Chase Park Plaza

This year’s gala celebrating the Central West End will be held Friday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel’s Starlight Ballroom. | photo by Ursula Ruhl

Whether you’re a hard core foodie or just love to eat, this year’s Celebrate the Central West End Gala will whet your appetite.

“The Gala – Taste of the CWE Community Dinner” will be held Friday, Nov. 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel, 212 N. Kingshighway Blvd., in the Starlight Ballroom. The gala will feature food from many of the neighborhood’s most popular restaurants and food purveyors.

“We want to celebrate the robust food scene we have here in the Central West End as well as reinforce the fun that comes from sharing a great meal with friends, neighbors and even with people we’re meeting for the first time,” said Jess Batchelor, executive director of the Central West End Association (CWEA). “Food brings people together in a powerful way.”

The event takes place Friday, Nov. 30, and features food stations from a number of popular restaurants and catering firms including:

  • 1764 Public House
  • Bar Italia
  • Evangeline’s Bistro
  • Gamlin Whiskey House
  • Juniper
  • Retreat Gastropub
  • Sub Zero Vodka Bar
  • Straub’s
  • The Cup
  • The Preston
  • West End Grill & Pub
  • Yellowbelly and more.

The gala’s honorary chairperson is June McAllister Fowler, senior vice president, communications, for BJC HealthCare.

While food is the main focus of the event, the gala will also feature live music from local cover band The LustreLights and violinist Mario Miles-Turnage, and a holiday shopping-themed silent auction.

Another highlight of the gala is the presentation of two community leadership awards (see related stories on the winners).

The Polk Award recognizes individuals who have consistently contributed to the betterment of the neighborhood. This year’s recipient is John P. Dubinsky, who is being recognized for his decades-long commitment as co-founder and former chairman of the Cortex Innovation Corridor.

The Renaissance Award recognizes groups that have made a significant economic or social impact on the Central West End. This year the Renaissance award will be received by the World Chess Hall of Fame.

The World Chess Hall of Fame presents world-class exhibitions that explore the connection of chess to art, culture and history. It partners with the St. Louis Chess Club and Scholastic Center to provide innovative programming and outreach to local, national and international audiences, attracting visitors and chess enthusiasts from around the world to the Central West End.

“The Central West End Association is thrilled with the 2018 Polk and Renaissance Award recipients,” said CWEA President Kate Walter. “John Dubinsky and the World Chess Hall of Fame have broadened the scope and significance of the Central West End both locally and nationally.”

Tickets to the gala are $125 for Central West End Association members and $150 for non-members. Member and non-member tickets are available online at All proceeds support the work of the CWEA.

“The Gala – A Taste of the CWE Community Dinner” is presented by Paul and Amy Mittelstadt, realtors, specializing in Central West End properties; Waters Group Global, a consulting firm focused on small business growth; the West End Word community newspaper; and the Central West End Association.