Eat-Rite Diner Gets New Owner — and New Concept


The Eat-Rite Diner, photographed downtown March 17, could be looking much spiffier later this spring. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • The Eat-Rite Diner, photographed downtown March 17, could be looking much spiffier later this spring.

The Eat-Rite Diner is getting (another) second-chance at life, and this time it's through the ambition of local chef Tim Eagan, who announced this week that he plans to debut "a new food brand" at the squat square icon that has served generations of St. Louisans craving late-night slingers and coffee.

Shawna and Joel Holtman purchased the downtown business in 2018, vowing to renovate and revitalize the struggling landmark, but only two years later, their efforts ended in a quiet closure in December. It was just one of several devastating closures of beloved St. Louis restaurants in 2020.

But while the diner became legendary for its grungy charm, the next version could see some changes to the classic spot.

In a Facebook Tuesday, Eagan wrote that he intends the new venture to include "a brunch focused diner concept" as well a platform for his private chef business, prepared meals and catering.

"I’m extremely excited to be a part of St. Louis history and excited to be able to share my food with all of you again," he wrote in the post. "Here’s to the future!"

Eagan tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's targeting mid-May for reopening the diner to customers, and says that the menu will include options for "upscale comfort food" and his own takes on the classic slinger, as well as diner staples like biscuits and gravy.

Still, Eagan clarified that he is planning on renovating some of the physical aspects of the beaten-up little shop, telling Fox 2, "I don't want a dive."

Whatever happens, we're just glad that Eat-Rite's journey isn't over. St. Louis just wouldn't feel right without it.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at
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