St. Louis Restaurant Openings and Closings: December 2020

  • MABEL SUEN

  • Bloom Cafe, a restaurant with a social mission, was one of the victims of COVID-19.

As this hellish landscape of a year came to an end, the misery associated with the pandemic in the hospitality industry remained brutally visible in the form of several iconic closings. Eat-Rite, Mangia Italiano, Missouri Bar & Grill – the dining landscape of St. Louis is hard to imagine without these historic rooms. Their loss is so hard to feel precisely because they couldn’t survive: they collected places, community water points, industrial sites, places that human experience had in the transactional world that this damn virus just couldn’t exist.

While not a historic location, the loss of Bloom Cafe is just as painful. The restaurant opened in 2018 as a social enterprise to empower people with disabilities who are traditionally excluded from the workforce. It served a vital need in the church. We lost a good restaurant, yes, but more importantly, the loss of opportunity for those who really need it.

Still life goes on. David and Meggan Sandusky tripled their BEAST brand, this time with their third location, BEAST Southern Kitchen & BBQ in Columbia, Illinois, which promises to be a home-cooked bastion on both sides of the river. K-Bop, the popular Korean food truck, took root on the east side of the Delmar Loop and reopened Lulu’s Local Eatery under new ownership and revived a popular brand for vegans and omnivores.

Did we miss something? If so, please leave a note in the comments.

openings
BABS (spirit kitchen in the sanctuary), the grove
BEAST Southern Kitchen & BBQ, Columbia, IL
K-bop, Delmar loop
Lulu’s Local Eatery (reopened under new ownership), South Grand

Closings
Bloom Cafe, Kings Oak
Eat-Rite, downtown
Eat Italian, South Grand
Peruvian mango cuisine, downtown
Missouri Bar & Grill, downtown
New Day Gluten Free Bakery and Cafe, Clayton

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected]

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