residents who long for fresh, sustainable and artisan foods will soon have a new option. Jonathan Parker of the now-closed Parker's Table in will open a gourmet food and wine store at 7118 Oakland Ave. in Richmond Heights. Parker was forced to close his Clayton location when the building that housed the store was sold.
Parker's first project after the closure of the Clayton store was Delmar Farm & Food, a combination farmers market, grocery store and restaurant. But Delmar Farm & Food hit a speedbump with the owner of the space he had intended to use for the business, and it never came to fruition.
Parker's Table will be located at the intersection of Oakland and Yale avenues. It will feature mainly wines and some food. When the space is built out next year, one-third of its offerings will be wines and two-thirds will be regional products and products from around the world such as fresh and preserved produce, pastas, olive oils, vinegars, cured meats and cheeses, bread, grains, cookies, nuts and candies.
Originally from Tennessee, Parker and his wife, Shelly Goebl-Parker, arrived in St. Louis 20 years ago. At the time, Parker's wife was completing her degree in social work at Washington University.
"It is an easy place to live," Parker said about choosing St. Louis.
Parker traveled to Italy, where he visited vineyards and shops and learned about agriculture. The experience, he said, taught him that the scale of production has a direct effect on the richness of food. He will turn to St. Louis-area farmers and artisans to provide quality products for the business, in addition to importing specialty goods.
"It will be an evolution of Parker's Table," Parker said. The historical space in Richmond Heights was a post office in 1928 and has housed many businesses since. It has room for large meat and cheese coolers, a back dock for large deliveries and a commercial kitchen. He plans to get a chef—Parker will not name names—to run the kitchen and offer prepared foods to customers.
One of the more prominent features of the store will be a wide selection of wines. Parker plans to host wine tastings and to provide customers with the opportunity to meet winemakers, artisinal food producers and other food experts.
A grand opening is planned for Thanksgiving.
Come back later this week to learn more about a discussion of Parker's Table that happened Thursday during the Richmond Heights Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.