Save Al's Restaurant
Save Al's Restaurant
SAVE AL'S RESTAURANT AND SAVE A PIECE OF ST LOUIS HISTORY
We kindly request your support to save a renowned restaurant (Al’s Restaurant) located on the St. Louis Riverfront. Al’s may not be on the National Register but it is certainly historic for continually being in business in the same location for 90 years owned and operated by the same family. Al’s is housed in an old sugar exchange house built in 1872, and as far as we know, is the last remaining sugar house in St. Louis.
Al’s Restaurant has been placed in the site plan for a proposed new billion dollar NFL stadium. However, looking at the site plan, the property is at the most southern boundary of the plan. Properties originally included in the site plan on the eastern and western boundaries have now been incorporated into the plan and are spared from destruction. We are asking for the same consideration. If Shady Jack’s Biker Bar can be a part of the new stadium plan and its visual landscape, why can’t Al’s?
Below is a little synopsis of our history:
Al’s Restaurant, also known as Al’s Steakhouse, has been the benchmark of fine-dining in St. Louis for decades; 90 years to be exact. A beloved landmark, it’s earned its reputation as one of the top restaurants not only in St. Louis, but throughout the U.S. Al's opened in 1925 in what was an old sugar house exchange building by Italian immigrants, Louise and Albert Barroni. They were excited about the possibilities of a riverfront location. Al's humble beginnings started as a tavern serving egg sandwiches to the dock, factory and railroad workers of the bustling, growing St. Louis riverfront. Louise's cooking was so popular, lines formed daily for her simple culinary delights.
Their son, Albert Jr., was literally born into the restaurant business the following year. The building located at 1200 N. Main Street (it is now addressed as First Street by the USPS) was their business and their home. The living quarters were located above the restaurant. Al Jr. continued with the restaurant after the deaths of his parents and under his vision, dedication and hard work, grew the restaurant into an award-winning fine dining establishment.
In 1968 AI refocused, staying in the same location but making a bolder, bigger food statement. The restaurant went from cafeteria-style to culinary sophistication, and St. Louis literally ate it up! Sports celebrities, city leaders, visiting dignitaries and movie stars made it a point to come to Al's Restaurant when in St. Louis.
The riverfront is what gave St. Louis its birth and basis for the thriving metro area it is today. Al's captures and celebrates this unique history of St Louis, setting it apart from other restaurants. To quote Bill McClellan,
"What makes a city a city is its restaurants". Al's is proud to be part of and contributing to the heart of St. Louis; Al's Restaurant is truly a historic dining destination.
The nondescript landscape surrounding Al's today adds to its mystique, totally transforming you once you step through its doorway into classic, elegant yet modern sophistication. Attention to detail, superb tableside service and a passion for culinary excellence provide a dining experience like no other.
Today Al's continues under the leadership of 3rd and 4th generations of the Barroni family. Al's is St. Louis' oldest single-family, locally owned and operated in one location restaurant.
This is the quiet legacy which has defined Al's Restaurant for 90 years and is now capturing the imagination of a new dining generation in St. Louis. Al's is the recipient of DiRoNA, Top St. Louis Restaurants Zagat Survey,
Best of CitySearch for Best Steak House, Romantic and Special Occasion, "America's Top Ten Steak Houses", Playboy Magazine, "Best Steak" Alive Magazine and numerous OpenTable awards.
Al's is proud of its heritage and is honored to mark 90 years of continuous business in the history-rich riverfront area of downtown St. Louis. We are within walking distance from Four Seasons Hotel, Lumiere Casino, Edward Jones Dome, Laclede's Landing and the St. Louis Arch.
While over the years other businesses have left the riverfront, Al’s has remained true to its roots. Back in 1925 my grandparents had the vision to know the possibilities of a riverfront, those possibilities still exist. While we have endured good and bad times over the years, Al’s has stayed the course and should be part of redevelopment and revitalization. After all, Al’s has contributed to the success of St. Louis, in particular downtown, for 90 years.
Please support Al’s Restaurant, you will be preserving a bit of St. Louis history and one of the best places there is to dine. You will also be supporting our family of employees who have contributed to the success of Al’s for many years. We have 2 employees, who together represent over 100 years of service!
On behalf of myself, my husband, our daughters and new granddaughter, we thank you for your years of continued loyalty and look forward to serving you for many years to come.
Pam Barroni Neal
1200 North First Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63102
Antique Warehouse: http://www.antiquewhs.com/2007/Inside_STL/als.htm
CNN.com(travel): 10 More of America's Best Historic Restaurants
Landmarks Association Newsletter: