The former home of Olga’s Kitchen is vacant again, a futuristic machine outside of J.C. Penney dispenses frozen yogurt on demand and Famous-Barr French onion soup is a distant memory.
Inside and outside the mall, shoppers still have plenty of dining options, but it’s hard for some shoppers to forget about their favorites.
Here’s a look back at 11 of the most missed eateries in and around St. Clair Square.
Olga’s Kitchen closed in 2015, leaving St. Clair Square after 36 years. The Mediterranean restaurant was located near Dillard’s inside St. Clair Square. If you miss it, you can still find the eatery nearby at Alton Square Mall.
J. Buck’s left its Fairview Heights site at St. Clair Square in 2008 and later operated under a new ownership with a new name. Broadcaster Joe Buck and sister Julie Buck were principal owners of two of the seven J. Buck’s restaurants at the time.
More than a decade ago, a fire leveled one of Fairview Heights’ veteran eateries on an out lot of St. Claire Square. Pasta House caught fire Feb. 9, 2007, in the middle of the Friday night dinner rush. No one was hurt because the building was quickly evacuated.
But by the time the fire department arrived, the building was a total loss. Employees said they smelled smoke coming from the attic, but a cause of the fire could not be determined during an investigation by the state fire marshal. The rubble sat for weeks until the investigation was completed.
Quizno’s left the food court at St. Clair Square in 2011. Several other locations in the metro-east have closed, but you can still find the sandwich shop in Highland and Edwardsville.
Chick-fil-A left St. Clair Square in 2015. The chicken sandwich fast-food chain expanded in the metro-east with stand-alone restaurants at 2532 Green Mount Commons in Belleville and another near the mall at 6203 N. Illinois St. in Fairview Heights.
St. Louis Bread Co.
St. Louis Bread Co. left its corner spot on the upper level after the close of business on Jan. 22, 2008. Its neighbor, Waldenbooks, closed the same year after having been one of the original tenants at St. Clair Square when the mall opened in 1974. Hollister, a men’s and women’s clothing store associated with Abercrombie & Fitch moved in.
Max & Erma’s
Max & Erma’s Restaurant closed in 2012 after only a year in business. The Ohio-based restaurant chain had operated at St. Clair Square in a space adjacent to the mall. An employee from Max & Erma’s in Des Peres, Mo., said the restaurant closed a week ago because of a lack of business. The addition to the mall was initially built seven years ago as J. Buck’s. After J. Buck’s left, another restaurant and bar, Hanley’s Grill and Tap, operated there for a short time.
Casa Gallardo was a popular destination in the 1980s and 90s, when there were fewer restaurants in the metro-east. It said “adios” to Fairview Heights in 2011 after 29 years in business. The Mexican eatery had been operating there since opening on New Year’s Day in 1983. Cheddar’s Casual Cafe bought the property, which is an out lot located near St. Clair Square at 6600 N. Illinois St. Fairview Heights.
Logan’s Roadhouse in Fairview Heights suddenly closed its doors in 2015. The western-style steakhouse chain had built and opened the restaurant in 2007 on an out lot of St. Clair Square at 51 Lincoln Highway.
York Steakhouse, Famous-Barr Restaurant, Hardee’s, Mr. Bulky’s Candy Store and Teavana by Starbucks have vanished along with Wing It, a restaurant that moved into the former home of Olga’s more than a year ago.