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Feb 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Cevin Lee’

The Garden on Grand closes shortly after the one-year mark

Monday, December 4th, 2017

The long bar seats more than a dozen and offers classic and house cocktails, as well as wine and beer. Customers perched at the far end can watch the action in the partially open kitchen.


After just over a year in business, The Garden on Grand at 2245 S. Grand Ave., has shuttered, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. The announcement of the closure was made on the restaurant’s Facebook page: 

“Regretfully, after a little more than a year, The Garden on Grand will be closing its doors after a final dinner service on Saturday, Nov. 24. We have had an incredible year, filled with ups and downs, and in this season of gratitude, we want to thank you – our customers, staff, friends and family – for your invaluable support throughout the year. We are already working on the next chapter ­– stay tuned!”

The Garden on Grand opened in September 2016. Owner Cevin Lee and then-executive chef Kore Wilbert wanted to create health-focused dishes without sacrificing flavor. Sauce reviewed The Garden on Grand in December 2016.

Lee said the restaurant got off to a fast start and was never able to catch up. “We didn’t really get a chance to slowly grow the concept,” he said. “We got slammed from day one. The food and service was well received. We just came hard out of the gate and never recovered.”

Lee, who owns the property, said he is talking to some potential buyers, but nothing has been signed. He plans to open another concept at some point but said he intends to take his time and incorporate the lessons learned from the closure.

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 4:30 p.m. to include comments from Cevin Lee and to correct a statement describing dishes at the restaurant.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• First Look: The Garden on Grand

• Review: The Garden on Grand

• The Garden on Grand to open this fall

First Look: The Garden on Grand

Friday, September 9th, 2016



Just north of the hustle and bustle on South Grand, The Garden on Grand has opened with limited hours at 2245 S. Grand Blvd. As The Scoop reported in August 2015, owner Cevin Lee and executive chef Kore Wilbert hope to provide meals that are health-focused without sacrificing flavor.

Lee and Wilbert spent more than a year transforming the former Islamic Information Center into a 68-seat restaurant. Lee designed the interior, which features a long bar, exposed brick, repurposed metalwork and live plants. Dining tables were hewn from a single tree trunk.

The dinner menu includes eight appetizers like duck pot stickers and cashew and almond hummus along with eight entrees including coconut fried rice with shrimp, grilled lamb and roasted salmon. Wilbert sources some produce locally through vendors like Double Star Farms, Such and Such Farm and Hosco Farms. A full bar is available with more than a dozen house cocktails, as well as bottled beer and wine options. Seven brunch cocktails take a slushy turn; all but one features Hosco Farms sorbets.

The Garden on Grand is currently open Fridays and Saturday from 5 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for brunch. Lee and Wilbert will launch into regular hours Sept. 23, starting at 8 a.m. for breakfast. The restaurant will close after lunch and reopen at 5 p.m. for dinner service. Here’s a first look at The Garden on Grand:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky


The Scoop: The Garden on Grand to open this fall

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015



{Chef Kore Wilbert and his children}


South Grand will welcome its newest eatery this fall when The Garden on Grand, a progressive, fresh dining restaurant serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner opens its doors at 2245 S. Grand Blvd. Hoping to appeal as much to the neighborhood as to the health conscious, chef Kore Wilbert will put organic, locally grown ingredients into meals for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

“You can serve things like pork that aren’t traditionally considered healthy, but in the right portion size and paired with something healthy, you can have balance,” said Wilbert who came aboard eight months ago after serving as executive sous chef at DePaul Health Center.

Owner Cevin Lee was inspired to open the restaurant following his own journey into “raw, almost vegan” eating, which he said all but freed him from debilitating arthritis pain. “In three months of going cold turkey, I was basically able to get my immune system back to normal. It’s a lifestyle commitment and removing things from your body that shouldn’t be there and putting things in that your body needs,” said Lee whose family has owned neighboring Hong Kong Express for nearly 25 years.

Drawing on Lee’s Asian heritage and Wilbert’s affinity for Mediterranean cuisine, the menu is shaping up to be a house take on a variety of international classics like chop suey-style dishes, bahn mi and assorted Italian dishes. “We’re trying to do dishes that will please the neighborhood but are also healthy and wholesome,” Wilbert said.

Some of those wholesome ingredients include locally sourced produce including heirloom zucchini and zucchini blossoms, which will be grown specifically for The Garden on Grand. The restaurant will also include a fresh juice bar and will seat up to 55 diners.

Editor’s note: This post was updated Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. with the correct name of The Garden on Grand and an additional quote from owner Cevin Lee. 

-photo by Ashley Gieseking


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