After 24 years in Fairview Heights, Houlihan’s closed its doors Sunday and reopen next month with a new name — TBD Bar + Social — and concept.
Houlihan’s opened in 1994 as a casual dining restaurant at 15 Ludwig Drive. It has become a destination for dining since then, but the restaurant’s parent company wants to test a new concept in the metro-east, a market saturated with traditional dining chains.
TBD Bar + Social will open Aug. 1 after a major makeover inside and out.
“We don’t call it a restaurant,” said Amy Freshwater, a spokeswoman for the company. “It’s a bar that has really great food and fun things to do in there. It’s just going to be a great experience.”
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An indoor patio will feature oversized games such as giant Jenga, giant Connect Four, giant Battleship and cornhole. Garage doors will be added to the outdoor patio to give the building more of an urban feel. Children will not be allowed in the bar after 9 p.m. The bar will mostly be a destination where adults hang out after work and on the weekend.
What about the food? Don’t expect to see Houlihan’s wings and appetizers on the menu at TBD Bar + Social. Everything about that brand is going away. A new menu will feature bar food and new drink menu.
The Fairview Heights location will be the second TBD Bar + Social in the country. Houlihan’s parent company opened the first location in San Antonio earlier this year.
What’s with the name? TBD stands for exactly what you think it does: To Be Determined.
“People often plan their socials with a TBD destination,” Freshwater said. “They know they want to meet up with friends, but don’t necessarily know where to go. We have the answer. We wanted to provide a laid back place where every hour feels like happy hour. Guests can eat, drink, play and relax.”
New Edwardsville restaurant coming soon
Two years after EdgeWild was named one of the best winery restaurants in the country, the restaurant is expected to open its third location, inside the former home of the Bull & Bear Grill & Bar in Edwardsville.
“We’re extremely excited to bring our concept to Edwardsville,” EdgeWild director of operations Todd Wyatt said. “I like to say, ‘We’ll give people an excuse not to travel to St. Louis to dine.’”
Bull & Bear closed in April after 10 years in Edwardsville. Before that, the restaurant was known as Krieger’s Bar and Grill.
EdgeWild owner Andy Kohn took over the operation before Bull & Bear closed. His team has re-imagined the inside of the restaurant and expanded the patio, which will feature a fire pit.
Kohn and his team are transforming the restaurant, located at 1071 State Route 157, into a destination for drinks, dining and craft beer lovers.
More than 30 craft beers will be on tap; two dozen more will be available behind the bar.
The restaurant’s Creve Coeur location is already known for its beer selection. Edwardsville could become a destination for both.
Kohn wants to work with local breweries, including Belleville’s Main Street 4204 and Schlafly Beer in St. Louis.
What’s on the menu?
Kohn and Wyatt said they want give patrons favorites they’ll enjoy time and time again. Pizza, burgers, steak, pasta, salad and EdgeWild’s award-winning wings will be on the menu, along with the restaurant’s popular pistachio herbed goat cheese.
Can’t wait to try EdgeWild? The restaurant group’s locations in Creve Coeur and Chesterfield are open seven days a week.
Shoe store plans to close its doors next month
Famous Footwear in Fairview Heights is expected to close next month, leaving another storefront vacant at the Lincoln Place Shopping Center.
Hhgregg, the bankrupt electronics retailer, vacated the same shopping center last year. Famous Footwear’s corporate office expect the store to remain open until the end of August.
Famous Footwear has three locations in the metro-east. The Belleville Crossing and Green Mount Crossing locations will remain open, according to a sign in the store.
The Fairview Heights store, located at 5945 N. Illinois St., is the only location offering 50 percent off merchandise. For more information, call 618-234-2925.
Fairview Heights comedy club closing
The last comedy club standing in the metro-east has closed its doors after four years of laughter and fundraising in Fairview Heights.
Hey Guys Comedy Club opened in 2014 at 5225 N. Illinois St. with seating for 266 guests. In a Facebook post shared on July 4, the club — the last of its kind in the metro-east — announced its closing.
“Unfortunately, attendance figures and revenue never materialized to a level sufficient to continue operations,” the owners of Hey Guys wrote in a statement. “We would like to take this opportunity to thank our loyal fans, families and friends who supported us throughout the last four years. We could not have lasted as long as we did without you, and we sincerely appreciate everything you all did to support us, including attending shows, bringing friends, sharing our posts and announcements, and reviewing us on Facebook, Yelp and other web pages.”
The club was the fourth comedy venue to open in the metro-east. It’s also the fourth to close.
Art Vieluf opened the first comedy club in the metro-east 23 years ago in Collinsville. He moved the club to Fairview Heights in 1993, and when it closed for good, he gave old portraits of famous comedians to Hey Guys, which was viewed as a place where young and upcoming comedians could practice their craft.
Hey Guys also raised money — more than $100,000 — for local nonprofits and served as a venue for young music students to showcase their talents.
But that wasn’t enough to keep the doors open.
The club opened two years after Comedy Etc. II closed at the Ramada Inn. That hotel was demolished in 2014.
“Fairview Heights has always had a comedy club,” mall owner Vernon Dulaney told the Belleville News-Democrat during a 2014 interview.
Hey Guys is the fourth comedy club to close in the last 20 years. Comedy Etc., the Funny Bone and Comedy Etc. II are also closed. Funny Bone, Helium, The Laugh Lounge and The Improv Shop remain open in the St. Louis area.
Bruce Veach, Shelbie Wohlstadter, Alex Bacchetti and his wife, Shireen, came together to open the club that formerly housed Cupids Steakhouse and Baxter’s Sports Bar.
Countless acts have visited the club, making it hard to say goodbye.
“So now, we say farewell,” the owners wrote in a final statement. “But before we go, one last time, as we did at every show at Hey Guys Comedy, we would like to send out a final salute: “To all those who have served this great country, and to every man and woman currently holding a post somewhere around the world to keep us safe and free, we say, may God bless you, may He keep you safe, and may He bring you home soon.”
Cupcake shop teams up with Sugarfire for chicken and waffles cupcake
Warning: Putting fried chicken, a waffle, cinnamon maple frosting and caramel sauce on top of a cupcake could increase your need for a napkin and a nap after consumption.
Oh yeah, you can add hot sauce if you’re feeling spicy.
Smallcakes Cupcakery in Fairview Heights has teamed up with Sugarfire 64 to create a one-of-a-kind cupcake for their followers.
The “Chicken and Waffles” is a vanilla cupcake ($3.75) topped with fried chicken from Sugarfire 64.
You can order this cupcake two ways — spicy or mild. The chicken for the hot version is tossed in Sugarfire’s signature hot sauce.
“I think it’s very unique idea, and anytime we can support local business, that’s great,” said Tyson Long, Sugarfire 64’s executive chef. “Any collaborations like this, we are all for.”
Want to try it? It’s only available on Thursdays at Smallcakes through the end of July. Located at 5200 N. Illinois St. next to Jimmy John’s in Fairview Heights, the shop is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.