COURTESY OF VEDAD BECIROVIC
For ten years, Soulard Gyro (2022 S. 12th Street)
has served up tasty, Greek-inflected food from a shop so small, many customers take one look around the crowded room and get their order to go.
But that should all change in a few short weeks — Soulard Gyro is about to move into a much bigger spot in the same neighborhood, the former home of Ninth Street Deli at 900 Shenandoah Avenue.
As it turns out, when that venerable sandwich shop moved last summer to the former home of Howards in Soulard
, it set off a game of musical chairs. Soulard Gyro's landlord owns the Shenandoah space as well, and when he suggested owner Vedad Becirovic might want to upgrade, Becirovic jumped at the opportunity.
Becirovic has been working steadily to convert the Shenandoah space. He says the end is finally in sight. "We got in here last year in July, but our contractor kind of took his time," he explains. Now they're just waiting for the city to finish inspections.
"We've been moving things back and forth for months," Becirovic says.
Some of the renovations were to bring the building up to code, Becirovic says, and others are decorative, like the mural he commissioned for the wall. Others reflect Becirovic's ambitions. In addition to the shop in Soulard, he's got a second location in O'Fallon, and he intends to start baking his own bread in Soulard for use at both locations. He also intends to start serving spanakopita, with hand-stretched phyllo. Becirovic's mother will be on hand to start crafting additional Bosnian dishes.
"Our space was very small, and it limited what we could do," he says. "It was a matter of 'You can do this or that, but you can't do both.'" There simply wasn't room.
The new space is 1,500 square feet and boasts seating for up to 38 people, Becirovic says. And he has big plans for it. He mentions his love of the smash burgers being sold at Mac's Local Eats out of the Tamm Avenue Grill
, suggesting he might start testing the waters with dinner one night a week. "If we're successful," he says, "maybe we'll do a burger place down the line."
For now, Soulard Gyro is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It hopes to be open in its new spot in three weeks. It will be closing the 12th Street location at that point.
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