As first reported by St. Louis Magazine's George Mahe, the former Busch's Grove space at 9160 Clayton Road in Ladue is in the process of being purchased by local restaurateurs Frank and Carmelo Gabriele, owners of Il Bel Lago in Creve Coeur, and a partner.
"We're looking at a November 1 opening if everything goes to plan," says Frank Gabriele. "We're closing next week on the building."
He says that the new restaurant will be more streamlined than its predecessor.
"We're not going to take the entire space," he says. "We're going to lease out about 4,000 square feet. "
Gabriele says the menu will encompass a variety of Italian cuisine as well as several different price points. A portion of the restaurant will be family friendly, serving pizza and small plates, and there will also be a nice dining room, comparable to Il Bel Lago.
There will also be private rooms available. One of the big attractions will be a coal-fired pizza oven, which Gabriele says produces a completely different flavor.
"It's faster, too," he says. "The pizza is going to cook in about 5-to-7 minutes."
There's no name yet for the new place, though Gabriele says they're down to debating on the final few possibilities.
"We're really excited," Gabriele says. "It's a landmark in Ladue, and it holds so many memories for so many people. To be able to have the opportunity to take over a spot like that is exciting."