This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: On a pretty regular basis, at least two times a week, I travel past what can now safely be called “the old Garavelli’s” near Chippewa and Watson. The classic cafeteria’s been gone for just a few months, but the building has embraced the feel of an abandoned business. The corner signage has been painted over. The window treatments hang a bit haphazardly. Look closely and there might be a weed, or two, sprouting from the cracks.
The location is too desirable for the building to sit vacant for long. But for the moment, the place gives off that forlorn feeling of an institution that’s joined so many others in that special corner of Dead St. Louis Stuff.