NEWS

Citywalk News for July

Variety is the spice of life, the saying goes. Let’s talk about savory and sweet, spicy and mild – American food, road trip food, burgers and bakes – and there are two more restaurants underway as I type.


Cathy’s Kitchen opened in July 2013. Cathy Jenkins explains the concept for the restaurant: “We’ve always travelled. We were both self-employed for twenty-four years. We took lots of vacations. One time we took a road trip west along the entire bottom of the U.S. map, all the way to California. We based the trip on the Food Channel! Here at Cathy’s Kitchen you can enjoy the food you had on vacation – all year round!”


Her food distributor tried to discourage her from the concept: he insisted people want to see a standard menu: appetizers, soup, salad, entrees, dessert. But the menus at Cathy’s are organized by cities and states: California, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Chicago, New Orleans, Memphis and of course, if you are getting homesick, St. Louis. Cathy’s top five: Cajun chicken Philly, Tuscan pasta, gumbo, fish tacos and her new Thursday special, six wings, six jumbo shrimp and cole slaw for $11.99. Cathy’s
Kitchen is located at 250 S. Florissant Road and is open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Drake’s Place opened in May 2014. Drake’s Place was built from a dream and a love of cooking. Now that it is a reality. Customers can enjoy fantastic food and phenomenal service every day. Their website proclaims: “We cook from the heart!” A first-time visitor would do well to enjoy one of their fresh homemade salads with Drake’s house dressing. When they say “house” they mean “house” – the dressing is made up fresh on site. Keep your eyes open: they will be selling bottles of the delicacy at the Ferguson Farmers’ Market this summer. All sauces are made in house and all food is made to order. Salmon and shrimp are very popular dinner entrees. There is a whole lot of “news at Drake’s: a new menu with more starters, sandwiches, burgers, and a couple additions to the dinner selections. Drake’s also has a new logo and a new website. Last but not least, Drake’s has a brand new patio. Now you can enjoy their delicious food al fresco. With a newly paved parking lot and the arrival of a brand new sign, the eatery has a fresh look that goes along with the freshly prepared food. You’ll find it all at 701 S. Florissant Road. Hours are: Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday, 4 – 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


The most recent addition to the Ferguson Originals – restaurants that started in Ferguson – is Banana Yummies Bakes and Burgers (hereafter, BYB&B). Visitors are surprised when they see cakes, mini-cupcakes and cookies. “Oh, that’s what you mean by ‘Bakes’!” Andrea Steward opened BYB&B June 30, 2016 so they are just one year old. Want a burger? How hungry are you? Eight ounces hungry? Or fourteen ounces hungry? In the burger department, BYB&B’s specialty is stuffed burgers. You can order cheddar jalapeno bacon, cheesy cheese or apple gouda onion. The eight ounce selections include THE FERGUSON: Yum Burger with cheese, fried egg, jalapenos, tomato and red onions, topped with Sriracha and Ketchup. That’s the burgers: the “bakes” include sculptured cakes. Andrea, who trained and worked as a graphic designer, now expresses her creativity in batter and frosting. The most interesting order she had: her cousin, an avid gamer, wanted an X-Box cake. “What do you think of the cake?” she asked when he came to pick it up. He was standing right by it and said, “What cake?” He thought it was a real X-Box. BYB&B is located at 497 Airport Road. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Citywalk News for May

Welcome to our new Ferguson Citywalk Businesses:


  • Schnucks Market – 49 N Florissant Road
  • Examinations LTD Inc. – 119 Church St., Suite 131
  • Ferguson Automotive – 505 Airport Road
  • Astounding, LLC, DBA Safe Mode – 14 Church St.
  • And welcome back, Whistle Stop, 1 Carson Road!

“May I show you a table – or two – or three – or…”


Last month’s column began exploring the Ferguson Citywalk Originals, that is, original restaurants that started right here in the Ferguson Citywalk district. By far the longest established restaurant in Ferguson is Faraci Pizza, which was established in 1968. When the original owners moved the business to Ellisville in 1997, Jim and Dawn Marshall, both McCluer High School graduates, bought it. Jim began working at the original Faraci’s when he was just fifteen years old. Dawn has been there around thirty-two years. Looking for an alternative to franchise pizza chains? Try Faraci Pizza at 520 S. Florissant.


The Whistle Stop is next oldest. Many eyes have been on 1 Carson Road, hoping for another taste of the delicious frozen custard. So The Whistle Stop is resurrected just in time for Spring.


Not long after the completion of the last Downtown Strategic Development Plan, The Corner Coffee House opened in a building that was revamped from a former automotive business, 100 N. Florissant Road. Besides offering coffee made from the “finest of coffee and ingredients” and fresh baked goods, The Corner Coffee House offers a social hub where folks can meet, talk, play games or just contemplate a cup of fresh Ferguson java. Outside seating also fits the vision of the developing Citywalk district.


Set in a repurposed office building, Vincenzo’s Italian Ristorante is named after Joe Lonero’s great-grandfather. Patty Smith has worked at Vincenzo’s since it first opened. Patty considers the restaurant a “hidden gem.” She considers Vincenzo’s Ferguson’s less expensive but just as delicious slice of “The Hill.” New customers are amazed at the quality of the meals. Patty recommends the chicken marsala or the pesce Vincenzo.


Do you work hard, but play even harder? Kelly Braun isn’t sure where their slogan came from, but she can tell you where Marley’s name came from: a combination of “Martin” (her husband) and “Kelly.” Their best kept secret is Pork Steak Wednesday, which features pork steak (of course), with baked beans and your choice of potato salad or cole slaw or deviled eggs. What would she recommend to a first timer? The wings or the jalapeño grilled chicken sandwich. Remember: Cinco de Marley is May 5. Marley’s is located at 500 S. Florissant.


More mouth-watering Citywalk restaurant history next month.

Brian Owens Singing Anthem at Ferg Twilight Run

We are pleased to announce that Brian Owens will once again sing the National Anthem before the start of the Ferguson Twilight 5K.

Be sure to follow and support Brian, a Ferguson resident, as he continues to share his amazing talent with audiences locally and nationally.

NEW Composting at Ferguson Farmers Market!

Now you can bring your food scraps to the Ferguson Farmers Market to be composted!!

Ferguson Brew Beer Available in Bottles Now

Looks what’s now available in bottles!! The Ferguson Brewing Company is now selling a barrel aged beer in bottles. Come check it out!

Whistle Stop Grand Opening!!!

It’s finally here!!! Whistle Stop Cafe is officially opening Thursday, April 13th from 11am-8pm for custard deserts only. The #GrandOpening will be Saturday April 15th, 11am-8pm, with the full menu available!

Cork’s Spring Menu Ready!

It’s official; the spring menu is out!

Baked Wood-Fired Pizzeria

Are you ready for a fresh Margheria style pizza? We are so excited about the Baked Wood-Fired Pizzeria coming to the Ferguson Lofts!!

Ferguson StreetFest Cups

Get your Ferguson StreetFest cups at the Corner Coffee House!!

Citywalk News for April

Are You Hungry?


Over recent years, Ferguson has engaged in a visioning process. There has been a particular focus on planning for the Downtown Area. Participants in the 1999 Ferguson Downtown Vision process included “full-service restaurants” as something they wanted to see in the next twenty years. “Downtown Ferguson was once the heart of economic activity for the northern suburbs, featuring streetcar service to nearly the entire region. Florissant Road was lined with restaurants, department stores, offices…” (Downtown Strategic Development Plan, hereafter DSDP, page 17). In a public open house, September 13, 2008, people described the kinds of restaurants they wanted to see: the desires ranged from franchises (with a view to attracting college students, who identify with brands), to white tablecloth dining. There was also a request for international or ethnic restaurants, kid friendly and non-smoking restaurants, healthy food choices coupled with hamburgers. So: an eclectic assortment of restaurants.


Where is Ferguson Citywalk at today making this a reality?


There are twenty-four or more restaurants in the Citywalk district. It’s “or more” if you include the three bakeries and the potential of grazing at the Farmers Market.


So what have we? First of all, there are currently four pizza places: Imo’s, Little Caesar’s, Papa John’s and Faraci Pizza (a Ferguson Original). There are several franchises: Popeye’s, Quiznos, St. Louis Fish & Chicken Grill and Subway. There are four Chinese restaurants: Chinese Express, New Chinese Gourmet, Ferguson Chop Suey and Queen’s House.


Then there are the Ferguson CityWalk Originals. The beauty of original, non-franchised locations is that they can only be found here in downtown Ferguson (except for Faraci Pizza, established in Ferguson, which has expanded to other locations). It’s great for Fergusonians in two ways: it presents some nice options close to home, and it draws people into the area.


These are the Ferguson Citywalk Originals: Banana Yummies, Cathy’s Kitchen,Celebrity Southern Soul Food, Cork, Corner Coffee House, Drake’s Place, Faraci Pizza, Ferguson Brewing Company Restaurant and Pub, Marley’s, Mimi’s Subway Bar and Grill, Vincenzo’s Italian Ristorante, The (soon to return) Whistle Stop, (Montrey’s Cigar Lounge isn’t technically a restaurant, but it is certainly a Ferguson CitywalkOriginal.)


The restaurant business can be tough. Small businesses do not have the economies of scale that a McDonald’s or Domino’s boasts: small businesses pay more for ingredients and equipment than a big franchise. That means they must charge more than McDonald’s – of course, you get a higher quality menu item for that money. The hours are demanding and create a real balancing act for a family business. With all those challenges, this small area along Florissant Road, Airport Road and Darst has a pretty nice concentration of small business restaurants.


The next few columns will explore the restaurant history of the Downtown District (Ferguson Citywalk). Possibly, by the time the current locations have been written about, there will be one or two new arrivals!

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