Running a restaurant is no easy task in strong economic times. It’s even more difficult when the national economy is shaky.
That’s why it’s no longer surprising when even local institutions shut their doors.
That happened earlier this year — March 1 — when the Fatted Calf hamburger restaurant closed in Clayton, Mo. The Fattted Calf opened in 1966 and made a name for itself with its gourmet hamburgers. Its former owners — Kathleen and Jason Portman — cited declining business when making the decision to close.
But in perhaps a sign that the national economy’s slow recovery is inspiring confidence, new entrepreneurs are ready to fill the Fatted Calf’s space.
Hilliker Corporation, a St. Louis-owned and -managed commercial real estate company, has helped close a deal to bring a Chicago-born sandwich chain to Clayton, filling the 2,445-square-foot space where the Fatted Calf once stood.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop will open its second St. Louis location at 12 S. Bemiston Ave. in Clayton by late Oct. The entire restaurant will be renovated, including the addition of a more modern front facade. Potbelly’s menu features toasted sandwiches, salads and sides.
Hilliker Corporation’s Powell Kalish represented the building’s owner/landlord, Grace/Clayton Property, in this five-year lease commitment. NAI Desco represented Potbelly.
Franchise owners for both St. Louis stores are Todd and Angela Stimson and Dr. Lawrence and Monica Boveri. The partners opened their Creve Coeur, Mo., location at 11615 Olive Blvd. in August of 2012 and have plans to open two more Potbelly Sandwich Shops in St. Louis by 2015. The company, which was started in Chicago in 1977, has 270 locations around the country.