Hi-Pointe Drive-In opened its first Illinois location this month.
The month of April felt relatively quiet on the restaurant opening side of things with most of the activity centered on additional locations and new concepts inside existing spaces. Hi-Pointe Drive-In opened its first Illinois location with a storefront popping up in O'Fallon, while Gioia's Deli, hoping to capitalize on returning Westport Plaza area office workers, opened a takeout window at its production facility in Maryland Heights. DraftKings at Casino Queen added the elevated American restaurant Bridgeway to its playbook, and Winslow's Table renovated their downstairs area, converting the former events space into a retail shop filled with curated artisanal goods, wine, spirits, fine foods, beauty and home-care products.
However, the month saw a few original openings as well. Goshen Coffee Garden opened up in the former Soulard Coffee Garden space, filling the void left when the latter daytime spot closed earlier this year. The Wine Cafe further expanded St. Charles' growing food and beverage scene with its new restaurant on Historic Main Street, and Nadine Soaib, who formerly owned Nadine's Gin Joint in Soulard, just couldn't stay out of the business and came out of retirement to open Nadine's Hash House on South Broadway.
Undoubtedly the hottest opening of the month, Menya Rui opened its doors in Lindenwood Park, offering guests a taste of chef Steven Pursley's undeniable talent for Japanese cuisine — ramen in particular. After three years of doing pop-ups around town under the name Ramen x Rui, Menya Rui is the realization of a longtime dream for both Pursley and St. Louis diners who have longed for a brick-and-mortar location so they could regularly sate their ramen cravings.
We bid farewell to a few different spots this month, too. Oliver's Coffee + Flower Bar shut its doors in Maplewood, as did Pangea, the popular upscale restaurant in New Town St. Charles run by the talented Jessie Gilroy. However, the closure that has left the St. Louis dining community both brokenhearted and happy was Cafe Natasha's. Though it was a difficult goodbye for those who simply cannot let go of the restaurant's legendary beef kabobs, it's hard to shed tears when the reason for the closure is the retirement of matriarch Hamishe Bahrami. For over four decades, this vibrant, hard-working force of nature has been sharing herself with St. Louis diners; now, it's "Mom's" turn to live life on her on terms.
Did we miss anything? Leave a note in the comments.
Bridgeway (Inside DraftKings at Casino Queen), East St. Louis
The Cellar Shop at Winslow's Table, University City
Gioia's Deli (additional location), Maryland Heights
Goshen Coffee Garden, Soulard
Hi-Pointe Drive-In, O'Fallon, Illinois
Menya Rui, Lindenwood Park
Nadine's Hash House, Kosciusko
The Wine Cafe, Historic Main Street St. Charles
Cafe Natasha's, Tower Grove East
Oliver's Coffee + Flower Bar, Maplewood
Pangea, New Town St. Charles
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