Tuesday, January 28, 2020

After 11 Years, Steve's Hot Dogs & Burgers to Close on February 1

Posted By on Tue, Jan 28, 2020 at 1:41 PM

click to enlarge Steve Ewing of Steve's Hot Dogs. - SARA BANNOURA
  • Sara Bannoura
  • Steve Ewing of Steve's Hot Dogs.

One of our favorite local spots is closing up shop for good.

Over the weekend, Steve Ewing, owner of Steve's Hot Dogs & Burgers (3457 Magnolia Avenue, 314-762-9899), announced that his namesake business would be closing after service on Saturday, February 1.

Well before opening Steve's, Ewing was well known around town for his work with rock band the Urge. As he told the Riverfront Times a few years back, he first got the idea to open his hot-dog joint more than a decade ago after a show with his band.



"We'd finish playing a show and I would turn to my guitar player and ask him, 'Why are we not feeding people here?'" Ewing told the RFT in 2017. "We'd be in a bar, the show would let out and all of these people would be looking for something to eat. They'd end up at White Castle or some place like that, and I couldn't help but think that if there was something to eat here, they'd eat it."

Ewing started small, first opening a hot-dog cart outside of a soap factory in north St. Louis. Bolstered by its success, however, he added more gourmet dogs and began vending at local festivals. In 2011 he decided to take the leap and open a brick-and-mortar location on the Hill. In 2015, Ewing expanded again, this time with a second brick-and-mortar location connected to Tick Tock Tavern in Tower Grove East.

Last September, though, Ewing shuttered the flagship location on the Hill and announced he was expanding hours at the Tower Grove spot. In his announcement this weekend about the Tower Grove closing, Ewing said that "we tried to stay nimble by offering delivery and implementing a number of creative promotions, but in the end, we couldn’t find a way to make the business sustainable."

As longtime fans of Steve's (and Ewing), we're sad to see this local favorite close for good. If you feel like we do, stop in for one last dog before the shop serves its final service on Saturday. In the post, Ewing hints that Saturday will serve as a farewell party for Steve's, including live music; keep posted on updates by visiting Steve's Facebook page.

Here's the full statement about the closure Ewing shared on Facebook:

After 11 incredible years, Steve’s Hot Dogs and Burgers will close after business on Saturday, February 1, 2020.

To our many regular customers, I want to say THANK YOU. The community built around our restaurant has been incredible.

I started Steve’s in 2008 as a hot dog cart - born out of years of spending nights hanging out after concerts with friends and fans wishing for something truly great to eat. In 2011, we opened our first brick-and-mortar restaurant on the Hill - and in 2015, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, we opened our location in Tower Grove East, with our friends at the Tick Tock Tavern.

Over the years, we overcame many challenges. Among them road construction near our location on The Hill, which dramatically reduced our foot traffic, and impacted our profitability. As a small family-owned business, small setbacks like this can have a ripple effect and can be difficult to bounce back from. We tried to stay nimble by offering delivery and implementing a number of creative promotions, but in the end, we couldn’t find a way to make the business sustainable.

To those who believed in the community, fun and creative food experience we were building, I’m incredibly grateful - and to the team behind the counter, I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and devotion. If any of my local restaurateur friends have need of talented team members, I encourage you to reach out to me or my staff to help them find a new home in the coming weeks. Special thanks & credit should absolutely go to the incredible Joseph Zeable who made it possible for me to balance music and the restaurant - and who was an incredible part of management, operations and development. Thank you for 11 unforgettable years.

** Just as we’ve always done, we’ll go out with a bang. Watch this space for details on a farewell bash with live music to be held on Saturday. **

And here's the video Ewing included with the news:



Follow Liz Miller on Twitter at
@lizzaymillah. We are always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at liz@riverfronttimes.com.
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