la calle photo by iain shaw

Mexican restaurant La Calle will open in the Grove in St. Louis this spring

A new Mexican restaurant, La Calle, will open at 4121 Manchester Ave. in the Grove. The restaurant is currently slated for a late March or early April opening, and will serve tacos, burritos, margaritas and more. 

La Calle is the latest project from Sebastian Montes, who is also a co-owner of El Burro Loco, which has locations in Central West End and downtown St. Louis. Located in the space that most recently housed Ember, and prior to that Siam and Novak’s, La Calle measures 4,400 square feet, with Montes currently estimating a combined indoor and outdoor capacity of around 200 guests.

Montes said opening La Calle fulfils an ambition he’s held virtually since moving to St. Louis from California over a decade ago. Back then, Montes met HandleBar owner Tatyana Telnikova, whose startup story made a lasting impression on him. “I always kept that in my mind, it’s been 12 or 13 years since I heard that story, and I was like ‘I’m going to open something on my own,’” he said.

By a twist of fate, La Calle’s location at 4121 Manchester Ave. just happens to be right next door to HandleBar. “When I saw this place, I fell in love with the patio and then the community,” Montes said. “There’s a lot of variety of people and cultures here in the Grove that I like.”

Montes describes La Calle as “a Miami-style South Beach taco place,” with a menu that will prominently feature items inspired by Mexican street food (the name means “the street” in Spanish). “I’m going to make some fun stuff that is Mexican and also more of the West Coast of the States, a combination of everything,” he said.

Tacos will be one of the main attractions, with the selection including alambre (carne asada with bacon, chiles toreados, cotija and pico de gallo) and birria, as well as a build-your-own-taco offering. Montes said the restaurant will endeavor to make its own tortillas from scratch. La Calle will also offer burritos, quesadillas, esquites (corn served off the cob) and more.

With liquor license applications currently severely backlogged in the city, Montes said he doesn’t expect to be serving alcohol in La Calle’s initial phase of opening. However, once the liquor license is approved, the restaurant’s multiple bars (two indoor and two outdoor) will serve a full range of drinks, including beer, margaritas, Palomas and more.

Montes said he currently has about 20 local artists creating murals on the walls at La Calle. “I told them I want something cultural, something bright, something fun,” he said. The artists will also have their own paintings displayed and available for purchase at the restaurant.

Aiming to open La Calle in late March or early April, Montes said the restaurant will be open six days a week, although he hasn’t yet settled on which day to take off. Opening hours are not finalized yet, but Montes said the restaurant will open at 11 a.m. and will offer a late-night menu that will see the restaurant remain open until 2 a.m. from Thursday to Sunday. Follow La Calle on Instagram for the latest updates as they get closer to opening the doors.

Editor's Note: This story was updated on March 9, 2022, to correct a spelling error.