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Aug 01, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop: New restaurant The Choice is something special by Lillian

February 6th 11:02am, 2013



The boutique clothing and accessories shop Something Special by Lillian was in operation for more than 20 years. Owner Lillian Cooper closed her Central West End shop two years ago, but she hopes her new venture into the world of food service will be, likewise, something special.

The Choice opened two weeks ago at 3265 S. Jefferson Ave., at the intersection of Utah Avenue. The restaurant specializes in home-style cooking and is a reflection of Cooper’s upbringing in Augusta, Ga. The Choice offers a cafeteria-style buffet, plus a separate a la carte menu with table service in its bar and lounge area. Among the 20-item buffet, diners will find fixin’s like fried chicken, pork roast, ribs, baked and fried fish, and Southern staple sides like lima beans, yams and cooked bitter greens. (The Scoop gives a nod to its breaded eggplant.) The buffet is priced at $11 (including a drink but not dessert) and is also available for carry-out. The a la carte menu features a selection of entrees – Southern inspired dishes as well as standard bar and grill fare – plus sandwiches and sides.

Viewed from the outside, The Choice doesn’t stand out from the other century-old brick buildings in Benton Park West. However, walk upstairs to the bar and lounge and discover a gorgeous wooden bar, antique lamps, ornate oversized mirrors and gilded fixtures that should make The Choice a comfortable place to take a seat when that grand piano gets put to use for live (vocal) jazz and blues on weekends.

The Choice is open daily for lunch and dinner, except Mondays. A website and Facebook page are under construction.

By Ligaya Figueras

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9 Responses to “The Scoop: New restaurant The Choice is something special by Lillian”

  1. Eunice Beckwith Says:
    February 6th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Delightful ambiance, great food and supreme hospitality. Here’s wishing you much success with your new business.

  2. JHL Says:
    February 6th, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    You realize this space was the original Richard Perry Restaurant….when he redid it as a bistro it had ” great bones” but when he got the offer to move to the Majestic he left a lot behind and then came back to open a short lived and simpler ” Jefferson Avenue Bistro” . I bet much of the woodwork was in tact.

  3. Peggy Taylor Says:
    February 7th, 2013 at 9:16 am

    While I must admit it was my sisters idea to vist The Choice….I was willing to give it a try. The unimposing building is quite deceptive as you enter and find the splendor inside!! The service was outstanding. We enjoyed the meal and all food was tasty and well prepared. I am looking forward to returning again.

  4. Laura Burton Says:
    February 8th, 2013 at 1:30 am

    Superb! This restaurant is special because you can dine casual or formal in a relaxed, elegant and warm atmosphere. The Choice” is an EXPERIENCE that tantalize one’s sense of beauty, design, and most of all the taste buds. all this is topped off with outstanding service, architectural interests throughout with surprise corners and nooks to enjoy a glass of wine and good conversation. Look out St. Louis “The Choice”is here!

  5. Bill Byrd Says:
    February 8th, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Miss Lillian and Rick have envisioned a truly great place. With the different areas, this space can be family friendly, intimate dining, and at any of the intimate small tables around the lounge area to people can enjoy a drink and not realize anyone else is around.

    With music from the baby grand (evenings) to the terrific service, you would be hard pressed to find another location with the atmosphere and terrific food as you would find at The Choice. Make The Choice and enjoy yourself!

  6. Aaron Gines Says:
    February 14th, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    A friend and I were conversating today & he asked me had I ever heard of The Choice & I Said No but after hearing about The menu & the atmosphere I will defiantly be going soon. Looking forward to the experience….Stay tuned for the comments.

  7. Toni Minion Says:
    May 23rd, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    I had dinner at this resturant just last night. The food was great, reasonably priced, the atmosphere was grown and sexy, and the service was superb! The owners were engaging and down to earth! Great place for a first date or a girls night out! oh and please try the bread pudding.. to -die-for! This place is a hidden jewel!

  8. Carolyn Barnes Says:
    June 20th, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Lillian, I wish you much success. With a name “Something Special by Lillian” can’t be anything but great!
    Hope to see you soon, Lewis passed away May 24th and I’m just in a time capsule.
    Much love to you.

    Carolyn Barnes

  9. Trayne Wallace Says:
    October 3rd, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Mr Rick and Lillian, it is such a pleasure to hear that you finally I have open your dream, you spoke about this in your grandmother’s recipes 30 some odd years ago and I am so happy for you. Lillian when I heard that it was the top notch first class restaurant in the city I knew there’s no other way that it could be because the type of person that you are. I was even inform that when it rains you come out to the car with the umbrella. Now that is putting on the Ritz. I love you very much and much success. I know you know that I’m no longer in the city I’m back in Cleveland Ohio, because I would have been there when the doors opened. Trayne

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