Too Much Competition Behind Stratton’s Cafe Closing
Webster Groves, MO/December 30, 2017 (STL.News) – The end of the year seems to be a time of closure, and that is certainly true for many in the restaurant industry. Another longtime local establishment, Stratton’s Cafe at 8103 Big Bend Boulevard has closed. The day after Christmas, cafe owner Ben Stratton announced his plans to shutter his Webster Groves restaurant on the last business day of the year. The last day of service was Friday, Dec. 29.
Stratton’s Cafe opened in April 2003 in Webster Groves’ Old Orchard shopping district. The fast-casual restaurant served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It also offered free Wi-Fi. The cafe quickly became a favorite among students and staff at Webster University, just a few blocks away. Besides standard cafe fare, Stratton’s was well-loved for their espresso bar and house-made gelato. Every day customers would find eight pans of fresh gelato to choose from in creamy, delicious flavors like fresh strawberry, s’mores, and key lime. Stratton’s Box Lunch was also a popular catering option for groups and businesses nearby.
The food at Stratton’s was always fresh and the service was friendly and efficient. It was a warm and inviting neighborhood cafe, with farm-fresh, made-from-scratch fare. Breakfasts at Stratton’s were particularly popular. Customers raved about the fluffy pancakes (buttermilk or whole wheat, available plain or with blueberries, chocolate chips, or banana granola), and the many scrambles (including several egg white scrambles) made with everything from vegetables like spinach and onions to breakfast sausages and bacon, plus a nice variety of cheeses. Lunchtime offered hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soup, chili, wraps, quesadillas, and cooked-to-order burgers and fries. As good as the food was, Stratton has said competition from new restaurants that have opened nearby was too much to overcome and forced him to close. Stratton had operated a cafe in Clayton as well. It closed in 2013.
In its final week of operation, the Webster Groves cafe offered customers 20% off everything as a way of using up stock and to express gratitude to loyal customers. In his December 26th Facebook announcement Stratton wrote, “All of us would like to thank all of you for the past 15 years. It has been a blessing to serve you.” The final week of December was the end of 2017 and the end of a dining era for many university students, alumni, staff and residents in Webster Groves.
By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STL.News by St. Louis Media, LLC (MS)