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Jan 21, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Benton Park Cafe’

The Scoop: Café Piazza to open in Benton Park

Friday, March 31st, 2017



Vito La Fata III, owner of Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante in Midtown, is opening a new concept in Benton Park. Café Piazza will debut in the former Benton Park Cafe space at 1900 Arsenal St., early this summer.

La Fata described the cafe as a hybrid between a fast-casual pizza concept and a more traditional dine-in restaurant with approximately 50 seats and possibly outdoor seating.

Café Piazza will be open for breakfast with frittatas, breakfast pizzas and pastries on the menu, and additional morning offerings on the weekend. Lunch and dinner will feature pizzas, salads, soups, panini and a gelato case.

“There won’t be any pastas or entrees,” La Fata said. “The main focus is on pizzas, but we’ll have some fun appetizers, and we’ll bring our arancini recipe over to the cafe.” Beer, wine and cocktails will also be available.

La Fata said the inspiration for the project is the Italian piazza, a gathering place where anyone can take some time out of their day and relax a bit. “We want to make it a neighborhood pit stop, where people can stop their hectic day, sit down and have a conversation,” he said.

Courtesy of Cafe Piazza 

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

From a Benton Park staple moving down the street to a Clayton institution closing doors after 16 years, here’s what went down last week in the STL food scene, in case you missed it.




1. After nearly 10 years at 1900 Arsenal St., Benton Park Cafe is moving – but not too far. Owner Jessica Lenzen is relocating the restaurant to 2901 Salena St. (the former home of Jax Cafe) at the end of October.

2. After 16 years, owner Josh Allen is closing doors at Companion‘s Clayton cafe on Oct. 30. The cafe in Ladue and baking campus in Maryland Heights will both remain open.




3. Pay no attention to the Spare No Rib signs at 2200 Gravois Ave.; Egg is now open for weekday breakfast and lunch in the barbecue joint’s original location.

4. Got $10 and a friend? Then contributor Holly Fann has eight delicious deals you need to devour this month on Budget Crunch.




5. Combine the brewing prowess of a Ste. Genevieve staple with the skill and experience of a downtown restaurant powerhouse, and you have Charleville Brewing Co. and Restaurant. The owners of the Ste. Genevieve brewery have joined forces with Paul and Wendy Hamilton of Hamilton Hospitality to open the new concept at 2101 Chouteau Ave., in early 2017.

6. The Cup will close its Chesterfield location at 1590 Clarkson Road at the end of business on Saturday, Dec. 24, to focus on expanding delivery services and distribution.




7. Most St. Louisans won’t be lucky enough to grab a seat at Washington University, but we can post up at these fine establishments with a cold cocktail or beer, watch the debate and engage in some lively – and hopefully civil – discourse.

8. Laurie and Eric Moore are bringing East Coast sweets to Maplewood. Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream is expected to open in the former I Scream Cakes location at 7326B Manchester Road on Nov. 1.


The Scoop: Benton Park Cafe to find a new home in old Jax Cafe space

Friday, October 7th, 2016



After nearly 10 years at 1900 Arsenal St., Benton Park Cafe is moving – but not too far. Owner Jessica Lenzen is relocating the restaurant to 2901 Salena St. (the former home of Jax Cafe) at the end of October.

“I had been looking for over a year, but had done actual shopping for about six months,” she said. “Then all of the sudden, Jax closed, and I had been looking at that place for years. I think they literally closed on a Sunday, and I was knocking on their door on Thursday.”

Lenzen rents Benton Park Cafe’s current location, and she said the ability to own the new space appealed to her. She plans to move her growing family to the apartment above the restaurant. “I’m so excited to not come to work and pull weeds and do the flowers and have to go home and pull weeds and do the flowers all over again,” she said.

Lenzen said the space’s contemporary design and flow were also good selling points. “I like the mix of old and new: I like the exposed brick, but I also like a new espresso machine,” she said. “The space is designed to be like a kitchen in someone’s home … where people naturally gather.”

Benton Park Cafe will keep the same hours of operation and menu for now. Lenzen plans to do some rebranding and is currently working on a new logo with help from local artist Phil Jarvis. While the new location is comparable in size to the old space, the Salena Street location will have 90 seats to fill, about a dozen or so more than the current spot. Lenzen said she hopes to open up an outdoor bar and patio space in the backyard area behind the restaurant in the spring.

Brunchers won’t have to wait long to check out the new space. Lenzen will close the current location on Oct. 24 and hopes to reopen at the new spot the last weekend of October.

Meatless Monday: Easy like Sunday morning

Monday, May 7th, 2012

On my bike ride to work, I often shift my trip so I can take a whiff of Benton Park Cafe – aka the perfect place to extend that “easy like Sunday morning” feel into the workweek. Last Monday, I just had to sneak into this South City cafe before work for just one more cup of joe and a meatless meal to start the week off right.

The Ultimate Benedict (hold the bacon, thank you very much) is a hearty meal that takes down a case of “the Mondays” with a full helping of nearly every food group. Here, toasty English muffins are topped with balloon-like poached eggs, soft and fluffy to the touch. Chopped tomatoes and creamy avocado dot the plate alongside salty sautéed spinach, all doused in a luscious hollandaise. Split open the oozy eggs and those once-crisp muffins act as a sponge for that sinfully egg-y mess.

Full yet? I’m not done. This not-to-be-missed decadence is capped off with a side of “loaded” potatoes – super-soft taters so tender you can smash ‘em with a slight nudge of your fork. Nestled with cheese and a pop of pepper, these buttery, salty spuds take this dish into food-coma territory. I’ll have the fruit next time, I promise.

OK, so maybe this isn’t the best way to start off a workday, considering the near-comatose feeling that will take over once you’ve headed out the door. But if I’ve officially convinced you to play hooky from work, be sure you destroy all the evidence: Lick the plate clean and pay with cash. You’ll be home on the couch snoozin’ away those responsibilities in no time. Don’t have any sick days left? No worries. Benton Park serves breakfast everyday until close.

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