Tuesday, October 3, 2017

James Beard Nominee Rob Connoley to Open Squatters Cafe in Grand Center

Posted By on Tue, Oct 3, 2017 at 12:47 PM

Chef Rob Connoley's Squatters Cafe will open in Grand Center on November 1st. - JAY HEMPHILL
  • Jay Hemphill
  • Chef Rob Connoley's Squatters Cafe will open in Grand Center on November 1st.

Since moving back to St. Louis from New Mexico last summer, James Beard Award semi-finalist Rob Connoley has been giving diners a peek at his culinary prowess through a series of pop-up dinners, classes and guest appearances. Now, he will give them a more permanent place to enjoy his cooking.

Today, Connoley announced that he will open Squatters Cafe, a breakfast and lunch counter-service restaurant in the KDHX building in Grand Center. Squatters will occupy the spot that formerly housed Magnolia Cafe and will serve "familiar breakfast and lunch items" in a grab-and-go setting, Connoley explains in a press release issued this morning.

The menu at Squatters Cafe will include dishes such as yogurt bowls, seasonal meaty grits and baked goods. Connoley will be doing as much in-house as possible; he intends to mill his own grains, process his own meats and prepare his own dairy.

For those who have been following Connoley since his return to town, Squatters Cafe may seem like a departure from the foraged-focused evening concept, Bulrush, he has been developing for the last year. However, Connoley is emphatic that Squatters does not replace Bulrush; it merely represents an opportunity to do something different while Bulrush plans continue to develop.

"I've been wanting to serve the Grand Center Arts District for some time now," Connoley explains.  "It's an underserved area for restaurants, and with the district's pending development, this allows me to shake my long-term master plan up and seize an amazing opportunity. We believe our dinner concept's location is worth doing right and that requires more patience. So for now we are putting our energies into a daytime concept."

Squatters Cafe will open for breakfast and lunch service on November 1. Restaurant hours and a detailed menu will be provided as the opening date nears.

We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at cheryl.baehr@riverfronttimes.com.

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