Sugarfire Group to Take Over Forest Park Boathouse

Sugarfire Group to Take Over Forest Park Boathouse

Boathouse Will Feature Sugarfire, Hi-Pointe Drive-in, Cyrano’s Fare

St. Louis, MO/December 20, 2017 (STL.News) – Fans of the Boathouse at Forest Park are in for some tasty news: one of the best-loved restaurant groups in St. Louis is going to take over operations at the lakeside cafe.  The contract with Catering St. Louis, which has operated the Boathouse for the last 13 years, is coming to an end.  So, Forest Park officials recently took bids for a new operations contract, and the winning bid came from the group that operates Sugarfire Smoke House.  The Sugarfire group will take over in 2018 and operate the Boathouse restaurant, as well as boat rentals, for the next five years.

One of the Sugarfire group’s owners, Charlie Downs told St. Louis Magazine, which first reported on the new contract, that his group’s bid was one of three under consideration.  The other two bids came from Catering St. Louis and from Gerard Craft’s Niche Group.  Down’s says they are still in the planning stages, but customers will see major shifts in the menu and service model, as well as some design changes under the Sugarfire Group’s direction.

One of the most notable changes will be the food.  The new menu will include Sugarfire’s award winning smoked meats, burgers and shakes from the Hi-Pointe Drive-In, and the famous roast beef sandwich and desserts from Cyrano’s.  Downs says serious consideration is going into the development of a children’s menu as well, since the Boathouse has always been a popular destination for families.  There will also be a move away from the current tableside service model, back to a counter-service model that will more closely resemble the original Boathouse food service style, according to Downs.

The Sugarfire group is also planning to install a bar in The Annex, the smaller of the two lakeside buildings.  There will also be a waiting area added there as well.  The plan calls for connecting the two buildings with a covered sidewalk.  Visitors will continue to be able to rent boats for excursions on Post-Dispatch Lake and adjoining waterways.  But that too will see changes.  Downs hinted to St. Louis magazine that guests should expect more water activities next year, “Let’s just say it won’t be just canoes and pedal boats,” he said.  Look for more events popping up “in different parts of the park all during the year” too, he said.

The Sugarfire Group currently owns and operates six Sugarfire Smoke House restaurants in the St. Louis area, as well as Cyrano’s, Hi-Pointe Drive-In, and Sugarfire Pies.  They’re also in the process of building a new Sugarfire Smoke House in O’Fallon, Illinois which is expected to open in 2018.

Contact Information:

The Boathouse at Forest Park
6101 Government Drive
Saint Louis, Missouri 63110
Phone: (314) 367-2224


By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STL.News by St Louis Media, LLC (MS)