by Ian Froeb
Update: (Wednesday, July 25, 4:15 p.m.) I just spoke with David Choi, owner of Seoul Taco, who confirms the 571 Melville address. He says that Gyros in the Loop is slated to shut down this Saturday, July 28. Why the owner -- or the person who identified himself as the owner to me -- denied the closure is unknown. My attempts to reach him again this afternoon were unsuccessful.
At any rate, Choi says he hopes to have the bricks-and-mortar Seoul Taco open by September. "It'll be an expanded menu" from the truck's regular slate, he explains, including Korean-barbecue burritos and traditional Korean ssam lettuce wraps.
Want a preview of the new items? Check out the truck. "We've been messing around with a few items [there]," Choi says.
Update 2: (Wednesday, July 25, 4:20 p.m.) I was just able to reach Pars Realty, which owns 571 Melville. I wasn't able to ascertain exactly to whom I was speaking -- or if it was the same person whom I'd spoken with at Gyros in the Loop earlier (i.e, the person who had presented himself as the restaurant owner was actually the owner of the building) -- because the person started yelling at me as soon I identified myself.
"It's none of your goddamned business," he shouted.
And then he hung up.
Read the latest update: "Gyros in the Loop Owner Explains Closure, Seoul Taco Arrival"
I've left a message with owner David Choi seeking more info. However, Sauce reports that Choi and partner Andy Heck "have signed the lease at 571 Mehlville [sic] Ave., the former home of" Gyros in The Loop (571 Melville Avenue, University City; 314-725-5343).
In its most recent list of openings, closings and near-openings, St. Louis Magazine also reports Seoul Taco as opening at 571 Melville, with Gyros in the Loop in parentheses to indicate the address' previous tenant.
I raised an eyebrow at both reports.
You see, Gyros in the Loop is located just down the street from Gut Check International Headquarters, and when I walked down to the restaurant this afternoon, embarrassed that I hadn't noticed its closure even though I walk past it multiple times each weekday, I found that it wasn't closed, but open for business as usual.
Back at the office, I called to ask whether Gyros in the Loop was about to close or move. The owner's reply?
"No, no, no, no."
As I said, I've left a message with Seoul Taco's owner for more info. I'm also trying to reach out to the landlord of 571 Melville to clear up the confusion. More as I learn it.