Let us catch up on several months of developments on South Grand Boulevard:
- Gut Check told you back in February that the Atlanta-based chain JR Crickets Wings & Things would open its first area location at 3737 South Grand Boulevard, previously the home of Mama Pho Vietnamese Restaurant. The restaurant is now open. This is the first of three planned locations for St. Louis, according to the JR Crickets website, along with 2230 Olive Boulevard and 1810 Woodson Road in Overland.
- Restaurant California has been open at 4101 South Grand Boulevard for a few months now, serving up tacos, sopes, huaraches and other traditional taqueria fare. Restaurant California is open from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and Friday and 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday Sunday. It's closed Thursday and -- important! -- it's cash only.
- Right next door to Restaurant California at 4105 South Grand Boulevard, construction is underway -- and, at a glance, relatively far along -- on #9 Cafe, which appears to be a coffee house. More on this as we learn it.
- Signage at 5144 South Grand advertises Sultan Palace Bakery & Cafe, serving all manner of Middle Eastern cuisine, including gyros and -- take note, fans of The Avengers -- shawarma. It looks as if a fair amount of interior work still needs to be done.
- Finally, I'm apparently very late to learn that South Grand Gyro Express (5622 South Grand Boulevard) has closed for a second time -- this time, for good. The space is now home to Pizza Milano, which serves a lengthy menu of pizza, calzones, strombolis, sandwiches, salads and more. You can reach Pizza Milano at 314-352-5252.