A Week of Drama, Closings, Great Steak, and Lenten Eats

STL Restaurant News, St. Louis, MO
STL Restaurant News, St. Louis, MO

STL Restaurant News Weekly Recap March 5 – 11, 2017

St. Louis, MO/March 12, 2017 (STL.News) – It’s time to take a look back at the last week in restaurant news. The St. Louis culinary scene is a dynamic one, with a constant ebb and flow of restaurant openings and closings, new flavors, and dining innovation.  So there’s always some delicious morsels of news and some tantalizing tidbits of information to share with hungry denizens of the Gateway City and beyond.

We tend to focus our efforts on the biggest stories of the week, introductions to some creative culinary folks, and offering readers a taste of what St. Louis’ thriving restaurant scene is serving up.  This is a survey of the foodie news we shared with STLRestaurant.News readers, boiled down to bite sized portions just for you.

It was a tumultuous week for St. Louis’ restaurant industry.  Diners were disappointed by news of unexpected closings, whether by fire or bridge construction.  There was more drama as a famous restaurant family hashes out their differences in court, and on TV.  And of course it’s Lent!  That means fish fry season has officially arrived in the St. Louis area.

Where to Find a Lenten Fish Fry in Your Neighborhood

Fish Fry Season has begun across the metro area, with scores of churches, schools, legion halls, and others frying up some of the most delicious food of the year.  We know you love it, so we thought we’d make it easier to find a great fish fry in your neighborhood.  So we compiled a list of all the fish fries we could find across the metro area (there are more than 100), and shared them with you, along with some of the innovations that have changed this Lenten meal for some.  There are fish fries with drive thru service, some that deliver to the home-bound, others offer a fine dining option complete with reservations and fine wine.  Whatever type of fish fry you seek, in whichever part of town you’re in, our directory should help you find a great meal anywhere in the metro St. Louis area.

Sweetie Pies Settlement Issues

A legal battle between mother and son that has been the subject of the courts and reality TV has taken another turn.  The trademark squabble between Sweetie Pie’s Restaurant founder Robbie Montgomery and her son Tim Norman had looked settled back in December 2016.  Montgomery had filed a lawsuit accusing her son of taking money from their restaurant in the Grove district and using it to open restaurants in Berkeley, Florissant and North Hollywood, California using the Sweetie Pie’s name without her permission.  On Friday, March 3, 2017, an attorney for Montgomery filed a motion outlining the settlement agreement she had reached with her son in December and alleging that he’s breached that agreement by opening a new Sweetie Pie’s restaurant in Houston, TX.  Sweetie Pies became a national brand after it became the subject and setting of a reality TV show on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN television network.  This disagreement may well play out in the courts and on the small screen.

South City’s Three Flags Tavern Closed

We were sorry to bring readers news of the closing of Three Flags Tavern at 4940 Southwest Ave.  After just three years in business, owners, husband and wife team, John and Cathy O’Brien announced Monday that they had shut down their restaurant due to low revenue.  The 2016 OpenTable honoree had a reputation for being hospitable and comfortable with an elevated menu.  It was a well-liked restaurant with good customer reviews.  Their “Oyster Hours” and weekend brunch had been quite popular.  The long-delayed bridge construction has kept South Kingshighway closed between Shaw and Southwest, slowing traffic and business in the area.  John O’Brien has said it wasn’t the only factor in the restaurant’s demise, but it did play a significant role.

Fire Damages Lewis & Clark’s Restaurant in St. Charles

A well-liked restaurant along St. Charles’ historic Main Street is closed temporarily after an early morning kitchen fire Wednesday, March 8, 2017.  Fire crews arrived about 12:30 a.m. to find smoke pouring from Lewis & Clark’s Restaurant at 217 South Main Street.  St. Charles Fire Battalion Chief Dan Casey said a second alarm was rung because of the type of structure and age of the landmark building, which dates back to the late 1800s.  The chief said the sprinkler system allowed his crew to get the fire under control quickly, sparing the structure, but causing extensive water damage.  Owner Dan Badock has said the restaurant will reopen after repairs, which are expected to take about a month.

The Dark Room Wine Bar & Photo Gallery’s New Location

There was some good news too. We told you about the grand opening of the new Dark Room Wine Bar & Photo Gallery—now at the revamped Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square, St. Louis).  Created to “help bring life” to Grand Center north of Washington Avenue during slow seasons, this hybrid gallery and wine bar outgrew its original location, necessitating the move—especially after Executive Chef Samantha Pretto came on-board and expanded the menu to include full meals.  In its new home, The Dark Room Wine Bar & Photo Gallery will continue to serve as a place for local live jazz in St. Louis and for exhibitions by the International Photography Hall of Fame.  A grand opening event will take place on March 18.

The Top 10 Steakhouses in St. Louis

We know it’s Lent and everyone is looking for a great fish dinner, especially on Fridays, but sometimes you just want a great steak dinner.  Hey, you have to eat the other six nights a week too, right?  So we turned to customer reviews to find the ten best steakhouses in St. Louis.  What we found was a nice selection of places that ranged from longtime favorites to relatively new establishments.  We also found the best dotted the metro area map from Chesterfield valley to Edwardsville, Illinois, proving what we already knew: everyone likes a good steakhouses.  That’s because the best offer multiple choices of sumptuous beef, including the best prime cuts, but they also cater to a wide range of tastes, and often offer really great seafood too.  That’s certainly true for the top ten steakhouses in the St. Louis area. Each offers a terrific menu of steak, seafood, pasta, salads, and sides.

Susan Smith-Harmon
About Susan Smith-Harmon 100 Articles

Susan Smith-Harmon is an experienced writer, editor, and broadcast journalist with a strong news background. She’s worked in radio and television news, and for national and international newswire services.
She began her career in public radio while still a student at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (where she earned a B.A. in Communications). She soon made the jump to news/talk radio, handling assignments from field reporting, airborne traffic, and news anchor, to producing and hosting daily talk shows. She’s also worked in television, most recently as the inaugural producer for The Allman Report on KDNL-TV 30, and as a news writer and reporter for national and international newswire services.