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Monday, April 11, 2016

Shaw Neighborhood Could Get New David Bailey Burger Restaurant

Posted By on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 1:05 PM

A former gas station at Shaw Boulevard and Klemm Street could become a new burger place. - PHOTO BY DOYLE MURPHY
  • Photo by Doyle Murphy
  • A former gas station at Shaw Boulevard and Klemm Street could become a new burger place.

David Bailey, the force behind Rooster and Bailey’s Range, is working on a plan to build a burger bar in the Shaw neighborhood, the Riverfront Times has learned.

The prolific restaurateur is in negotiations for a former gas station at the corner of Klemm Street and Shaw Boulevard.

The quarter-acre lot in the surging south-city neighborhood has undergone a massive cleanup by the Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation, which bought it at a tax sale in August 2013 in hopes of finding a developer for the blighted corner. Bailey was one of four applicants who responded to the organization’s request for proposals for the site. We’re told he was selected from two finalists, winning over the development corporation with a plan for a family-friendly restaurant featuring his famous burgers, milk shakes and craft beers.

It’s not a done deal yet. Sean Spencer, executive director of the development corporation, says there are some “significant” issues to work out, including final approval on the environmental cleanup. He declined to even speak of Baileys' Restaurants as the front-runner. (The RFT confirmed the news independently.)

But Spencer is excited about the prospect of something moving into the site after decades of neglect.
David Bailey (shown with daughter, Lyla) is looking to open a burger restaurant on the site of a former gas station in the Shaw neighborhood. - JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Jennifer Silverberg
  • David Bailey (shown with daughter, Lyla) is looking to open a burger restaurant on the site of a former gas station in the Shaw neighborhood.

A Bailey-run restaurant would likely be a popular addition to a neighborhood with a growing number of young professionals and families. The nearby South Grand location of Rooster is regularly packed for weekend brunch, and Bailey's empire of fast-casual restaurants have made him one of St. Louis' culinary darlings. 

The spot on Shaw would be just south of neighborhood favorites Sasha's on Shaw and Mama Josephine's.

We've reached out Bailey through a company spokeswoman and will update this post if we hear back.

The Tower Grove nonprofit development corporation used $160,000 in grant money on the cleanup, which included removing a half-dozen buried fuel tanks on the site. The former filling station served as an auto repair shop later in life and has now been vacant for more than a decade.

We've got fingers crossed the Bailey's plan works out, but just about anything would be an improvement.

UPDATE at 8:30 p.m.

David Bailey’s concept for the old gas station is a small-scale version of Bailey’s Range, his popular downtown burger bar, the Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation announced in a blog post published late Monday. The $400,000 plan also calls for a walk-up window, outdoor seating and a kids menu, designed to appeal to the influx of young families in the neighborhood.

“David Bailey’s successful track record and experience with high quality historic tax credit projects, experience operating highly successful restaurants, passion for improving neighborhoods with his businesses, financial ability to perform and his commitment to working with neighbors through the approval process made him an obvious choice,” Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC Executive Director Sean Spencer said in a statement.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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