The Purple Martin (2800 Shenandoah Avenue; 314-898-0011)
What better reason to open a restaurant than to have a place to drink wine and play cards? Owner Brooke Roseberry unapologetically admits this was the inspiration behind the Purple Martin -- that and the fact that no one else was opening anything in her beloved Fox Park neighborhood. Roseberry had long witnessed establishments come and go in the space at California and Shenandoah, but when nothing stuck, she and her partner Tony Lagouranis decided to take matters into their own hands. The restaurant started out with a Mediterranean fare but is currently transitioning to more of an American comfort-food spot. Either way, the Purple Martin's "everybody knows your name" energy makes it a neighborhood gem.