Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category

50 Greatest Places to Entertain: Joule

Monday, February 8th, 2016


5 of 50 On Our List of “50 Greatest Places to Entertain” is Joule!

Joule (pronounced Jewel) is a standalone event venue that adds additional ambiance to Palladium Saint Louis & the former City Hospital campus. The raw feel of this modern industrial space is an ideal setting for any type of event.

Location: Lafayette Square
Capacity: Seated – 140, Cocktails – 270
Special Features: Suspended Crane, Exposed Brick, Aged Iron Feature Wall, 19-foot Windows
Outdoor Space: Yes – Outdoor Plaza
Parking: On Site, Street
Perfect For: Weddings, Receptions, Auctions, Luncheons, Networking Events, Cocktail Parties

CLICK HERE for a free printable featuring Joule.

About This Project:
This year, our 50th year, we celebrate 50 of the finest venues St. Louis has to offer.
There are so many wonderful settings available for your next event.
Find your inspiration, as we share our #50in50 all year long!

Celebrating 50 Years of Innovative Services

Friday, February 5th, 2016


Butler’s Pantry Celebrates 50 Years of Innovative Catering Services

Second-Generation Business Celebrates Milestone by Giving Back

Butler’s Pantry, a second-generation business founded in 1966, announces their 50th year Jubilee in 2016. This pivotal milestone for the catering and event design company brings a year of celebration and giving back to the community.

Butler’s Pantry was the dream of Richard (Sr.) and Anita Nix who founded the business in 1966 on one principle: to provide the most innovative and creative catering company to St. Louis. Richard Nix Jr., President of Butler’s Pantry, is fueled by the same passion for excellence and continues to operate Butler’s Pantry under the guiding principles of his parents. That driving ambition sets the stage for the next 50 years.

As Butler’s Pantry looks forward to the next 50 years, the company is deeply committed to maintaining and growing culinary distinction to help others achieve event goals in a memorable fashion. Butler’s Pantry will also continue their commitment to the St. Louis community through a new initiative: Full Pantry, Full Life. With the hopes of feeding 50,000 St. Louisans, Butler’s Pantry will donate $5 for every 50 guests fed in 2016 to support the needs of local food pantries.

“In my eyes, every day is a celebration,” said Richard Nix Jr., President of Butler’s Pantry. “We’ve built success out of passion and 50 years could never be possible without our hard-working staff and the wonderful community in which the business resides. St. Louis can count on Butler’s Pantry to deliver creative menus, consistent results and innovative design for any size of event for the next 50 years!”

To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Butler’s Pantry has enlisted the artistic services of Nori Obata. Obata, who was born and raised in St. Louis, crafts unique porcelain ceramic tableware for display and functional use. Butler’s Pantry will gift the artists’ work with some events in 2016. The one-of-a-kind serving platters will boast a hand –painted abstract design of an iconic local structure, and will be gifted throughout the year.

Follow Butler’s Pantry on Facebook and Twitter (@butlerspantry1) for an exciting social media campaign while they celebrate 50 years of cheers-worthy moments at 50 of St. Louis’ finest venues for entertaining – #50in50! If social media isn’t for you, subscribe to the Butler’s Pantry blog to stay up-to-date on the latest happenings and get a first look at the redesigned website when it goes live in 2016!

With a commitment to making others happy, St. Louis can count on Butler’s Pantry to deliver blissful details that translate into even happier memories. Cheers to the next 50 years!  For more information, please

50 Greatest Places to Entertain: Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016


4 of 50 On Our List of “50 Greatest Places to Entertain” is Donald Danforth Plant Science Center!

The Danforth Center’s state-of-the-art research center offers innovative spaces which are modern & elegant. Rooms can be easily transformed from daytime meetings & luncheons to an evening affair with style & sophistication, all within a unique setting.

Location: Creve Coeur
Capacity: Seated – 300, Cocktails – 400
Special Features: Reflection Pool
Outdoor Space: Yes
Parking: On Site
Perfect For: Corporate Gatherings, All Day Meetings, Galas

CLICK HERE for a free printable featuring Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

About This Project:
This year, our 50th year, we celebrate 50 of the finest venues St. Louis has to offer.
There are so many wonderful settings available for your next event.
Find your inspiration, as we share our #50in50 all year long!

50 Greatest Places to Entertain: Piper Palm House

Monday, January 25th, 2016


3 of 50 On Our List of “50 Greatest Places to Entertain” is Piper Palm House!

Constructed in 1878, Piper Palm House is the oldest standing greenhouse west of the Mississippi River. With its distinctive architecture, soaring ceilings & stately windows, it is the perfect venue for any celebration or social gathering.

Location: Tower Grove Park
Capacity: Inside – Seated: 160, Cocktails: 175  |  Inside/Outside – Seated: 250, Cocktails: 275
Special Features: Stained Glass, View of Lily Pond
Outdoor Space: Yes – Open Air Plaza
Perfect For: Weddings, Rehearsal Dinners, Corporate Parties, Anniversaries & Birthdays

CLICK HERE for a free printable featuring Piper Palm House.

About This Project:
This year, our 50th year, we celebrate 50 of the finest venues St. Louis has to offer.
There are so many wonderful settings available for your next event.
Find your inspiration, as we share our #50in50 all year long!

50 Greatest Places to Entertain: St. Nicholas Family Life Center

Monday, January 18th, 2016


2 of 50 On Our List of “50 Greatest Places to Entertain” is St. Nicholas Family Life Center!

Host your next event in a variety of distinctive settings at this new state-of-the-art facility. Set the scene in the Atrium with dramatic high ceilings & a marble double sided gas fireplace. The multipurpose room accommodates up to 100 guests, perfect for an intimate gathering or corporate event.

Location: Town & Country
Capacity: Seated – 500, Cocktails – 700
Special Features: Marble Double-Sided Fireplace
Parking: On Site Parking
Perfect For: Weddings, Corporate Events, NFP Galas

CLICK HERE for a free printable featuring St. Nicholas Family Life Center.

About This Project:
This year, our 50th year, we celebrate 50 of the finest venues St. Louis has to offer.
There are so many wonderful settings available for your next event.
Find your inspiration, as we share our #50in50 all year long!

50 Greatest Places to Entertain: The Coronado

Monday, January 11th, 2016


1 of 50 On Our List of “50 Greatest Places to Entertain” is The Coronado, a Butler’s Pantry Exclusive!

The epitome of opulence, this former hotel once hosted such important figures as Franklin D. Roosevelt & Harry S. Truman. This classic yet updated space appeals to all. It is truly a St. Louis icon & an absolute must see!

Location: Midtown
Capacity: Seated – 400, Cocktails – 700
Special Features: Art Deco Floor Lights, Customizable LED Lighting
Pre-Function Space: Yes
Parking: Valet, Street Parking
Perfect For: Weddings, Corporate Events, NFP Galas

CLICK HERE for a free printable featuring The Coronado.

About This Project:
This year, our 50th year, we celebrate 50 of the finest venues St. Louis has to offer.
There are so many wonderful settings available for your next event.
Find your inspiration, as we share our #50in50 all year long!

A Glowing Reception at MHM

Monday, December 21st, 2015

This wedding & reception at Missouri History Museum had not only a beautiful, glowing bride, but a glow stick exit as well! Late night snacks were served – our pretzels & Schlafly beer cheese, St. Louis style toasted ravioli & more. Congrats to Jessica & Matt! Best wishes from the entire Butler’s Pantry team!

Check out photo highlights below.

Photography: Ashley Fisher Photography






Wedding Q&A: Butler’s Pantry Chef Greg Ziegenfuss

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Wedding Q&A: Butler’s Pantry Chef Greg Ziegenfuss
On the ins and outs of a wedding reception
By George Mahe
December 18, 2015
St. Louis Magazine

When asked how many weddings he’s done in the nearly 15 years that he’s been with Butler’s Pantry, executive chef Greg Ziegenfuss’ eyes get big, as if to say, “I don’t know, but it’s a lot.” The company has seven party venues and is on the lists of 40 more. On September 17, he and the Butler’s Pantry team had their busiest day ever, catering 25 events, 10 of them weddings, feeding a total of 3,800 people. The moment he said that, our eyes got big.

When did you join Butler’s Pantry? In 2001. Ricky [Nix, owner of Butler’s Pantry] had the connections, he just didn’t have a premium product. At the time, we were a million dollar a year company. This year we’ll do $10 million.

How has the catering business changed? Our business was more corporation-focused then, 60 percent corporate to 40 percent social, and not very many weddings. Now, weddings account for over third of our business.

How many venues does Butler’s Pantry control? We run seven venues exclusively [Palladium Saint Louis, The Coronado, Piper Palm House/Café Madeleine, Missouri History Museum, Bixby’s, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Joule], plus we’re on a list of 40 more.

What are some venues that may not be top of mind for a wedding event? The History Museum is different and versatile, people forget that Bixby’s is available at night, and we just introduced Joule a few months ago. Venues like the City Hall Rotunda, the World Chess Hall of Fame, the Cabanne House, the Muny, and “the Big House”—Gussie Busch’s former home at Grant’s Farm—are off-radar as well.

How many events does Butler’s Pantry do on a weekend? On a Saturday night, we could have seven weddings in-house, for example, which happens often, plus more at other venues, homes, and back yards.

How much staff does all that require? Over 20 full time cooks, plus a chef de cuisine, sous chefs, and a full crew of chefs and sous at Bixby’s. All our baking is done by our pastry chef at the Coronado. And Piccione, which Ricky owns, can supply us with desserts quicker and easier.

Do you lay off people when it gets slow, like in January? If you combine our growth with people taking vacations when it’s slow, we now rarely have to lay off any of our full-timers. Fortunately, we don’t have those high peaks and deep valleys anymore.

Do you ever use a temporary staffing service? No, that’s where we’re different. We have 350 part-time people we can call on—people we know and trust, people we’ve trained, most with other jobs. We know who’s working your event or coming to your house. With staffing companies, there are unknowns. Today, some guy’s digging a ditch, tomorrow he could be wearing a tuxedo, pouring wine at a table.

Do people still get married in the winter? Consumers are much more educated—and flexible—today. They know that both venues and churches are available and most companies—the florists, the limo drivers, our company, too—can be more aggressive with pricing in the slower months. A winter wedding may preclude sleeveless bridesmaid dresses, for example, but today’s consumer is better at dealing with things like that. Plus, the vendor’s focus is usually sharper, because it may be their only event that weekend.

How can one save money when planning a wedding? It’s more efficient for us—and less expensive for the wedding party—if we handle the rehearsal, reception, and maybe even Sunday brunch. With multiple venues available, there doesn’t have to be any duplication. Like at The Palladium, the service could be held there, guests move over to Joule or Joule’s patio for cocktails and appetizers, move back to The Palladium for a sit-down dinner, then have brunch at the Piper Palm House the next day. Many of our venues offer the same kind of flexibility.

Does Butler’s Pantry ever cater showers? Yes, more and more. Some couples’ showers get pretty elaborate. These days, we’re seeing both parties getting involved in the planning, even so far as doing a heavier, meat-centric table and one with lighter foods.

Are there any new wedding trends? More and more people are waiting to get married until they are in their thirties and forties. And with second marriages, the groom is a lot more involved—with the food choices and the wine. In younger marriages, the groom just shows up. Same-sex weddings, both parties tend get more involved.

I guess you’re seeing more same-sex weddings? We are. For those, since often there are no kids, incomes tend to be higher, and both the food and beverages are much more important. There’s almost always higher-end wine and premium liquors. Thirty years ago, guests could expect to see chicken, green beans, and rice—and hopefully an open bar.

Are you seeing more craft beers and mixologist-grade cocktails? Wedding functions mirror what’s seen in restaurants, on the internet, and on TV. So yes, all of that. We’ve come a long way from being able to serve just Bud and Bud Light. Receptions today usually feature at least two specialty cocktails, somebody’s favorite drinks from somewhere.

Are buffets always cheaper than sit-down dinners? Not for a wedding reception. At a sit-down event, you prepare precise portions for an exact number of people. It’s very efficient but labor intensive. At a buffet, there’s a lot more variety, and you can’t run out of anything. Plus, you never know what’s going to be popular. As a result, you have to cook more, which negates the efficiencies of a sit-down meal.

Are multiple stations still popular? They are, but guests still don’t know whether to go to one station and sit down or hit multiple stations at once and then sit down. The ideal situation is to visit one at a time and get a clean plate at each. The food is fresher and hotter that way.

Wedding cakes: Yay or nay? The younger, more traditional brides still want a cake and the ceremony that goes with it. Older people, second wedding, and same-sex wedding couples are interested more in current desserts. Cupcake towers are still big, as are fried-to-order donuts. Without the pressure to get on with the cake, a dessert station can be put out later in the evening. After drinks and a big dinner, I see that as a welcome change.

What’s the most overlooked issue? Most [couples] haven’t thought through their priorities. Some brides want a four-hour dinner; others want four hours of dancing. We can get close to either, depending on how the rest of the event gets structured. Another is what to do with leftover food: Should we box it up? Should we donate it to a charity? One couple recently said, “Just throw it out.” It’s the same thing with flowers; all too often, beautiful floral arrangements end up in the dumpster.

What else is there to remember? With full-service caterers, you’ll find the need for a wedding planner is lessened, since we cross the same T’s and dot the same I’s that the planners do. And some of us even own all our own tables, chairs, china, stemware, and flatware, which makes us more competitive and sets us apart. We bought our own square plates and square plate covers. We bought a Villeroy & Boch china pattern that’s definitely a step up.

What was the coolest wedding reception you ever did? It was a same-sex couple, and both were really into food. They tasked us with re-creating dishes from places they’d traveled, items that were special to them. We did a six-course meal that night, in which some of the people—including the married couple—were directed to change tables after every course. I’m not sure how the math worked, but all of the mixing and mingling made for a more interesting evening.

Are there any new trends that seem to be sticking around? Late-night snacks are still a thing—we can get a food truck to stop by and White Castle sliders are still popular. Both add an extra, unexpected element, but in my mind, it’s too much, too soon. You’ve had a big meal and dessert and two hours later…sliders. I’d rather see some takeaway items offered.

Such as? Have the valet issue madelines or cookies, something sweet to have with coffee the next day. “These are courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. So and So. Thank you for coming.” The big hit this season was our mini caramel apples.

Any demands you can’t meet? Some of the newer cooking techniques—like spherification [flavored liquid encased in gelatin] or cooking things sous vide, for example—are very hard to do on a large scale. We challenge our creative people—all our people, really—to think out of the box and figure out how to make the difficult doable.

Can you share any horror stories? One wedding venue had its own table for the wedding cake, and the couple cut the cake. But as we rolled it away, the table collapsed. The bride laughed—and at that point, I was able to.

Any outrageous demands or circumstances? We were doing a small party in a private home and planned on a certain number of guests—we had protein for exactly 15 people—then two extra guests showed up. I jumped in my car, drove to Schnucks, got back, and was able to grill the meat and no one was the wiser. The problem was, it had happened before. I told the host, “Can we just plan on bringing a few extra portions, and we’ll leave them for you if nobody else shows up?”

Have allergies, vegetarian considerations, and gluten-free concerns become more of a factor? At a big event, 15 percent of guests now have a special request: no dairy, gluten, seafood, nuts… Fifteen years ago, I don’t remember anybody even asking for a vegetarian meal.

Treat The Office To A Holiday Lunch at Piper Palm House

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Treat The Office To A Holiday Lunch at Piper Palm House
By Tarina
December 3, 2015
St. Louis Post Dispatch

Butler’s Pantry, St. Louis’ premier caterer, will host a festive lunch on December 16th and December 17th at Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., guests can enjoy an expansive buffet in the oldest greenhouse west of the Mississippi River.

Treat your staff to an expansive lunch buffet utilizing the freshest ingredients and produce. Try a variety of house-made soups and winter salads. Feast on entrées like three cheese tortellini, grilled medallions of chicken and beef bourguignon with an assortment of sides, including apricot and rosemary root vegetables. Indulge in the holiday dessert display with sweet, fruity and savory options to please every palate! Lemonade and a hot tea display are also included in the price of lunch.

The price of Holiday Lunch at the Piper Palm House is $30 per guest. Make a reservation now for 10 or more guests and the price is just $25 per person. The price of lunch includes expansive food and dessert displays, lemonade, a hot tea display and tax and catering fees. A cash bar is available for an additional cost.

“Holiday Lunch at the Piper Palm House is a perfect way to show appreciation for the hard work of your staff,” said Richard Nix Jr., President of Butler’s Pantry. “Treat small and mid-sized organizations to an enjoyable lunch, outside of the office, allowing each employee to relax and relish the surroundings and company of their co-workers.”

The Piper Palm House, constructed in 1878, is the oldest standing greenhouse west of the Mississippi River and the most historically significant building in Tower Grove Park. Dining amid beautiful plants and historic statues provides a relaxing atmosphere and an excellent way to celebrate the holiday season.

Piper Palm House can accommodate groups of all sizes. Reservations are required to attend Holiday Lunch at Piper Palm House. To make a reservation for your team, please call 314-881-4317.

Original article found here.

Q&A About Joule, Butler’s Pantry’s New Event Space

Friday, November 20th, 2015

Design Speak: Q&A with Jeanne Whitworth of Butler’s Pantry
By Brittany Nay
Ladue News

Photo by Sara Ketterer

Photo by Sara Ketterer

Butler’s Pantry has expanded its family of event venues with a modern industrial space, Joule. This fall, the almost 50-year-old catering and event-planning company – which also recently restored two historic local venues, The Coronado Ballroom and Piper Palm House – unveiled Joule, a raw warehouse space for intimate wedding ceremonies and receptions, as well as corporate and nonprofit events, next to its contemporary venue, Palladium Saint Louis, in Lafayette Square.

In addition to a newly redesigned event space, the second-generation business also recently announced the birth of Butler’s Pantry Design Studio, a team of skilled design professionals producing creative, stylish event design, from buffet layout and tabletop décor to florals and more.

LN spoke with Jeanne Whitworth, vice-president of sales and catering at Butler’s Pantry, to learn more.

Tell us about the history of the Joule space.

The building that houses Joule went into service as the original power plant for the old City Hospital in 1937 [hence the energy-unit name, Joule]. The actual space was called Machine Hall, as it housed large industrial machinery that would operate to supply and generate power for this massive, multi-blocked hospital.

Why did Butler’s Pantry acquire the building?

It was the chance to offer another exceptional setting in our expanding exclusive-venue portfolio. We had clients asking for raw, industrial warehouse spaces, so we jumped at the chance to provide them with one.

How would you describe the new look of the venue?

The two-story, 4,200-square-foot, modern industrial space can host about 300 guests. You can feel the energy in this space – the original operating crane remains, suspended from the existing truss work; exposed brick surrounds massive 19-foot windows that span the entire length of the room; and an aged-iron feature wall makes the space truly unique.

Tell us about the unique design elements incorporated into the space.

The $400,000 renovation included creating a curved wall at the south end of the space to provide a natural focal point, ceremony backdrop or logical entertainment setup. A theater-style curtain spans the east wall of interior windows, so clients can choose to see into the indoor rock-climbing gym next door or create event privacy. The original crane remains, creating distinctive architectural interest. We didn’t want to over-design this space, so the originality and integrity of the space could shine through.

Did you include any new technology?

We installed state-of-the-art LED lighting in the space – clients can customize a color to perfectly fit their event design. On the west wall, blackout shades were added for climate control and to allow all clients, regardless of the event time frame, the ability to use projection and lighting effectively.

What sets this venue apart?

This venue exists in a communal setting – the former power plant is home to Climb So iLL and Element, as well as Joule. The perk is clients can choose how and if their event interacts with these other entities. Part of the Joule renovation also included a courtyard build-out, perfect for cocktail hour, a cigar lounge or a visual link between Joule and Palladium Saint Louis – as the two spaces can be used together.

How is the venue being received?

Fantastic! It is definitely filling a void in the St. Louis venue market. People are starting to think differently in event hosting/producing, and the concept behind Joule is innovative and different – people like getting behind something like that.

Describe the events held there so far and what you expect to book in the future.

So far, a corporate event, wedding ceremony and a wedding cocktail hour held in combination with the reception at Palladium Saint Louis. A nonprofit board dinner and a few corporate holiday parties are booked for December. We have held stand-alone events, as well as events with Climb So iLL and Palladium Saint Louis. We plan to book these types of events, as well as smaller weddings, in the future.

Original article can be found here.

1414 Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104 / Phone: (314) 664-7680 / Fax: (314) 664-9866