The opening of Tempus, the debut restaurant from acclaimed chef Ben Grupe, was one of the bright spots in this month's dining scene.
This time last year — or any autumn day for the past twelve years — there was nothing better than enjoying a lingering breakfast inside the light-filled dining room of Cafe Osage. Surrounded by the greenery of Bowood Farms while sipping a warm cup of coffee, the experience was nothing short of joyful. It was the perfect spot for lazy, daytime dining and lunch dates with friends — in other words, the sort of place that COVID-19 has taken away from our lives.
Cafe Osage was just one of the gathering places this month that permanently shuttered its doors, unable to weather the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Great Grizzly Bear, the Soulard watering hole, and the Monocle, a Grove neighborhood entertainment venue, both shuttered their doors this month; reliant on the in-person experience, the two spots were simply existentially unable to transition to a different model.
All news was not bad, however. This month saw two high-profile openings in the form of Ben Grupe's long-awaited restaurant, Tempus, and Edera Italian Eatery, which has Mike Randolph as it's consulting chef. Conceived before COVID-19 upended the industry, both restaurants may not be what they originally set out to be (Tempus is takeout-only; Edera is doing more casual pizza, pasta and salads than originally intend while taking advantage of that stunning patio), but they are the bright spots we need to get us through to the other side.
Cafe Osage, Central West End
Great Grizzly Bear, Soulard
The Monocle, the Grove
Pueblo Nuevo, Hazelwood
The Annex Coffee and Foods, Webster Groves
Cafe La Vie (inside the La Méridien Hotel), Clayton
Curry Club Express, Food Truck
Diego's, University City
Edera Italian Eatery, Central West End
Pappy's Smokehouse (additional location), St. Peters
Pi Pizzeria and ¡RICO!, Glendale
The Pioneer Bakery Cafe, Kirkwood
Playing Ketchup (Ghost kitchen inside Bailey's Range), Downtown
Pretzel Pretzel (additional location), South County
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