As Longstreet Grill took off from the metaphorical runway of life into the , another bar and grill landed in its place the next morning. The transition was smoother than a flight's takeoff and landing.
Located at 127 Chesterfield Towne Center, the Hangar Grill borrows its name and theme from the nearby Spirit of St. Louis Airport. It's sticking with the old Longstreet Grill menu for now, but does plan on adding some new, slightly upscale menu choices, co-owner Steve Spellman said. It's already featuring specials; on Wednesday, it offered a steak dinner with all the trimming for $11.95.
“We'll keep some of the existing menu,” Spellman said. “Some new items will be a little more upscale but still bar and grill fare. We want to offer some unique products with presentations above average. The prices will be about the same—within a couple of bucks.”
Spellman and partners Danny Catlett and Bob Chitwood bring with them many years of restaurant and food experience. Spellman's been in the business for 17 years. Catlett is a former owner of in Chesterfield. Chitwood was a partner with John “Happy” Harris—Longstreet Grill's owner—in the catering side of at Spirit of St. Louis Airport. The three aces bought the business from their old friend Harris.
“Happy made it clear he wanted to sell,” Spellman said. “All three of us had ideas of what we could do with the place, so we decided to go into business.”
One feature that has to change is the western lodge look. You can't very well walk into a bar and grill named The Hangar and feel like you've walked into an episode of the television show Bonanza. The fabulous western chandeliers will be removed and sadly, the spectacular stone fireplace will probably be dismantled and returned to the quarry.
“We're going to get rid of all the lodge stuff,” Spellman said. “We'll go with an aviation themed décor. We love the bar though. It'll stay.”
So how is the food? The bison burger was put to the test. Ordered medium rare, it was served medium well, but nevertheless was juicy, tender and delicious. Bison is not fatty and difficult to cook to medium rare, but it can certainly be done. Served with lettuce, tomato and a thick slice of onion, it made a hefty sandwich that was a challenge to take a bite from. This was not a petite burger.
People say bison is gamey, but it isn't. Good bison tastes similar to beef, only with a deeper, richer flavor. Some of the homemade chips were crispy, while others were slightly chewy, always a welcomed contrast.
The Hangar is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with the possible exception of the next two Sundays as the owners get together for meetings. The kitchen stays open till 11 p.m. and happy hour is daily from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The website is being prepped for flight, but you can visit The Hangar on Facebook and Twitter.
One important thing that the new owners won't change is the attention to the customers. “We have the same friendly service with a good staff to make people confortable,” Spellman said. “That's important to us.”