Metro-East Living

New $1 million day care coming to Freeburg; Sugarfire announces O'Fallon opening date

The long-awaited Sugarfire barbecue restaurant in O’Fallon will open April 30.
The long-awaited Sugarfire barbecue restaurant in O’Fallon will open April 30. Provided

It didn’t take long for word to spread about a new, tech-savvy day care that's coming to Freeburg.

Located at 605 N. State St., Imagination Station Early Childhood Development Center isn’t open yet, but the day care already has more than 50 children enrolled.

“We’re really excited,” co-owner Kyle Hawkins said. “We think it will be a good thing for the community. It’s been well received already.”

The new $1 million facility, which is expected to open in August, will be equipped with Apple TV technology. This will make it easy for teachers to add interactive lessons to the curriculum, Hawkins said.

Imagination Station is the second day care Hawkins has developed. He built Five Star Learning Center in Troy, too.

Hawkins, the father of two from Belleville, is also responsible for several residential developments in the region, including Trails Edge Townhomes in Maryville.

A look at Imagination Station, a new day care coming to Freeburg this summer. Provided

The opening of Imagination Station will come nearly a year after Lighthouse Learning Center closed in Freeburg. After 11 years, the day care on South Alton Street closed, with its owner calling the building "a money pit."

Owner Mary Kay Prader said the 175-year-old building on South Alton Street had about 50 children when it closed.

The new 7,050-square-foot day care in Freeburg will be able to accommodate about 100 children, Hawkins said.

In addition to tech-savvy classrooms, the day care will feature a custom kitchen, allowing the program to make its own meals. There will also be a 3,000-square-foot playground with rubber mulch.

Looking for more information? Email the center at or call co-owner Angela Kimmle at 618-974-9541.

Sugarfire sets opening date for O'Fallon

The long-awaited Sugarfire barbecue restaurant in O’Fallon will open April 30.

The nationally recognized St. Louis barbecue chain has been under construction in O’Fallon since October, with opening originally anticipated near the end of February. It is the first metro-east location for Sugarfire, which has six other locations.

Barbecue and a bluesy setting are on the menu at downtown St. Louis location.

On Tuesday, the chain reported on its Facebook page that the decor package has arrived for the new restaurant and they now anticipate opening on April 30.

The 3,800-square-foot restaurant will be located at 1405 Green Mount Road, on the north parking lot of the Blade Building, also known as Green Mount Professional Building.

Sugarfire opened in Olivette, Missouri, in 2012 and has expanded to downtown St. Louis, St. Charles, Valley Park, Washington and O’Fallon, Missouri. It is described by its spokesmen as an “award-winning restaurant known for its succulent brisket, pulled pork and ribs, as well as its signature sandwiches and sides that shine light on (partner Mike) Johnson’s dynamic capacity.”

Sugarfire also recently beat out longtime catering company Catering St. Louis to take over management of The Boathouse, a popular waterside restaurant in Forest Park. Sugarfire also operates Sugarfire Pie, Hi-Pointe Drive-in and Cyrano’s.

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