See our earlier video with Michael here:
After a few semesters of the project being dark, The South Side of Luck kicks back in during the Spring 2014 semester, with seven videos planned for the term. South Sider Kristen Weber will handle videography and editing for the documentary shorts this semester. As in the past, the series will highlight people, places and events that make South St. Louis an interesting and vibrant place to call home.
The first stop came yesterday, with a drop-in at a frequent stomping ground, the Civil Life Brewing Company. I don’t mind saying that this place is a favorite of mine; it’s also fun to visit with someone who’s not been, which allows for the brewery to be given a fresh look, as well as a familiar one.
Yesterday morning, the facility wasn’t brewing. Instead the day was given over to kegging some American Brown, as well as general cleaning and maintenance, which is a huge, unsung portion of any brewer’s day. With a small staff, pretty much everyone’s involved in these activities, on a regular basis. On this day, the brewing line was moving quickly and efficiently, kegs filled, cleaned, stored, again and again.
Dylan Mosley, pictured here, was a gracious host, allowing us to work around his morning-into-afternoon tasks.
Next up: Dead Wax Records. Videos to follow.
It’s been awhile.
And, apparently, it was a while between visits to Phuc Loi, the Vietnamese micro-restaurant on Gravois, west of Grand. On one visit, the entire Nguyen family was in place, behind the counter, bussing tables, running the ovens in the kitchen. A month later… bang! Same location, same name, but an entirely new staff, a mostly new menu and a completely different feel.
The new staff featured a familiar face to me. After a time, it was determined that she was the cousin of one of my former soccer players. Asked where the Nguyen family had gone, she told me that she didn’t know, they sold the restaurant and that was that. It was obvious, though, that the young lady knew more than she was letting on. And trying to get the information from the cousin proved totally useless, so this mystery remains. And it’s bothersome.
Straight-up, I loved the old Phuc Loi. The food, the environment, the eventual melting of customer/worker relationships. Never had a bad meal there, even when the orders that came out were slightly different than the ones placed.
In the past few weeks, I’ve popped through a few Vietnamese restaurants on the South Side, ones that I hadn’t been into, yet. My hope is that one of these visits is going to yield a positive ID. The Nguyen’s will be there as new owners, the food’ll be great, the atmosphere welcoming. But it’s also possible, I suppose, that the parents are back home, the kids scattered to their various side jobs all over town. And then, that’d be that.
I’m holding out hope, though. You’ve seen the folks? Tell me that you’ve seen these folks: