After four years in Belleville, Super Gyros has opened a second metro-east location, this one in Maryville.
The new location, at 2615 N. Center St., opened two weeks ago and has a drive-thru window and dining area for customers.
Owner Sami Chelbi opened his first location four years ago at 766 Carlyle Ave. in Belleville.
Since then, several menu items have become local favorites. Customers consistently ask for the same things, he said during an interview in 2015. Those items are still popular today. At the top of the list is the Italian beef sandwich, thin-sliced on crusty bread with your choice of red sauce or homemade gravy on the side. Next up is the gyro.
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If you look in the kitchen, you'll see Chelbi or one of his employees shaving slices of meat off the vertical spit. Cucumber sauce is a must to top it.
Other menu items include an Italian sausage sandwich, all-beef Chicago hotdog, Maxwell Street Polish, burgers, five chicken sandwiches and the Fabulous Greek Salad, made with lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and onions topped with sliced pepperoncini, Greek olives, feta cheese, oregano and homemade dressing on the side.
"We make our own sauce with cucumbers and sour cream, but after that, I can't tell you" the rest of the secret ingredients, he said with a grin. It's a family secret.
In 2013, Chelbi and his family came to the St. Louis area from Bloomington, where he and his brother run two eateries, hoping to open another Super Gyros. The Greek-Turkish family is originally from Chicago, to where his father immigrated in the 1970s.
"This is a family business. We're small, and we care about what people think of us," Chelbi said. "We want people to talk about us and know we have good service and good food."
New store will rent and sell instruments, offer music lessons
A national chain is opening a Fairview Heights store that will rent, sell and repair musical instruments and offer music lessons.
Music & Arts will be at 10 Lincoln Highway, just south of St. Clair Square, in a strip mall that also houses Clarkson Eye Care and Wee-Peats Kids Resale.
"We're the nation's largest lesson provider," said district manager Rachel Reese, based in Chicago. "We provide a safe environment. All of our teachers are background-checked, and they're recommended by the community. All of them have music degrees and some teaching experience."
The company also bills itself as the largest retail chain of band and orchestra instruments, including guitars and digital keyboards.
Becky Reeb, owner of Wee-Peats, was thrilled with news of the store's opening.
"I'm very excited," she said. "It's going to help our plaza. (It's) going to bring in a lot of families, and the parents will have some time to kill while their kids are taking lessons."
Music & Arts was founded more than 60 years ago in Bethesda, Maryland. It has expanded to include more than 160 stores across the United States and opened four stores in the St. Louis area in the past 10 years: St. Peters, Bridgeton, Town and Country, and Crestwood.
The company hopes to be operating in Fairview Heights by June 1. The 3,400-square-foot store will have retail space, seven lesson rooms and a waiting room for parents.
"Teachers choose their own rates because they are independent contractors," Reese said. "But usually it ranges from $20 to $25 per 30-minute session."
One more thing ...
Metro-east resident Toni Yarber has opened Verne's Gaming Cafe in Smithton.
Located at 101 N. Main St., the cafe serves free snacks and offers drink specials daily. The gaming parlor features five games, Yarber said.
There's also a bar and an area for people who aren't playing to relax. Yarber hopes the parlor, which features cozy home decor, becomes a destination for fun and games in the area.
She's also hoping to draw in a daytime crowd by serving coffee and free brownies to customers. The gaming parlor opens at 10 a.m. seven days a week.