Dining » Food & Drink

Check, Please

Joe Bonwich settles his tab at the Riverfront Times


To quote one of my favorite semiabsurdist authors, "So long, and thanks for all the fish."

I wrote my very first article for the Riverfront Times exactly 20 years ago last month. I got the privilege of the regular restaurant gig a little over seven years ago, and as the food writer at the time of the purchase of the paper by the New Times company, I probably got the deal second only to Ray Hartmann's during the ownership transition. Because New Times places so much emphasis on food coverage, I got more space, more articles and even a bit more spare cash.

Throughout my time here as the restaurant writer, I've always held what I've referred to as a "day job," a necessary condition for supporting a wife and five kids while indulging my appetites. And that's the main reason I'm moving on: My last day job went away several months ago, right into the teeth of the first recession in a very long time, and my ability to work corporate during the day and freelance for the RFT at night went away with it.

Melissa Martin will continue to be out here on alternate weeks, and I hope you enjoy devouring her stuff as much as I do. Taking my spot will be another old friend who prepares reviews with a much bolder spiciness than I could ever muster.

Thanks for reading, thanks for keeping me on my toes whenever I screwed up and thanks especially for the special warm friendships that developed with a select group of readers who took the time to share their opinions and their foodie passions, regardless of whether they agreed with my style or taste.

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.