GRANITE CITY — A new restaurant is warming stomachs with a riff on classic comfort food. Lascelles has recently opened in the former Guardian Savings Bank building at 1324 Niedringhaus Ave.
Granite City attorney Lance Callis purchased the building from the city for $32,500 in January 2012. His vision for the former bank included a restaurant on the first floor.
The building was part of several other purchases by the attorney in downtown Granite City.
Callis decided to act as a developer in the downtown area after witnessing the success of the Granite City Cinema. Callis, his daughter Melissa and some partners formed Lascelles Group LLC to spearhead redevelopment in the City Hall area. The new restaurant adopts its name from the partnership.
Early work to the 1920s building included asbestos removal, electrical updates, masonry repairs and new windows. There was a conscious effort to retain elements of the building’s history. The original solid granite floors were restored and a period-accurate tin ceiling was installed.
Executive Chef Eric Brenner oversaw restaurant construction in 2014. Brenner, a St. Louis native, is no stranger to the restaurant business and has acted as a consultant for other openings. The restaurant further pays homage to the old Guardian bank. The new bar is where the teller windows were located and the former vault acts as a walk-in cooler.
After three years of renovation and development, the doors to Lascelles opened to the public on Valentine’s Day. A conscious effort was made to be affordable across income levels. Lunch selections are kept around $10, while “supper” entrees are $20 and less.
The menu offers Brenner’s interpretations of comfort-classics: filet medallions with a twice-baked potato stand-in for the American staple “meat and potatoes.” For “chicken and dumplings,” Brenner uses a smoked half-chicken and potato gnocci.
For dessert, diners can enjoy a variety of “sweets,” including spins on childhood favorites like s’mores, and cookies and milk. A full bar offers a wine selection and classic cocktails. A 12-tap draft serves up a selection of regional craft beers.
Lascelles is located at 1324 Niedringhaus in Granite City. The restaurant is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. For information, visit www.lascellesgc.com.