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New Baden BBQ joint is now open

New Baden’s newest restaurant, A Fine Swine, is now open at 423 W. Hanover St.
New Baden’s newest restaurant, A Fine Swine, is now open at 423 W. Hanover St.

A new barbecue restaurant — A Fine Swine at 423 W. Hanover St. in New Baden — is now open.

Owner David Stidham said his path to restaurant ownership started many months ago when he started looking for a place to open his own restaurant in Wisconsin where he worked.

When Stidham was in the area in May to help his dad recover from an illness, he discovered the Hanover Street building was for lease. One peek inside and he fell in love.

“(The landlord) opened the door and I was like ‘Oh my God,’” Stidham said.

Stidham said his wife and kids are back in Wisconsin selling their home. They’ll all reunite when that home sells and buy a new place in the metro-east.

Juice bar opens in Collinsville

A new business in Collinsville offers smoothies, juices and kombucha while also selling healthy coffees and teas.

Abby’s Best, located at 205 W. Main St., opened Tuesday. It gets its name from owner Abby Hernandez, a native of the Philippines who said her passion for homemade juices is rooted in the remote part of her home country where folks squeeze their own juices from fresh fruits by hand.

She said she wanted to bring that passion to the St. Louis area, which she has called home for almost two decades.

Abby’s Best also offers OrganoGold coffee thanks to Hernandez’s partnership with Anthony Troesser, who distributes the coffee.

OrganoGold is branded as a healthy coffee because it’s infused with an extract from the reishi mushroom, which the brand claims can resist stress and foster other health benefits.

Abby’s Best is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily and can be reached at 618-223-8295.

Swansea site gets new restaurant

Just a few weeks after the Swansea Family Restaurant closed up shop, work is underway inside 1500 N. Illinois St. to prepare for another restaurant.

It’ll be called Cholula’s Mexican Restaurant, and according to a banner hung from the building’s facade, it’s “coming soon.”

Stepladders and tools can be seen inside the dining area as work on the interior is ongoing.

Swansea Village Administrator Lyndon Joost confirmed the village will soon consider the various license requests the restaurant has made in order to operate and said he foresaw nothing that would prevent those requests from being quickly granted.

Juan Ramirez, who Joost said requested the village licenses, was not immediately available for comment.

New MedExpress taking shape

Crews have made quick work on the site of what soon will be the metro-east’s newest MedExpress urgent care center.

The walls and roof of the building are up at 1711 W. U.S. 50 in O’Fallon little more than a month after the building that once occupied the land was torn down. The 17th Street Bar & Grill and Super Smokers BBQ restaurants had formerly occupied the site.

MedExpress has been on a spree of expansion in the metro-east, with new sites now open in Swansea and Alton.

The company’s website states a Collinsville location is coming soon.

Tobias Wall: 618-239-2501, @Wall_BND

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