One of St. Louis’ smallest storefronts has a new tenant. Burger 809 opened in the 300-square-foot space that was previously home to Parm Pasta & Sandwich Co. on May 2, featuring sliders, sandwiches, salads and desserts to Cherokee Street.
The concept comes from chef-owner Tasha Smith, who originally debuted her Burger 809 brand – which gets its name in part from her birthday – as a catering business in 2015. Smith’s sisters, Jessi and Tanisha, help out at the casual restaurant along with her daughter, Tayla.
“I started off doing food for family and events and just kind of grew to doing big catering orders,” says Smith, who daylights as a health counselor. “The catering menu is huge and created as we go for each client, but here, we wanted to create a compact menu to bring fresh new vibes and from-scratch food to Cherokee Street.”
The eatery features a walk-up counter and open kitchen, with a few seats for guests to enjoy a snack inside. Smith aimed to make the atmosphere feel like a home kitchen – “like going to your favorite aunt’s house” – and put her own modern spin on the interior with a fresh coat of yellow paint to accent the space.
She describes her self-taught cooking style as American with Southern influence, marked by inspiration from personal travels and family recipes. Highlights from the menu include the Burger 809 Signature slider with a griddle-cooked beef patty, jalapeño-bacon jam, and Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses.
Another popular pick is the South Side Salmon, which features grilled salmon marinated in lemon and butter with fresh jalapeño and passionfruit glaze on a Hawaiian roll. Salads include options such as June 88 with chicken, strawberries, blueberry, bacon, onion and spring mix. Side options include mac ’n’ cheese and Southern greens.
For dessert, try Smith’s favorite menu item: Poppy Norwood, featuring her grandfather’s recipe for Oreo-lemon cheesecake on an Oreo crust. From each dessert, $1 goes toward a homework happy hour complete with snacks to help youth in the community stay engaged in school.
“I want people to come in and just feel the vibes here. It’s good food made from scratch with fresh quality ingredients,” Smith says. “It’s a small spot with a lot of flavor.”
Burger 809’s summer hours – effective July 1 – will be Sunday from noon to 7pm, Monday from noon to 5pm, Tuesday from 2 to 9pm, Thursday from 5 to 9pm, Friday from 5 to 10pm and Saturday from 2 to 10pm.
Burger 809, 2619 1/2 Cherokee St., Cherokee Business District, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.899.5959, burger809.com