Two more St. Louis restaurants close this month

As the weather warms up, some St. Louis restaurants will reopen their dining rooms and terraces while others will be closed.

Restaurants continued to open at a modest pace during the first quarter, with only a handful of restaurants permanently closing. Some closings were sudden and unexpected (Vegan Deli & Butcher, Ravanelli) while others were latent announcements “closed for the winter” (Han-Lao, Tigin Irish Pub).

The recent closure of Wild Flower Restaurant & Catering is a recent example of the former; Ernesto’s wine bar, the latter. (The sauce magazine was the first to report on both closings.)

After a successful Easter brunch earlier this month, Wild Flower announced via Facebook that the popular restaurant and terrace on the corner of Euclid and Laclede in the Central West End will be closed. In the social media post, owner Tracy Cassata-Czarnec said the decision was not an easy one. She continued in words that resonated with every restaurant owner and diner: “The past year has been a loss for many, both personally and professionally. The pandemic shut us down completely and then made running a hospitality-based business all but impossible. “

In 2015, Cassata-Czarnec and her husband Phil Czarnec opened the BBQ Saloon, later renamed The BBQ and Whiskey Saloon, on the opposite corner as Wild Flower. It also features griddles, handhelds, and the largest selection of whiskey in town. The couple hired longtime Wild Flower Chef Jeffry Hakenewerth to help Pitmaster Nathan DeMian with kitchen management and food service at The BBQ and Whiskey Saloon. These tasks also include adding several Wild Flower Favorites, including the Golden Chèvre, Country Club Fried Chicken, and Signature Garlic Chicken (pictured on the right).

In Benton Park, the owners of Ernesto’s wine bar wrote in a Facebook post earlier this month that the restaurant would not reopen in December following an announcement that it would “close for winter”. The short post read in part: “I have sad news to report that Ernesto’s will not reopen. Thank you for your support and best wishes for your future. “

Ernesto’s was known as a cozy neighborhood wine bar with inexpensive wines, a reserve list, and a waving flagstone in the back with a wood-burning fireplace cut into a wall. Ernesto’s has been open since autumn 2009 and takes its name from the founders’ love for Ernest Hemingway’s “simple style and thirst for adventure”.

SLM has asked the owners of Wild Flower and Ernesto’s for additional comments.

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