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Friday, October 16, 2015

New Neighborhood Restaurant Planned for Former Bici Spot in U. City

Posted By on Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 6:30 AM

The spot that used to hold Bici Cafe, on the corner of Pershing and Jackson in U. City, has been vacant for two years. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • Photo by Sarah Fenske
  • The spot that used to hold Bici Cafe, on the corner of Pershing and Jackson in U. City, has been vacant for two years.

For 30 years, Steve Cupp ran a restaurant in Columbia, Missouri, called Glenn's Cafe — a place you could call "iconic," if that word wasn't so dreadfully overused. Then, Cupp says, "things happened" — among them, his wife, an engineer, was recruited by a national firm for a job in St. Louis. And so the longtime restaurateur found himself back in his native St. Louis. What to do? Maybe another restaurant?

"I thought, 'What the hell,'" Cupp says. "I decided to do it."

Cupp is now aiming to open his as-yet-unnamed eatery in the spot that formerly held Bici Cafe at 7401 Pershing in University City, just east of Hanley. He'd hoped to open yet this fall, but, predictably, renovations have proved more time-consuming than he'd planned.

"Every building I've been in has been an old building," Cupp says. "You'd think I'd know better by now."

The restaurant will have some similarities with Glenn's Cafe, including, its owner hopes, a low-key neighborhood vibe. "In Columbia, we had everyone from bikers to bankers going there," he says. He's hoping to keep this spot equally accessible.

But the food will be good. There will be an oyster bar and a full bar for drinks, too. Cupp will be in charge in the kitchen, and the menu is a mix of Louisiana/Austin/the Caribbean — "kind of what I feel like cooking in a lot of ways," he says. Most entrees will be in the $20 range, though a few could creep up a bit higher.

Cupp is waiting on approval from University City for his sign; once they say yes, he'll be ready to announce a name. And soon after that, he hopes to open his doors — first for dinner, then adding a Sunday brunch and a weekday lunch.

He's excited about settling into his new neighborhood. U. City, he says, "kind of reminds me of Columbia. I wanted to be in a place like this rather than out there in West County."

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