Superhero-inspired restaurant Gotham and Eggs is now open on South Grand in St. Louis
Gotham and Eggs opened in early August at 3139 S. Grand Blvd. in the former home of City Diner. Now a comic book- and superhero-themed restaurant, the walls have been covered head-to-toe in collectibles, memorabilia and artwork, and the menu includes many breakfast and lunch items that have been named after various heroes and powers.
For co-owners Shanisah (Shani) and Jason Knight, opening their own restaurant has been a dream come true. During 10 years of marriage, two constants throughout their relationship have been Sunday breakfast and a shared love of superheroes. After the idea came about during a New Year’s Day spent in a local diner, the couple decided to create a restaurant that would fill the void that the family-friendly City Diner left since its closing in August 2022.
“We started running with this back in January and, from the start, we wanted to provide something in the area that is family-friendly,” said Shani Knight. “We wanted it to be a place where it is kind of like coming home with a little less crazy, like coming to an uncle's house that's got all the toys that you can't touch because they’re collectibles. We want it to be like visiting family, where it’s warm and welcoming and fun, and you actually want to come back and sit somewhere.”
Jason Knight added: “With all the breakfast restaurants in the area, nothing offers that kind of environment anymore. Nothing is kid oriented. So, we wanted to give that back to the area.”
To commemorate the City Diner, the pair kept all of the material and layout of the tables and chairs the same, only repainting them. In the back of the restaurant is a wall that honors the City Diner, showcasing framed blueprints and menus of the old restaurant, along with a photo of the previous owners.
Across the rest of the restaurant lies artwork, action figures, posters and framed comics, most of which came from Jason’s collection. Having been a massive Batman fan since a young age, his love of the character not only inspired the decor, but the name as well, which is a reference to Batman’s home city.
“My brothers and I grew up in the ’80s, and then I had three daughters, and while they were young, it really went into overdrive,” said Jason Knight. “Every gift that I would receive [from my daughters] for every holiday or birthday ended up being something Batman-related. About 90% of this all comes out of my house or from things that have been given to me.”
The menu, designed by Solo Creative to look like an actual comic book, is filled with several Easter eggs (things only somebody who has seen the movies, comics, etc., would know what it means) and references to various superhero teams, titles and abilities. Items such as the Robin’s Nest, an egg and turkey sausage potato skillet named after Batman’s sidekick, is a favorite of the Knights. Others such as Peter’s French Toast, which features the original City Diner french toast recipe and is named after one of the original owners, have been a huge hit with newcomers and fans of the previous restaurant.
As for beverages, breakfast staples such as apple and orange juice and bottomless coffee are served. A green smoothie with spinach, apple, kale and mint is also available, as well as one with carrot, mango, pineapple and cinnamon. Of the milkshakes featured on the menu, the standout is the candied bacon milkshake, which features candied bacon mixed in with the vanilla shake and used as a topping and garnish.
Throughout the menu, you can find various vegetarian options such as the chili or gravy, although meat can be added upon request. Other vegetarian items include a veggie burger patty and veggie sausage, as well as a plant-based cheddar. Items such as these along with the Powerhouse Quinoa Bowl or the Garfield’s Veggie Burger allow for the inclusiveness and availability of all diets that the couple intended from the start.
“The idea behind a lot of our menu is we know there are people with food sensitivities that have specific preferences, and we try to accommodate as much of that as we can,” said Shani Knight. “A lot of the process was trying to just figure out how we can have at least one thing on the menu that could satisfy anyone in the family.”
Additionally, the restaurant’s white, wheat and sourdough bread, as well as the dessert rolls and Danishes come from Bridge Bread Bakery, a nonprofit organization that helps provide jobs and training, as well as assist with housing, for the homeless.
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