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Diner To Reopen Soon At Tucker & Washington

June 28, 2013 Downtown, Featured, Popular Culture 26 Comments

It has been a couple of years since the 12th Street Diner closed, in the same location will be a place called King Louie’s — no connection to the former King Louie’s on Chouteau:

The new King Louie’s will be a citified homage to the old, with “griddle” burgers, shakes–and (we hope) their signature potato “planks”–but also a full bar featuring local beers. An open-grill will allow Chef Rook some of the creativity and flexibility found in modern diners, like the ability to cook steaks, chops, and gourmet “Royal” burgers made from prime beef cuts. We’ve been told the legendary Chef Dave’s Gumbo (the one we’ve called the best in town) will indeed have a place on the menu. (St. Louis Magazine)

A “citified homage”? I like how that sounds!

King Louie's will soon open at Tucker & Washington.
King Louie’s will soon open at Tucker & Washington.
The new wider sidewalk along Tucker will be perfect for outdoor dining.
The new wider sidewalk along Tucker will be perfect for outdoor dining.
Public notices of hearings for liquor & cafe licenses
Public notices of hearings for liquor & cafe licenses, 2pm July 9th in Rm 416 of City Hall.

The main entrance faces Washington Ave. but the new sidewalk cafe will be a very nice addition to downtown, making this intersection interesting.

What remains to be seen is how the cafe will be done.

  • Open seating?
  • Short fence with limited entrance points?
  • Regular height tables or tall tables that wheelchair users can’t use?
  • Will a clear path be maintained?
  • Awning or umbrellas?

The same family operates the Empire Deli & Pizza in the former B&T Pizza space to the east. I’ve been pleased so far.

— Steve Patterson

  • JZ71

    I didn’t know that the old diner had closed – I’m guessing that the construction and detours on Tucker didn’t help – hope this tenant does better. This is also one of my favorite buildings along Washington, and I share your concerns about maintaining access for the public on the sidewalk.

  • JZ71

    I didn’t know that the old diner had closed – I’m guessing that the construction and detours on Tucker didn’t help – hope this tenant does better. This is also one of my favorite buildings along Washington, and I share your concerns about maintaining access for the public on the sidewalk.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      I’m pretty sure it closed before the work on Tucker started. Even if not it was clear to me it wouldn’t be around long. The original operator of the diner also operated the pizza location, both had issues and failed.

      • Guest

        It was open for awhile after work on Tucker started. I remember eating in one of the window seats when the there was a two-story drop right outside the window with the road deck and sidewalk removed.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      I’m pretty sure it closed before the work on Tucker started. Even if not it was clear to me it wouldn’t be around long. The original operator of the diner also operated the pizza location, both had issues and failed.

    • Terence D

      >>This is also one of my favorite buildings along Washington

      Really? Are we talking the old Days Inn building or am I mistaken?

    • Terence D

      >>This is also one of my favorite buildings along Washington

      Really? Are we talking the old Days Inn building or am I mistaken?

      • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

        That’s the one he’s talking about. It is a decent modern infill building. Not great, but not bad.

      • JZ71

        You are correct, sir – beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. I like the building’s scale, its articulated facade, its relationship to the street and the changes in color and signage and the improvements made during its renovation. Not every building needs to be red brick and look like it was built in the 1920’s to make a positive contribution to the streetscape, the built environment or the urban fabric.

        • Terence D

          Fair enough.

        • Terence D

          Fair enough.

      • JZ71

        You are correct, sir – beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. I like the building’s scale, its articulated facade, its relationship to the street and the changes in color and signage and the improvements made during its renovation. Not every building needs to be red brick and look like it was built in the 1920’s to make a positive contribution to the streetscape, the built environment or the urban fabric.

  • moe

    “Citified homage”….I know what it implies but really? Isn’t “Citified” what you’ve been preaching….I mean what’s the other option? Suburban homage? But considering the average reader of St. Louis Magazine, I think everything is Suburban homage.
    I love outdoor dining, especially with dog in tow. More and more options for people watching. However, I would like a follow up in a few months to see if the sidewalk is ADA compliant with their tables and chairs. Same with the coffee shop you blogged about a few months back.

  • moe

    “Citified homage”….I know what it implies but really? Isn’t “Citified” what you’ve been preaching….I mean what’s the other option? Suburban homage? But considering the average reader of St. Louis Magazine, I think everything is Suburban homage.
    I love outdoor dining, especially with dog in tow. More and more options for people watching. However, I would like a follow up in a few months to see if the sidewalk is ADA compliant with their tables and chairs. Same with the coffee shop you blogged about a few months back.

    • moe

      BTW….on a similar but different topic….I heard an interview yesterday with the developer of one of those outlet malls in Chesterfield. You know…extremely large parking lots, set back and mostly bland buildings. He was claiming the design of the mall exterior was, and I kid you not, a “homage” to Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style. Personally, I thing FLW would be turning over in his grave.

    • moe

      BTW….on a similar but different topic….I heard an interview yesterday with the developer of one of those outlet malls in Chesterfield. You know…extremely large parking lots, set back and mostly bland buildings. He was claiming the design of the mall exterior was, and I kid you not, a “homage” to Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie style. Personally, I thing FLW would be turning over in his grave.

      • Mark

        I seriously don’t think that would be the case at all. If the buildings “work”, then I think FLW would favor and support them, regardless of whether they comprise a shopping strip center or a private villa. I can’t recall ever reading that FLW had a big head.

      • Mark

        I seriously don’t think that would be the case at all. If the buildings “work”, then I think FLW would favor and support them, regardless of whether they comprise a shopping strip center or a private villa. I can’t recall ever reading that FLW had a big head.

      • Eric

        That sounds like a typical case of the architect’s ego demanding that he call himself an artist even when he is just a technician. But in all fairness, FLW was pretty anti-urban so that mall does sort of fit the style.

      • Eric

        That sounds like a typical case of the architect’s ego demanding that he call himself an artist even when he is just a technician. But in all fairness, FLW was pretty anti-urban so that mall does sort of fit the style.

  • Terence D

    >>It has been a couple of years since the 12th Street Diner closed,

    I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been quite that long. I’m thinking it closed around late last year. I’m pretty sure I ate there at least a couple of times last year.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      You’re correct, I found customer reviews from 2012. But it went downhill quickly after opening in Nov 2009. I’d say it was lucky to make it to 2012.

    • http://urbanreviewstl.com/ Steve Patterson

      You’re correct, I found customer reviews from 2012. But it went downhill quickly after opening in Nov 2009. I’d say it was lucky to make it to 2012.

  • Terence D

    >>It has been a couple of years since the 12th Street Diner closed,

    I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been quite that long. I’m thinking it closed around late last year. I’m pretty sure I ate there at least a couple of times last year.

  • http://yastlblog.blogspot.com/ Kevin Barbeau

    “What remains to be seen is how the cafe will be done.”

    That’s the question that the City could easily avoid by structuring/enforcing sidewalk cafe licenses consistently. For my current job in Chicago, applications for sidewalk cafe licenses regularly come across my desk. The City is very specific in its requirements and insists that a footprint schematic (as simple as it may be) be included with each application.

    You must have a dividing space between the cafe diners and those passing in the public way. you must provide at least six feet of cleared right of way for the length of the cafe. At least 50% of the cafe’s border must be accented with flowers or plants. There are additional regulations as well, but those are the main ones. And all should be easily achieved by a reputable business.

  • Lisa Helker

    A few years? I was there in Jan 2013, it was not closed. I found out last night it was though.

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