New brunch spot to open in Eat-Rite building

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 10:23 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - The small diner at the corner of Chouteau Ave. and S 7th St. is getting a fresh start.

Most know it as Eat-Rite Diner. There’s some debate about how long it’s been there, but one thing is for sure, it is woven into St. Louis history.

“I used to come here when I was about 5 or 6 years old. I’m 46 now so at least 40 years,” said St. Louisan Willie Brewington.

Eat-Rite didn’t survive the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s been sitting empty for two years. This month, it will reopen as Fleur STL. Tim Eagan, a chef and a St. Louis native, bought the building with a vision.

“It’s not a big out-of-town operation,” Eagan said. “It’s not a big franchise. It’s going to be operated by me.”

Eagan will be cooking your breakfast and lunch items right there before your eyes.

The small layout of the building places the grill just feet from the counter. He said the layout makes hospitality a given, like your mother’s kitchen.

“If you’re that close and the customer doesn’t eat their meal, you know you need to make a change,” Eagan said.

Fleur STL will not be a 24-hour diner with three-dollar slingers like Eat-Rite. The plan is to serve breakfast and lunch and close before dinner. Eagan has plans to open a patio for brunch and has already gotten the liquor license to serve mimosas and bloody marys.

“It’s gonna be straightforward breakfast and lunch,” Eagan said. “We will have sandwiches, a burger that will rival the best in town, biscuits made fresh every day, slab bacon and house-made jams.”

While he is putting a modern “Sunday brunch spot” twist on a vintage diner, he is keeping some of the history of the building.

“I wanted to keep as much of the original as we could, but after the roof was gone, and we did have some water issues, the counter is gone, but the metal frame remains. The stools were rusted from being so old, but we powder-coated those black and gave them new life. We put in a new penny tile floor, walnut counters,” Eagan said.

He said they were even able to expose some of the building from the 1950′s that had been covered up.

“I think [people] will be pleasantly surprised when they come in,” Eagan said.

He said they will open to the public before the end of October.