News and Notes: A Benefit for Grace Dinsmoor and restaurant openings

Chef Grace Dinsmoor of the popular tapas restaurant Modesto (5257 Shaw Avenue) has been battling a severe bone infection in her right leg for the past several months. On September 13, Bar Italia (13 Maryland Plaza) will host a benefit. The benefit, organized by the owners of Pickles Deli (22 North Euclid Avenue), will run from 3-8 p.m. and will feature food, beverages, entertainment, a silent auction and raffle. You can make cash donations at the door. For more information, call Modesto at 314-772-8272.

At press time, two St. Louis restaurants were slated to open second locations this week. The popular, President Obama-approved Delmar Loop pizza joint Pi debuts Pi Squared Wednesday, September 9, at 10935 Manchester Road in Kirkwood (the former Two Nice Guys and Trattoria Two location). Not enough Pi for you? Look for a third location in the Central West End by the new year. Editor's note added 9/9/09: Pi owner Chris Sommers says the Kirkwood opening has been pushed back to October.

Meanwhile, the Peruvian restaurant Mango opens Friday, September 11, at 1101 Lucas Avenue (home to Mosaic before it moved a block east to Washington Avenue). The new Mango will serve lunch and dinner daily. The original location at 7307 Watson Road in Shrewsbury remains open, though only for dinner.

I mourned when I learned earlier this year that In Soo Jung had sold her namesake Chinese and Korean restaurant — a Riverfront Times Best Of winner several times over — at 8423 Olive Boulevard in University City. The new owners operated the restaurant as In Soo for several months, but now the location is called Asian Kitchen and serves Korean cuisine exclusively.

Molly's in Soulard, the "new" restaurant resulting from Molly's expanding into the old Norton's space next door, has opened at 808 Geyer Avenue. The new Molly's features a menu — described as "French Bistro-style, Creole-influenced preparations of fresh seasonal ingredients from land and sea" — from local chef and restaurant consultant Eric Brenner of Moxy.

Two closings to report: Tumo's Ristorante shuttered its doors at 6419 Hampton Avenue after nearly eighteen years in business. Meanwhile, after less than a year, restaurateur Eddie Neill closed his Grand Center venture Wm. Shakespeare's Gastropub, a victim of the economy and the apparent Curse of Grand Center.

Are you opening a new restaurant? Know of a place that has closed? Something else for Ian to chew on? E-mail ian.froeb@riverfronttimes.com. And check out this column's virtual doppelganger here.

 
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