Three Flags Tavern closes partly due to Kingshighway bridge cons - KMOV.com

Three Flags Tavern closes partly due to Kingshighway bridge construction

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The owner of Three Flags Tavern says work on the Kingshighway bridge has forced him to shut the restaurant down. Credit: KMOV The owner of Three Flags Tavern says work on the Kingshighway bridge has forced him to shut the restaurant down. Credit: KMOV
SOUTH ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -

Three Flags Tavern has closed its doors after three years in business. The owner says construction on the Kingshighway bridge was a contributing factor as to why.

Crews have been working to rebuild the bridge for nearly two years. The two-year project is expected to be completed this summer. A spokesperson with the St. Louis Streets Department says they are on schedule with a partial re-opening at the end of April. But it wasn't soon enough for John O'Brien. 

"What has kept us open for as long as we have is enormous loyalty of our guests," said O'Brien, owner of Three Flags Tavern.

The restaurant sits on Southwest Avenue, near Kingshighway. O'Brien says he started to see a slow decline in sales after the bridge closed. 

"Six months in you started to see this is the number we were down from before the bridge and we took a number of corrective actions just to batten down the hatches and see where we're losing money, and how we can mitigate that," said O'Brien.

He said he did everything he could to keep it open. He cut staff in half and took lunch off the menu.

O'Brien said, "That was the first meal to feel the pain because it's so time dependent you only have an hour for lunch."

Despite the cuts, the math still didn't work. It was a tough decision, but O'Brien chose to shut it down. 

"The debt just started adding up and adding up and it just got to a point where we can't sustain it anymore so we closed," said O'Brien.

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