Up Late’s second location will open in the Delmar Loop in February 2024
Up Late will bring its late-night eats to the Delmar Loop, with the to-go concept’s second location set to open in February 2024. The restaurant will open in the former Chicken Out space at 6197 Delmar Blvd., which closed in October. A corner of the space will also be set aside for a new branch of Up Late’s sister restaurant, Strange Donuts.
The new Up Late will follow the same format as the restaurant’s original late-night window at World’s Fair Donuts. Customers will place their orders for breakfast sourdough sandwiches, tacos and grilled cheese online, then collect their food at the window to take home. Although the new location offers significantly more kitchen and storage space than the original, Up Late co-owner Jason Bockman said he and business partner Nathan Wright have no plans to significantly expand the menu. “It’s working extremely well right now,” said Bockman. However, he added that a number of specials that proved popular will be added to the permanent menu.
The Delmar location will initially be open from Thursday to Sunday, but Bockman and Wright will look to extend Up Late’s hours of operation at the new location. “I think that space being open a little earlier will be good, and I think it would be easy to add Wednesday and then, at some point, possibly be seven days a week, but I’m not certain about that,” Bockman said. “The cool thing about our hours and days right now is we have a small staff, and we're profitable each hour that were open, so we're able to pay the people that work there really well.”
Strange Donuts, one of Bockman’s other businesses, will have a small store on the corner of the space. Meanwhile, the Skinker Boulevard side of the space will feature window installations curated by a rotating lineup of local artists. Bockman said the inspiration came from New York design gallery Superhouse, and installations could feature everything from art and furniture to performance art. “That'll change every four months, we're trying to highlight some cool local artists, and we'll do parties coinciding with those spaces flipping,” Bockman said.
Bockman said Up Late is responding to a demand for late-night dining options that he sees not just in St. Louis, but in cities ranging from New York City to Chicago and Los Angeles. “It’s all over the country,” he said. To that end, he hinted at plans to expand both Up Late and Strange Donuts beyond St. Louis. Bockman said that he doesn’t have details to share right now, but his intent is clear. “I’m very serious,” he said. “There are things being worked out. The ink’s just not dry.”
Bockman and Wright hope the new location will open by Feb. 15, 2024. Bockman said the target date is significant for two reasons. Firstly, Feb. 15 will fall just a couple of days short of the first anniversary of Up Late’s original location opening as a takeout window in the World’s Fair Donuts space. “We’ll have two stores open within the same year,” Bockman said. “And then if we open on the 15th, it's exactly 20 years to the day that I started a hot dog vending business – I started 20 years ago on that corner.”
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