Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill will open a third location, Gulf Shores Place, in St. Peters late this fall
Harry Parker and his wife, Erica Parker, opened the original Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill 17 years ago in Creve Coeur and the second location in Edwardsville, Illinois, 10 years after that. When the pandemic hit, they invested in a food truck to help keep their businesses alive, which ended up being a success.
“Coming out of this, I decided that we would continue to look for opportunities to grow. So, our focus now is to open that third restaurant in St. Peters,” Harry Parker said.
The concept for the third location, Gulf Shores Place, will stay true to the original Gulf Shores vision with a couple of new additions, including a fresh seafood market and a small retail shop. A New Orleans brunch cafe will also be open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The new location will be in St. Peters in the 5200 block of North Service Road on the other side of Interstate 70 from Mid Rivers Mall.
“This is new territory for us. It’s going to give us the opportunity to test [the concept], refine it, make it better and look at the growth,” Parker continued.
At 5400 square feet, the new space is larger than the Creve Coeur and Edwardsville locations. Seating for up to 125 guests will be available, including outdoor seating on two different patios (one on the brunch cafe side, one on the restaurant side). The restaurant side itself will be about the same size as the Creve Coeur location and will offer the same menu. The brunch cafe side will serve up Gulf Shores’ usual Sunday brunch menu seven days a week, including eggs Benedict, oysters Benedict, shrimp and grits, bananas Foster French toast and crawfish frittata.
The brunch menu is the only menu that Parker plans to expand at the new location. “My wife and I have about 14 items and we’re trying to decide, ‘What’s the best thing that would make a good brunch even better?’” Parker said.
The market side will carry popular New Orleans seafood like mahi-mahi, red snapper, scallops and alligator. Gulf Shores’ signature hot sauce, Cajun ranch and seasonings like Slap Ya Mama and Punch Ya Daddy will all be sold in the new retail shop as well.
“We’ll also probably do some cooking classes, like ‘how to cook Cajun.’ The spectrum is wide open for us to be able to do some things and offer folks an opportunity to eat more Cajun,” Parker said.
Parker and his wife plan to be at the restaurant interacting with customers often. “I think the advantage of a privately owned, mom-and-pop restaurant is that people get an opportunity to be in the space with the owners. The interface with the customer is so important,” Parker said.
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