by Nancy Stiles
It's been in the works for a while, but the 21st Pasta House location will finally open in the spring of 2014, co-owner Kim Tucci tells us. He says after Joe's Chili Bowl closes, he'll be able to focus on opening up the new franchise, which is actually a new concept for the St. Louis chain.
It will be the second location owned by developer Don Bolinger and his wife, Rhiannon, who opened the Union location three years ago.
"Our intentions always were to bring one to Festus," Bolinger tells Gut Check. "We're going do a lot of things differently."
Bolinger says there have been several construction delays (he had originally hoped for a November 1 opening), but he now plans to break ground by the beginning of December. The restaurant is projected to open in March or April 2014.
The Festus location will have a larger bar area than current Pasta Houses and feature a more "bar-y type dining room," Bolinger says. The decor will focus on the history of Pasta House, which first opened in 1974.
"They've brought a lot of great things to St. Louis, so it's a great time to honor that with a new restaurant and new atmosphere and see how that goes," he says.
Cornbread of WIL (92.3 FM) is apparently a good friend, so Bolinger plans on doing some things with him and the radio station at the Pasta House as well.
"We live in Festus, and the scene there has a big need for a quality-type family-style restaurant in the town, so we decided to bring one to our town," Bolinger says. "My wife and I actually met at Pasta House twenty years ago."