St. Louis Restaurant Openings and Closings: January 2022

Feb 7, 2022 at 2:01 pm

4 Hens, a modern Creole eatery, opened this month inside the Food Hall at City Foundry. - CHERYL BAEHR
4 Hens, a modern Creole eatery, opened this month inside the Food Hall at City Foundry.

St. Louis may be in the midst of its annual winter doldrums, but the city's restaurant scene has been doing its darnedest to give us sparks of joy during these gray days. Thanks to Brandi Artis and her three business partners, we got a jolt of New Orleans-inspired flavor courtesy of their new concept, 4 Hens Creole Kitchen, which is the latest addition to the Food Hall at City Foundry. Also in Midtown, Saucy Porka introduced us to its unique fusion of Asian and Puerto Rican-inspired cuisine; founded in Chicago, the restaurant represents a homecoming for owner Amy Le, who grew up in St. Louis and is eager to show the city what she's been up to in the Windy City. Pizza Champ, too, did its part to warm our spirits, opening a permanent outpost just down the road from Elmwood, the restaurant where it got its start as a pop-up concept, and the elegant Westchester brought fine-dining finesse and an impressive drink selection to Chesterfield.

These food spots, coupled with the opening of Prism, a new LGBTQ Bar that is doing its part to make the Grove gay again, have given us something to cling to during this dreary, omicron-riddled month. We'll take it.

Sadly, though, St. Louis lost a good one to the ongoing pandemic challenges. Afandi Sweets & Cafe, the delightful bakery and restaurant that traced its roots to early 1900s Kurdistan, could not survive the never-ending slog of COVID. Though owner Jwamer Rasheed told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he has no plans to reopen, the fact that he didn't altogether rule it out in his comments gives us the hope we need to get through the loss of his outstanding baklava and flatbreads.

Did we miss anything? Leave a note in the comments.

4 Hens Creole Kitchen (inside City Foundry),
Burger 809 (relocated to Bluewood Brewing), Benton Park
Hot Box Cookies, Kirkwood
Mike's Italian Beef, Affton
Pizza Champ, Maplewood
Prism, the Grove
Saucy Porka, Midtown
Top Sushi, Creve Coeur
Westchester, Chesterfield

Afandi Sweets & Cafe,
Lindenwood Park
Texas De Brazil, Richmond Heights

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

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