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Monday, October 20, 2014

Restituo's Living Room Style Gets Your Vote for Most Underrated Coffeehouse

Posted By on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 at 8:00 AM

The dining room at Restituo. | Mabel Suen
  • The dining room at Restituo. | Mabel Suen

Restituo (4100 Shenandoah Avenue) has only been open for a few months, but already the New York-style coffeehouse has a following. Owner Nicole McCormack refurbished the cafe's mismatched furniture, handcrafted many of the coffee mugs and imports her favorite New York coffee. We talked to McCormack about why these things add up to St. Louis' most underrated coffeehouse.

See also: Restituo Offers "A Little Bit of NYC in STL" At New Shaw Neighborhood Cafe

McCormack is actually a St. Louis native, but got the New York bug while working there as a hairstylist and bar manager. She says the comfortable decor is part of the shop's appeal.

"It's a complete mish-mash of style and decor. Over a vintage chair is a modern local artist's painting, next to a sixties lamp, next to a nineties board game," McCormack says. "There's nothing consistent about the style, so its very New York-ish. For me, everyone else's coffee shop was my living room [in New York], so it reminded me of that."

She also made the decision not to use local coffee roasters; McCormack says she enjoys them, but she didn't want to do what everyone else was doing. She was able to get her favorite coffee from New York that is made by a local family-owned roaster.

"It's one of the best-balanced coffees I've had, ever. I can drink it all day and acidity-wise, never get a stomachache," This, as many struggling writers or graphic designers or anyone without wifi knows, is important when you're using your local coffeehouse as an office.

"We love this neighborhood. We love what we're building here. It's a long hard road, but it's such a great place and the energy is lovely here," McCormack says. "So thank you [to those who voted], it's appreciated to have so much love considering what I put into [Restituo]. Getting a response like this shows my hard work is keeping the place alive and growing."

Restituo won 46.36 percent of the vote, with La Mancha being the most popular write-in. Here are the full results:

Restituo 4100 Shenandoah Avenue): 46.36 percent Gelateria del Leone (3197 South Grand Boulevard; 314-776-3500): 22.05 percent Other: 15.23 percent Stone Spiral (2500 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-335-7388): 10.45 percent La Cosecha (7360 Manchester Road; 314-991-0049) 5.91 percent

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at

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