For the roughly 20,000 students, faculty and staff of the University of Missouri, St. Louis, the area's limited off-campus dining options have just gotten even more limited. Breakaway Cafe (8418 Natural Bridge Road, Bel-Nor)
, the Bel-Nor neighborhood mainstay, has closed.
Neither Breakaway Cafe's website nor its Facebook page give reason for the closure. A recorded message on the restaurant's voicemail simply says, "Hi, Breakaway Cafe. We are closed indefinitely. Have a great year."
For well over two decades, Breakaway Cafe has been one of the few sit-down restaurants located within the university's immediate environs. With its sunny parrot logo — drink in hand and reclining on a beach chair — the restaurant evoked the sort of casual, carefree experience a stressed-out coed might crave during finals week. And its food was the sort of fuel needed to get through such a harried time, offering everything from bar food staples like cheese sticks and burgers to pizza and pork chops.
Breakaway Cafe is not the only area institution to go dark in recent years. In 2015, Spiro's, the Greek tavern that was a local favorite for 40 years, shut its doors. Its closure meant that Breakaway Cafe was the only sit-down dining option between I-170 and the campus (a sit-down dining desert that stretches significantly east). Now, only a handful of fast-food options remain in the immediate area.
We will update this post as additional details become available.
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