Squatter’s Cafe Will Close October 31, But Bulrush Is Coming to Grand Center

Squatter’s Cafe (3524 Washington Avenue, 314-925-7556) will be closing after lunch service on October 31. But don’t despair — it’s actually just one piece of a bigger puzzle that involves some seriously good news.

That news? Yesterday, Chef Rob Connoley finally announced a location for his long-awaited Bulrush. The restaurant, which will specialize in the cuisine of the Ozarks and utilize the acclaimed chef’s love of foraging, will aim for an early 2019 opening at 3307 Washington Avenue.

A Missouri native who made his name in New Mexico before returning to the St. Louis area in 2016, Connoley has been clear that Bulrush was always his Plan A[1]. But during his lengthy search for the perfect location, he ended up pursuing Plan B in the interim — the breakfast-and-lunch-only Squatter’s Cafe, located in the KDHX building.

The restaurant drew acclaim[2], but it always came second for Connoley to his Bulrush plans. And now that Bulrush is moving forward at long last, he’s posted on social media that yes, indeed, Squatter’s Cafe will soon begin its final month of service.

“We had an agreement with KDHX that is coming to a close,” the chef wrote on the restaurant’s Facebook page today after naming October 31 as its final day of service. “With us opening Bulrush there won’t be the ability to continue Squatters.”

But the chef isn’t going far: Bulrush will be located just three blocks east of Squatter’s.

And Connoley will, to some extent, even be working with the same stakeholders. In yesterday’s press release, Connoley indicates that his new landlords are Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, who were also instrumental in KDHX moving to its headquarters on Washington[3].

The Kranzbergs, Connoley notes in his press release, were the key to solving a problem that bedeviled him for two years — finding the perfect location for Bulrush.

“Why did this take two years? If you had told me in the fall of 2016 that it would take me two years to open Bulrush I would have thought you were nuts,” Connoley writes. “Two years later I’ve learned that there are a lot more players in the game than I had in my previous restaurant, and it was ultimately an issue of finding a landlord who believed in my vision, and how that vision fits into their larger development goals.

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