By Lisa Lance
F15teen, the downtown St. Louis restaurant and nightclub co-owned by former Cardinals player Jim Edmonds and business partner Mark Winfield, opened just last September, but has already established itself as a premier event venue. Every company that’s held an event at F15teen has come back for a second and sometimes even third event, said Winfield.
Located at 1900 Locust Ave., the restaurant has a contemporary loft-like atmosphere, with exposed brick and hardwood floors.
F15teen can host a diverse array of events. “We can accommodate 15 people or 500,” said Winfield. There are no charges for the event rooms, but groups are asked to purchase food and drinks. The restaurant also provides free valet parking for event guests.
The venue offers two main event spaces: a lounge and a room on the upper level that can be set up as a classroom or banquet room. The lounge can hold 40 people for a sit-down dinner or 150 to 200 for cocktails. John McGuire, general manager of the restaurant, said the lounge has a more contemporary feel and is a little hipper than the upstairs space, which he described as more traditional. The upper room can seat 160 people when set up as a classroom, or 140 for dinner. This space features built-in audio visual equipment including a 100-inch drop-down projector screen, wireless Internet access, satellite TV and radio and a DVD player.
The lounge and banquet room are the main event spaces, but other areas of the establishment, such as the patio, can be used for events as well. “There’s really no space that can’t be reserved,” said Winfield. While there’s no charge for the lounge or banquet room, there may be a fee to rent out other areas, depending on the circumstances. If a group wanted to rent the entire nightclub on a Friday or Saturday night, for example, a charge might be applied because of the business the restaurant would usually do in that space.
F15teen offers an atmosphere that fosters creativity and effective communication. With private nooks in the lounge, restaurant, nightclub and patio, meeting planners have additional areas to hold breakout sessions. The seating is comfortable, offering everything from large cushy ottomans to fine leather couches. The atmosphere is eclectic and appealing to the eye.
Billing itself as a “contemporary rendition of a steakhouse,” the restaurant has a banquet menu, or a special menu can be created for each event. “It can be as simple as chicken wings and French fries or as elaborate as steak and lobster,” said Winfield. He likes to meet with event planners prior to an event for a tasting session to plan the menu. He’ll first sit down and talk with them to get an idea of what type of food they’re interested in and then let them sample different dishes. “If the food is awful, that’s the only thing you’ll remember,” he said. “So that’s why we try to go above and beyond.”
For those who do not create their own menus, the restaurant’s banquet menu has a variety of options. Appetizers are available by the dozen or as platters and carvings. At the lower end of the price range, buffalo chicken wings with blue cheese fondue are $20 per dozen, while at the higher end oysters on the half shell with strawberry mignonette are $36 per dozen. An Irish smoked salmon board with crostini and traditional garnishes will serve 30 guests for $175, and a beef steamship roast with horseradish aioli and mini brioche rolls will serve 100 guests for $610.
The restaurant also offers several options for lunch events. Lunch entrée selections are for parties with a minimum of 25 guests and include seasonal accompaniments, rolls with butter and coffee and tea service. The lunch entrée options run from $18 to $29 per person, and choices include blackened Ahi tuna with garlic rice, seasonal vegetables and a soy-ginger glaze, and grilled 6-oz. filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, garden vegetables and a port-wine demiglace. Soup or salad can be added for $3.75 per person and dessert service is an additional $5 per guest.
The light luncheon menu caters to groups of 80 or more. Selections range from $17 to $20 per guest and include items such as the F15teen BLT (applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado-lime aioli) or a grilled chicken Caesar salad. The light luncheon menu includes rolls with butter, coffee and tea service and dessert – choice of New York style cheesecake, F15teen bread pudding or an ice cream sandwich.
Luncheon buffets are a third choice for larger groups and range in price from $25 to $29 per person. The Steakhouse Deli Buffet, St. Louis-style BBQ, Taste of Asia and Tex-Mex Buffet all require a minimum of 60 guests and include rolls and coffee service.
For dinner, the banquet menu offers entrée selections or a variety of buffet options. Dinner entrées are ideal for smaller groups with a minimum of 35 people and range in price from $22 to $46 per person. Like the lunch entrées, salad can be added for $3.75 per person and dessert service is $5 per person. Entrée selections include dill glazed wild salmon fillet with wild rice pilaf, roasted beets and horseradish; F15teen surf and turf (grilled filet mignon with jumbo gulf shrimp, chive mashed potatoes, seasonal vegetables, port wine sauce and citrus beurre blanc); and a double bone pork chop with honey braised cabbage, whipped potatoes and grain mustard glaze.
The dinner buffets serve groups of 75 or more and run from $41 to $55 per person. Buffet themes include St. Louis-style BBQ, Homage to the Hill, Orient Express and Steakhouse Buffet.
For all menu selections, vegetarian options are available upon request.
Bar selections range from a “well bar” at $10 per guest per hour to the “premium bar” at $15 per guest per hour and all require a $5 service charge per bartender per hour. Wines are available by the glass, by the bottle or by the case and are tailored for each event.
McGuire said several rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions have been held at F15teen, as well as events for Merck Pharmaceuticals, Anheuser-Busch, Monsanto and Bakers Footwear.
Debbie Sterling, executive assistant to the COO and customer service manager at Bakers Footwear, said the company has twice held Tuesday-Friday daytime training meetings with a Friday night social event at F15teen, and she’s been very happy with the restaurant. “They were very accommodating to last-minute changes,” she said. “And trust me, we have all kinds of last-minute changes.”
But ultimately, Winfield credits the quality and value of the food as F15teen’s main attraction as an event venue. “People can’t believe we’re so reasonably priced,” he said. “It’s an affordable alternative to a hotel that will completely wow people.” MM&E
(Lisa Lance is a contributor from St. Charles, Mo.)
John McGuire, General Manager
At a Glance
Type of Facility:
Group size this facility is willing/able to accommodate:
Type of Cuisine:
Number of private dining rooms:
Banquet/classroom featuring built-in audio visual equipment including a 100-inch drop-down projector screen, wireless Internet access, satellite TV and radio and a DVD player
Are group rates/discounts available?
Is the facility disabled accessible?