Cory Flament knew he wanted his own business when he was a teenager.
The now 29-year-old also knew he needed a steady job so he could one day support a family and make that dream come true.
Today, the Utica, N.Y., native, along with his wife Brittany, 28, and his sister Bianca, 25, run Flamentco’s The Place American Eatery, which specializes in pizza, calzone and wings, as well as salad and pasta.
Cory is an 11-year, active-duty U.S. Navy lieutenant JG who works in downtown St. Louis as a human resources officer. He comes on board at the eatery after work to help his head-chef wife, sister and three other employees.
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It started when I was 16 and I applied to work at a pizzeria. I wanted to learn the business, the pizza business. I was starving for an opportunity.
Cory Flament on his passion
The owner taught him how to make dough and sauce from scratch, something the three do at Flamentco’s.
“I’ve tweaked them since,” Cory said with a grin. “I love making pizza.” Brittany got bitten by the bug, too, and Cory asked his sister, who had helped him make pizzas at age 13, to join them.
Events have moved rapidly for the trio, with the opening of the carryout restaurant Sept. 17, followed by a makeover last month by Cory. After selling out of food on two consecutive Fridays, they decided to reconfigure the space at the front of the store so customers could eat there, too. Now, there’s room for about 18 to sit in booths or at a table after ordering at the counter or calling ahead.
“It’s not full-service,” Cory explained. “It’s a typical pizzeria. We’ll cater to the customer if they open their pie here. That’s happened. It smells so good! I’ll see somebody and say, ‘Weren’t you taking it to go?’”
What you get at Flamentco’s is one-size thin-crust pizza, a 16-inch hand-tossed, foldable “pie” as it’s called on the East Coast. Cory doesn’t want to call their pizza “New York-style” because his family, which includes three daughters ages 9, 8 and 3, now call O’Fallon home.
“So, I call it O’Fallon-style pizza,” he said, with the slogan “We're pretty sure you haven’t tried your favorite pizza.”
The basic pizza with cheese starts at $12.95; the calzone at $8.95. Choose red, garlic cream or barbecue sauce. Then, choose toppings for $1 each. Or, order some of the specialty pizzas, including those named after the threesome: Britt’s Blazing Buffalo ($16.95, buffalo sauce, mozzarella, chicken, blue cheese crumbles and celery), Cory Pizza ($15.95, red sauce, mozzarella, provolone, marinated tomatoes, shallots, Genoa salami and bacon) and (Bianca’s) BB’s Mac & Cheese ($14.95, cheese sauce, macaroni and mozzarella).
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., pepperoni or cheese pizza by the slice is $2.
And while Cory is passionate about pizza, Brittany loves her wings, which are cooked to order, then tossed in signature sauces. The most popular so far, her husband said, are the Everything Wings, but you can also try barbecue, honey barbecue, Garlic Parm, Salt & Pepper, mild, hot, and Caribbean Jerk. Order 10 for $10.95, up to 30 for $29.95.
You’ll also find three salads on the menu and a handful of pasta dishes in lunch and dinner portions from $6.95 to $9.95. Mac & Cheese with grilled chicken comes three ways: Buffalo, regular or Bacon-Ranch. The fettuccine in the Alfredo-style Pasta Corianna is housemade.
And don’t forget the cannoli ($3.95) and Garlic Knots ($4,95 for five) to take home with your food.
Cory says to like the restaurant on Facebook and you’ll get notice of special off-menu items like pizza rolls.
The Flaments will cater with advance notice, too, and while not open on Sunday or Monday, promise to take orders on Super Bowl Sunday.
Cory said he and Brittany have been waiting a long time to open a restaurant.
“It will be 10 years in March we’ll be married,” he said. “We had a realistic goal to have a restaurant by our 10th anniversary. ... We dug deep, really deep, to make this happen.”
Flamentco’s The Place American Eatery
- What: Pizzeria serving pizza, calzone, wings, pasta. Carryout with limited seating for eating-in.
- Location: 711 W. Highway 50, O’Fallon
- Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday
- Information: 618-726-2275 or follow on Facebook