Metro-East News

Burger King opening in Highland soon, pizza buffet suddenly closes its doors for good

Burger King is coming to Highland

The new Burger King in Highland will open before the end of the year, developers say.
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The new Burger King in Highland will open before the end of the year, developers say.

Developers say the Burger King being built at the intersection of Illinois 143 and Koepfli Lane in Highland will open before the end of the year.

James Needham, director of Operations at Broadway Restaurant Group, the developers of the project, said the burger shop will be open the last weekend of December or, at the very latest, on New Year’s Eve.

“Without a doubt, we’ll have the doors open before the end of the year. We’re in a rapid push to get this done,” he said. “We are dead set on getting it ready and opening before the end of the year.”

The land had been owned by First Cloverleaf Bank, which intended to build a new branch on the property, but has remained vacant for a number of years before being purchased.

Ben Hidalgo, the principal of Net Lease Development in Forth Worth, Texas, applied for the special-use permit on behalf of the bank and Broadway Restaurant Group in June. Hidalgo’s business has been developing the property for the franchise

Needham said his company is looking forward to the opening in Highland after a busy six months. He said his company had been tracking the growth of the city for some time, waiting for a good opportunity to expand the franchise to Highland.

“It’s always been a community we’ve been watching. It’s something we’ve been wanting to go after for a long time,” Needham said. “We’re excited to be coming to the community and giving more options to the town.”

Broadway Restaurant Group was founded in 2016 and currently has more than 34 Burger King locations in the greater St. Louis area and Southern Illinois, according to Henry Delouvrier, the group’s managing partner.

The new fast food spot is the latest of three new additions to the area, joining Jimmy Johns and Krispy Krunchy Chicken, both of which opened in the past three months.

Best Pizza Buffet manager Janis Mertens talks about the challenges to scoring a 100 on the restaurant health inspection. The restaurant is located across from SWIC in Green Mount commons.

After four years in business, Belleville pizza restaurant suddenly closes

After four years in business, Belleville pizza restaurant suddenly closes

Best Pizza Buffet at Green Mount Commons in Belleville has suddenly closed.

The restaurant, located at 2525 Green Mount Commons Drive, was dark Wednesday afternoon as customers walked up to the door. A sign on the door implied that someone would return by 11 a.m., but at 3 p.m. Wednesday the doors remained locked and the phone line was disconnected. Doors to the restaurant were also locked during normal business hours Monday and Tuesday.

“We’ve got 4,000 square feet here,” owner John Brisk after opening the pizza buffet in 2014.

Brisk, who also owns Tim & Joe’s and Cutter’s in Belleville, could not be immediately reached for comment late Monday afternoon.

When Best Pizza Buffet opened four years ago, the restaurant got a complete makeover, with tile entry, carpeted dining room, beadboard wainscoting, creamy yellow walls and black ceiling fans.

The space was previously occupied by Jan’s Hallmark. Best Pizza Buffet isn’t the first Belleville restaurant to close this year. A few miles down the road, IHOP on Carlyle Avenue permanently closed in August and early this year the Arbor Room at Bel-Air Bowl closed after 58 years in Belleville.

One more thing

Still shopping for holiday gifts and clothing?

Extended holiday shopping hours will begin at St. Clair Square Mall next week.

Starting Dec. 14 through Dec. 20, the mall will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday with the exception of Dec. 16. That day the mall will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to the mall’s website.

Mall hours will be even longer a few days before Christmas.. Shoppers can snag last minute gifts from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. De. 21-22. , 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 23 and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Christmas Eve.

Cara Anthony covers restaurants and retail for the Belleville News-Democrat, where she works to answer readers’ questions about restaurant openings, business closures and the best new dishes in the metro-east. She attended Althoff Catholic High School in Belleville and grew up in East St. Louis.

Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.