Metro-East News

Build-A-Bear will downsize at mall; soul food restaurant to open in Belleville

C and C Food For Your Soul

C and C Food For Your Soul will open near downtown Belleville late this summer or early fall. Christi Robertson and daughter Christin Robertson will feature comfort food like fried chicken and soul food such as ox tail.
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C and C Food For Your Soul will open near downtown Belleville late this summer or early fall. Christi Robertson and daughter Christin Robertson will feature comfort food like fried chicken and soul food such as ox tail.

Changes are underway at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights, starting with Build-A-Bear downsizing.

Build-A-Bear will move out of its storefront space and settle into a kiosk on the lower level of the mall.

It’s not the first big change for the stuffed-toy chain.

Vacating its storefront space in Fairview Heights comes 10 months after Build-A-Bear’s location at the St. Louis Zoo permanently closed.

This move will allow Victoria Secret’s PINK store room to expand, a mall spokesman said.

PINK will gain 3,000 square feet when Build-A-Bear moves downstairs at the end of the month.

More mall news

L Brands, the parent company for Victoria’s Secret and PINK, plans to open a third underwear and lingerie store in the mall this year.

La Senza is expected to open by September, giving shoppers a new place to explore a few months before Black Friday rolls around.

Its parent company describes the shop as its “famously sexy brand.” La Senza has 320 locations worldwide.

Forever 21 will move out of its storefront space and into space previously occupied by New York and Company and The Limited. That change will double Forever 21’s size, a mall spokesman said, allowing the store to bring in more lines and inventory.

Other additions include All Star Kutz and Zobra on the upper level. All Star Kutz will open soon near Dillard’s on the upper level. The old-school barbershop for boys and men will bring life back to the vacant storefront next to LensCrafters. In the food court, Zobra opened about a month ago. This vendor offers Mediterranean food and dishes from the Middle East.

Swedish clothing retailer H&M is expected to open next summer. The company, officially Hennes and Mauritz Inc., announced its plans last month.

Snow Factory Roll Ice Cream opened this spring at the mall. Located on the upper level of the mall near Auntie Anne’s Pretzels in the food court, Snow Factory Roll Ice Cream’s menu offers a variety of flavors and toppings.

Soul food on its way

Christi Robertson plans to open C and C Food for Your Soul at 225 N. Illinois St., just two blocks from downtown Belleville’s Public Square.

Robertson expects to have her soul and comfort food restaurant ready by late summer or early fall.

Fried chicken, a jumbo burger, meatloaf, oxtail, smothered pork chops, black-eyed peas and macaroni and cheese are some of the items she plans to offer in the restaurant.

“I’m bringing not just soul food to your table, I’m bringing food for your soul,” Robertson said. “I want you to feel like you’re sitting at grandmother’s table when you come in.”

A jazz brunch with live music is planned for Sundays. Lunch and dinner will be offered Wednesdays through Fridays. On Saturdays, she plans to open for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.

The “C and C” in the restaurant’s name comes from Robertson’s first name and that of her daughter Christin, who is a senior at Belleville West High School.

The restaurant is planned for a vacant storefront along North Illinois Street. Robertson and her family have been busy renovating the space, which is along the section of North Illinois Street that recently was overhauled with new sidewalks, pavement and lighting. Parking is available directly behind the restaurant as well as on C Street and in a city parking lot at the intersection of B and Illinois streets.

Information is available on the restaurant’s page on Facebook and its website at candcfoodforyoursoul.com.

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