Welcome to Hidden Gem, Gut Check's short love letter to restaurants, coffee shops and bars that lie off the beaten path. These places soldier on in relative anonymity, beloved by their regulars, but largely overlooked by the greater populace. Hidden Gem will attempt to rectify these terrible oversights. Have a Hidden Gem of your own to share? Tell us in the comments.
Business owner Keith Brooks' family pawn shop, Southside Jewelry and Loan, holds a senior spot in south county along a stretch of Gravois Road. For 21 years, the combination jewelry, gun and goods shop has occupied a sizable storefront in Affton. To expand his multipurpose empire, Brooks purchased the adjacent property -- a former coin car wash. In August 2013 Sharpshooter Pit and Grill (8135 Gravois Road; 314-353-4745) opened to the public featuring a barbecue restaurant connected to the region's largest indoor shooting range.
The smoked brisket sandwich at Sharpshooter Pit and Grill. | Photos by Mabel Suen