St. Louis Restaurant Openings and Closings: May 2022


Taqueria Morita, from the minds behind Vicia, opened in Cortex this month. - COMPLIMENTS OF TAKE ROOT HOSPITALITY
Compliments of Take Root Hospitality
Taqueria Morita, from the minds behind Vicia, opened in Cortex this month.

May saw a flurry of activity in the St. Louis restaurant scene, with the city proper getting the majority of the action on the plus side of the column. Many were new concepts from established names in the business. In Benton Park, two new offshoots of beloved favorites opened their doors; Arzola's Fajitas + Margaritas from the family behind Dogtown's Chuy Arzola's and Station No. 3 from Frida's and Diego's restaurateurs Natasha Kwan and Rick Roloff both welcomed their first guests this month. Similarly, the owners of Buenos Aires Cafe added Fariñas Kitchen + Bar to the Downtown restaurant landscape, while Michael and Tara Gallina and Aaron Martinez launched Taqueria Morita on the grounds of their venerated Cortex eatery, Vicia. And in just 27 days, Natasha Bahrami, Michael Fricker and Matt Wynn transformed the beloved mainstay Cafe Natasha's into Salve Osteria, a harvest -centric restaurant designed to compliment the adjacent Gin Room.

Unfortunately, there was just as much movement on the negative side, with many restaurants citing staffing issues as the reason for their closures. Though not necessarily a permanent situation, the iconic South Kingshighway location of Courtesy Diner shut its doors because of a lack of employees; The Dam and Nicoletti's Ristorante, too, noted a similar predicament. Over on the east side of the Mississippi, Beast Southern Kitchen & BBQ, from restaurateurs David and Meggan Sandusky of Beast Craft BBQ fame, served its last guests (though their other two properties remain open) while the longtime Mexican spot Ramon's El Dorado was forced to close indefinitely because of the owner's health issues. Though each situation is unique, the common thread that weaves their stories together is how much the pandemic continues to have a significant impact on the food and beverage community. Unfortunately, it seems we will be seeing that fallout for the foreseeable future.

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


Openings

Arzola's Fajitas + Margaritas, Benton Park
Blue Violet, Edwardsville, IL
Fariñas Kitchen + Bar, Downtown
Fordo's Killer Pizza (inside City Foundry), Midtown
Grace Chicken + Fish Food Tank, Food Truck
Salve Osteria, Tower Grove East
Shared, Maplewood
Station No. 3, Benton Park
STL Toasted (inside City Foundry), Midtown
Taqueria Morita, Central West End

Closings
Beast Southern Kitchen & BBQ, Columbia, IL
Beets & Bones, Clayton
Courtesy Diner (South Kingshighway location closed indefinitely), North Hampton
Nicoletti's Ristorante, Ballwin
Ramon's El Dorado (closed indefinitely), Collinsville, IL
Tapped, Maplewood
The Dam, Tower Grove South
West End Bistro, DeBaliviere Place


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