Local soul food aficionados will soon have a new place to eat the best down-home fare in town as well as learn how to make it themselves. Robbie Montgomery, owner of Sweetie Pie's, says her third restaurant, Sweetie Pie's Upper Crust, will hopefully be opening its doors this January at 3643 Delmar Boulevard near Grand. Montgomery says the project has taken a bit longer than expected due to some financing issues, but everything seems to be on-track for a winter debut.

According to Montgomery, the new place will feature the same basic menu the other Sweetie Pie's are famous for, but will also have cooking classes so fans can learn the secrets behind some of their most popular dishes.

"People come in all the time and tell me, 'I need to know how to make this macaroni, I need to know how to make this chicken,' so these are the things we're going to do at first. Then we might get more gourmet," she says.

The new location will also be considerably bigger and have more amenities (hence the Upper Crust in the name) like a banquet facility and conference rooms. Montgomery says the banquet area will seat 300 to 400, and the restaurant proper will have about 175 seats, plus bar seating and an outdoor eating area.

Those who want to see the behind-the-scenes details of the opening of the new restaurant, plus the daily drama of Montgomery and her family running the business and their lives, can tune in to the new reality show Welcome To Sweetie Pie's, which debuts on OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network on Sat., Oct. 15, at 8pm.

Sweetie Pie's, 4270 Manchester Ave., The Grove; 9841 West Florissant Ave., Ferguson; http://sweetiepieskitchen.com/" target= "_blank">sweetiepieskitchen.com

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