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Narwhal's owners to launch new restaurant concept

Narwhal's Crafted owners will open a restaurant called Loaded next year.

ST. LOUIS — Narwhal's Crafted owners, Brandon Holzhueter and Brad Merten, are crafting a new restaurant concept called Loaded.

Loaded is a "nacho-centered concept that uses different varieties of house-made chips as a vehicle to convey a whole variety of chef-inspired fare," Holzhueter said in a statement. "Just like with Narwhal's, where we've tried to chance people's minds about what a frozen drink bar can be...our goal with Loaded is to do kind of a similar thing, but with nachos."

The owners don't have a specific location for the concept yet, but plan to open the restaurant in mid-2020. Loaded has tapped Ryan Buettner, formerly of Vin de Set, as its executive chef.

"The menu will take a thoughtful approach and create unique spins on all types of cuisine that may be familiar but doing it in nacho form," Merten said. "But we're looking at a small space, so we're planning Loaded to be kind of like a food truck without wheels."

Narwhal's will host an event Sept. 25 at its Laclede Avenue location with a pop-up dinner introducing Loaded and will show off its frozen fall flavors for its two existing Narwhal's locations. The frozen cocktail bar will unveil four new frozen cocktails and six hot cocktails.

The frozen cocktail bar opened its St. Charles location in July in a new three-story, 60,000-square-foot mixed use retail and office building. Merten and Holzhueter opened their first Narwhal's location, at 3906 Laclede Ave., in 2016 in the newly renovated Gerhart building.

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