stone soup cottage in cottleville, missouri photo courtesy stone soup cottage

Stone Soup Cottage to reopen later this month for service, close permanently next June

Like many restaurants, lauded fine dining establishment Stone Soup Cottage closed early in the pandemic to reevaluate how to move forward. This week, its owners announced a new plan to reopen doors for a limited amount of time. “We’re opening from Sept. 24 until next June,” explained Nancy McConnell, who co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Chef Carl McConnell. “We sort of chose the timing to end in June – that’s actually when we started the conception of Stone Soup, so we felt like it was a good time to finalize things.” McConnell said that once closed, the brand won’t go away. She and her husband will take it in a new direction, though she didn’t say more about what that might look like. 

“What we wanted to do for the next nine months is really get back to the original vision we had, in the little cottage that was only 20 seats,” McConnell said. “When we started, we were in an historic stone building that was never meant to be a restaurant. We really want to go back to that.” Going forward, the restaurant will offer a seven course chef's tasting menu, which includes a new cheese course as well as a new non-alcoholic pairing. Seatings will be offered on Friday and Saturday nights by reservation only.

McConnell said that tickets for seats through the end of the year sold out quickly. “Guests are really seeking to have that intimate experience again,” she said, adding that reservations for January through March will go live at 7 a.m. on Oct. 5.

Over the past year and a half, the McConnells have kept things going through new modes of service. “We were pivoting quite a bit. We had to figure out quickly to see how we were going to try to be our brand,” McConnell said. They came up with a delivery service called Cottage to Carriage, which gave the “all-inclusive, luxury boutique feel” of their restaurant. Deliveries to customers included linens, stemware, bottles of wine and prepared meals. “That really took off more than we ever thought it would,” she said. “Here we were, just trying to keep the lights on.”

McConnell said that one of the big reasons they chose to temporarily reopen was to allow guests to use their gift cards. “That was really important to Carl and I,” she said, adding that her decision was affirmed when the first group of tickets sold out in three hours.