Monte Bello Pizzeria Reopens After Kitchen Renovations

The St. Louis-style pie at Monte Bello. | Mabel Suen

Monte Bello Pizzeria (3662 Weber Road; 314-638-8861) is the little restaurant that could. Owner Tom Nix took over the 64-year-old family business last year, only to be thwarted by plumbing issues in June. The needed kitchen renovations were so extensive that Nix wasn't sure Monte Bello would stay open. Luckily, it opened on Thursday to a warm welcome.

See also: Monte Bello Pizza Closed Due to Plumbing Issues

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Prasino St. Charles Gets New Ownership

Categories: Restaurant News

The dining room at Prasino. | Jennifer Silverberg

Prasino (1520 South Fifth Street, St. Charles;) opened last spring, the first Missouri outpost of the Chicago-based, eco-friendly chain. Reviews were mixed at best -- we found it inconsistent -- and the restaurant has continued operating fairly quietly for the better part of a year.

See also: Green, But Sustainable? Prasino has eco-friendly dining down. Consistency is a work in progress.

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Hacienda Begins Renovations and Tequila Upgrades

Categories: Restaurant News

A rendering of the new bar at Hacienda Mexican Restaurant. | Courtesy Hacienda

Tex-Mex mainstay Hacienda (9748 Manchester Road; 314-962-7100) is expanding its tequila menu and renovating the indoor bar in the next month. The restaurant has been in its historic Rock Hill building since 1977.

See also: Anthonino's Taverna Celebrates 10 Years With Renovation and Expansion

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Riverbend Restaurant & Bar to Take Over Former Harvest Space

Categories: Restaurant News

The peel and eat shrimp with the housemade New Orleans remoulade sauce at Riverbend. | Jennifer Silverberg

A few months ago Riverbend Restaurant & Bar (701 Utah Street; 314-664-8443) owner Sam Kogos lamented to us about his tiny, fourteen-by-fourteen kitchen and his off-the-beaten path location near Cherokee Street. "It's not an easy location to find. I'm not sitting in the Loop or the Central West End -- we're really thankful for the readership and the people who actually come in."

But that's all about to change. Kogos tells Gut Check he's moving into the recently vacated Harvest space at 1059 South Big Bend Boulevard in Richmond Heights.

See also: Sam Kogos Talks Riverbend Restaurant & Bar, Your Pick for St. Louis' Underrated Cajun/Creole Restaurant

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Sugarfire Smokehouse to Open Sugarfire Pie

The "Crack Pie" at Sugarfire Smokehouse.

Mike Johnson of Sugarfire Smokehouse (9200 Olive Boulevard, Olivette; 314-997-5301) is fresh off his Top Chef win at last weekend's Ultimate Burger Challenge, but he isn't slowing down. The barbecue master has just announced he'll be opening Sugarfire Pie. Before you object, may we remind you of Johnson's "Crack Pie"?

See also: Sugarfire Smokehouse's Crack Pie: A Gooey, Buttery Treat Perfect For the Fourth of July

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Lemmons Sold to Grbic Family [UPDATED]

Categories: Restaurant News

Lemmons in Bevo Mill. | Jessica Lussenhop

Long-time fans mourned Lemmons (5800 Gravois Avenue) when it closed and even began a social-media campaign to save it, but owner Michael Gross didn't want to run the business anymore. It turns out that the space has just been sold to the Grbic family, which owns Bosnian restaurant Grbic (4071 Keokuk Street; 314-772-3100).

See also: Lemmons to Close, Owner Says "The Real Problem...Is Me"

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Anthonino's Taverna Celebrates 10 Years With Renovation and Expansion

Categories: Restaurant News

Anthony Scarato at Anthonino's. | Katie Moulton

Anthonino's Taverna (2225 Macklind Avenue; 314-773-4455) is celebrating its tenth anniversary with an upgrade. The Italian restaurant will undergo renovations over the next several weeks to expand seating and update the decor. We spoke to co-owner Anthony Scarato about what's next for Anthonino's.

See also: Anthony Scarato of Anthonino's Taverna on the Hill

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Morgan Street Brewery Up for Sale, Owners Look to Retire

Outside Morgan Street Brewery. | RFT Photo

After almost twenty years under the direction of Steve Owings and Dennis Harper,
Morgan Street Brewery (721 North Second Street; 314-231-9970) is up for sale. Owings tells Gut Check that Morgan Street won't be closing, but the Landing partners want to retire.

See also: Cab Driver David Riordan is the Keeper of St. Louis' Haunted History

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Death in the Afternoon Debuts Brunch This Weekend

Categories: Restaurant News

Tonkotsu ramen with pork belly and loin, soft-boiled egg, black garlic oil and mushroom. | Jennifer Silverberg

We reviewed Blood & Sand sibling Death in the Afternoon last week, but it has just announced brunch service will begin this weekend. And what's not surprising is that the menu looks delicious.

See also: Review: Death in the Afternoon Makes Lunch the Most Important Meal of the Day

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KT Ayers Named Executive Chef at Purple Martin, Readies New Menu

Categories: Restaurant News

Lablabi at the Purple Martin. | Corey Woodruff

Fox Park standout the Purple Martin (2800 Shenandoah Avenue; 314-898-0011) has announced KT Ayers as executive chef, replacing Chase Overaker. Overaker revamped the menu shortly after we reviewed the restaurant in June but left in July.

See also: Critic's Notebook: The Purple Martin Revamps Menu to Focus on American Classics

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