Metro-East News

Mexican restaurant coming to O’Fallon; St. Louis entertainment complex announces tenants

Shrimp Primavera is a favorite dish at Mi Jalapeno Mexican restaurant in Smithton. Its owner plans to open a second location in O’Fallon in the coming weeks.
Shrimp Primavera is a favorite dish at Mi Jalapeno Mexican restaurant in Smithton. Its owner plans to open a second location in O’Fallon in the coming weeks.

Mi Jalapeno Mexican restaurant in Smithton is opening a second location at Sunrise Center strip mall in O’Fallon, near the Marcus movie theater.

The space, at 1333 Central Park Drive, formerly housed La Parrilla Mexican restaurant, which closed recently.

“My goal is to open in about six weeks,” said Mi Jalapeno owner Nick Pliego, 45, of High Ridge, Missouri. “It depends on the licensing.”

O’Fallon Community Development Director Ted Shekell said the city doesn’t yet have any official paperwork, but he knows about the new tenant.

“It will be great to have a vital new restaurant in that space,” he said. “We hate to see it empty. It’s a good location.”

Pliego grew up in Mexico, moved to the United States about 28 years ago and got into the restaurant business 15 years ago. He opened Mi Jalapeno in Smithton in 2015.

The food is more authentic than other Mexican restaurants. They use the same salsa on everything, and we have all different kinds of salsas.

Nick Pliego on his restaurant, Mi Jalapeno

“The food is more authentic than other Mexican restaurants,” he said. “They use the same salsa on everything, and we have all different kinds of salsas. And we sell a lot of seafood.”

Pliego is working to make the O’Fallon storefront look completely different from La Parrilla’s decor. He’s painting, installing new tables and booths and doing other remodeling.

“I can’t wait to see it,” said Laura Land, owner of The CoffeeHouse in the same strip mall. “It’s going to be fun. Maybe they’ll have different dishes (than La Parrilla).”

Land also serves food, but she welcomes the new tenant.

“We do different things, so we complement each other,” she said. “I wish success to them. I know they’re painting and doing a lot of stuff.”

Movies, food and beer

A theater chain that serves restaurant food, craft beers, fine wines and other cocktails to people while they’re watching movies is coming to St. Louis.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open a location in early 2019 in the City Foundry STL development at 3700 Forest Park Ave., former site of the old Century Electric factory, according to a press release.

We’ll soon be hiring a St. Louis team to bring our mix of blockbusters, indies, foreign films, documentaries and classic movies to the neighborhood.

Tim League on Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s new location

“We’re excited to become a part of the St. Louis film community at large, as well as a part of the vibrant City Foundry STL project,” stated company founder and CEO Tim League.

“We’ll soon be hiring a St. Louis team to bring our mix of blockbusters, indies, foreign films, documentaries and classic movies to the neighborhood.”

The location will include a 10-screen movie theater with more than 900 recliners and a full-service bar and restaurant with 48 craft beers on tap.

“Guests order all food and drinks from servers who quietly attend to them throughout the movie from inside the theater,” the press release stated.

alamo
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open a location in early 2019 in the City Foundry STL development at 3700 Forest Park Ave., former site of the old Century Electric factory. Provided photo

The chain, based in Austin, Texas, has 29 theaters in several states. Beyond food and drink, it’s known for strict rules that require moviegoers to follow proper theater etiquette.

“We have zero tolerance for talking or cellphone use of any kind during movies, and we aren’t afraid to kick anyone rude enough to start texting their friends during a show right out of the theater,” according to its website.

“We also hate it when other movie theaters make you watch advertisements after you’ve already paid to see the movie, so we’re vigilant about never letting ads hit our screens.”

Alamo Drafthouse St. Louis will showcase new releases, special events and the company’s “unique take on repertory programming,” according to the press release.

Each theater will feature top-of-the-line, digital 4K projection, dynamic surround-sound and luxury recliners with footrests.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will open a location in early 2019 in the City Foundry STL development at 3700 Forest Park Ave., former site of the old Century Electric factory. The company describes itself as a "lifestyle entertainment brand comprised of

Bowling, gaming and karaoke

A new restaurant, bar and entertainment complex is coming to St. Louis with eight bowling lanes, a bocce ball court, virtual reality games, private karaoke rooms and a 360-degree bar for watching TV sports.

Punch Bowl Social was the second company to announce last week that it plans to set up shop in the City Foundry STL development.

The Denver-based company has 11 locations in several states and eight more in the works. Its 26,000-square-foot St. Louis complex is expected to open in the summer of 2019, according to a press release.

St. Louis is often referred to as a hidden gem within the Midwest region, and after spending a significant amount of time there, I wholeheartedly agree.

Robert Thompson on Punch Bowl Social’s new location

“St. Louis is often referred to as a hidden gem within the Midwest region, and after spending a significant amount of time there, I wholeheartedly agree,” stated founding CEO Robert Thompson.

“(City Foundry STL) is a very distinct project with attributes that dovetail well with the Punch Bowl Social brand. It’s a gritty, urban space that promises to deliver an elevated experience for its visitors.”

The complex’s “diner-inspired” restaurant will serve craft beer and “made-from-scratch” food on a menu created by the company’s culinary partner, Hugh Acheson, “Top Chef” judge and James Beard Award winner.

The complex also will provide gathering spaces for small and large groups in an eclectic atmosphere with modern, industrial, Victorian and even mountain-lodge design elements. Virtual reality games also will be social.

“While lounging on comfy couches and enjoying sharable food and drinks, large-screen TVs enable the entire group to participate in the action, and dedicated servers and tech support team members are on hand to make the entire experience seamless,” according to the press release.

City Foundry STL is the “adaptive reuse” of the former 15-acre Century Electric Foundry site. It will contain the city’s “first true food hall,” retail and entertainment space and offices that make use of historical-industrial architecture.

“City Foundry STL is thrilled to welcome Missouri’s first Punch Bowl Social as an anchor tenant in our property,” said Steve Smith, president and CEO of Lawrence Group, which is developing the site.

“Punch Bowl Social complements the experiential and innovative vibe of City Foundry STL with its unique blend of social activities, highly creative menu and craft beverages. It’s a great fit.”

Teri Maddox: 618-239-2473, @BNDwriter

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