The Fatted Calf in Clayton Has Closed

the fatted calf clayton exterior.jpg
Ian Froeb
Yesterday, March 1, was the final day for the Fatted Calf (12 South Bemiston Avenue, Clayton; 314-726-1141). Kathleen Portman, who owns the Clayton burger institution with her husband, Jason, confirmed the closure to Gut Check this morning.

"We can't sustain it," Portman tells us. "We can't sink any more money into it."

The Portmans purchased the Fatted Calf in 2008. Local restaurant legends Vince and Tony Bommarito founded the restaurant, which once boasted multiple locations, in 1966.

See Also:
- The Fatted Calf Lives

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Portman notes that she and her husband bought the Fatted Calf just as the economy was tanking five years ago. The restaurant announced its closure in June 2011, but a burst of business over the ensuing month allowed the Portmans to change their minds and remain open until now.

(Portman reveals, with some incredulity, that the burst of business that let the Fatted Calf survive two years ago dissipated after almost exactly 30 days.)

Portman also reveals frustration with the parking situation by the restaurant: "At night, [the city of Clayton] took our parking for valet for [nearby] Tani Sushi Bistro and Cafe Napoli."

"It was already a tough economy, and then they take the parking out front," she says. "No one consulted us.

"It's about the money. Meanwhile, they're screwing the little guy."

Portman tells Gut Check that she and her husbandh have not given up hope of staying in the restaurant business. They would welcome an investor to discuss a food-truck idea, for example.

Of the Fatted Calf itself, she says, "This has been a labor of love. I'm sad it happened on my watch."

Location Info

Fatted Calf

12 S. Bemiston Ave., Clayton, MO

Category: Restaurant


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5 comments
Bart Cohn
Bart Cohn

I probably dined there 200 times in my life. Seriously. I stopped going there about a year ago. The staff they had when I was last there just lacked enthusiasm- the magic was gone. The last manager would sit outside in front smoking cigarettes and when you'd walk in, she'd put out her cigarette and come in to wait on you. The food was still good, but the service wasn't there anymore. Who wants to eat a burger at a grim place?

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