopeful they'll get the community’s official letter of support that they need soon.
He’s cautiously optimistic that – if it’s smooth sailing from here on out – they could open in early 2023. The build itself will take at least a year, so delays on the timeline are possible, Holzhueter said.
Besides slinging frozen strawberry basil lemonades and hibiscus gin and tonics, the Grove Narwhal’s location also will serve up nachos. Holzhueter and fellow Narwhal’s founder Brad Merten started Loaded Elevated Nachos as a side business in January. It quickly evolved from a pop-up concept at their Streets of St. Charles Narwhal’s location into its own storefront right next door.
The "ship" building in The Grove will house both businesses in one.
In the meantime, Holzhueter said Narwhal’s original location – which is not even a mile away near Saint Louis University – will keep “rocking and rolling” until the next project is complete, including more Loaded pop-up dinners so city residents can get their nacho fix without having to drive to St. Charles.
“Once this new project is completed, we plan to move the flagship Narwhal’s there,” Holzhueter said.
But don’t expect the Narwhal’s guys to let that Laclede Avenue location go to waste. Holzhueter said they love that location and plan to continue using it in some form or fashion. Options could include a “test kitchen” for even more experimental foods and drinks or possibly an event space.
“We are still weighing our options there,” he told 5 On Your Side. “But we’re going to do something Narwhal’s-related with it because it’s a great space.”
Narwhal’s is located at 3906 Laclede Avenue in St. Louis and 1450 Beale Street in St. Charles.
To order curbside, please be sure to select "Bring my order to my car" at checkout, otherwise you can pickup your order from the walk-up window. Please follow us on Instagram or Facebook to receive the most up-to-date information about our availability and specials.
- Reservations recommended for indoor/patio seating.
- Do not move or change tables, please ask our staff for assistance.
- Please note that we are currently limiting parties to a 90-minute stay to ensure everyone who wishes to enjoy a cocktail at Narwhal's Crafted has the ability to do so.
- For curbside pickup you must select the curbside option at checkout.
- *Curbside service ends at 10pm daily at both locations.
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