Just the other day, I was reminiscing with my old friend Lea Del Pietro about our younger years. I had casually reminded her about a silly outing we had to Kilkenny's when we were in our early twenties. She then said, "You know, we're closing Kilkenny's don't you?"
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I loved that place.
With the old wooden booths, beautiful antique cash register and one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia, Kilkenny's had become a sort of staple to the 20-something bar scene as Wally Lundt was to Shaw Park Pool.
Opened in 1998 by the renowned Del Pietro Family, located at 20 N. Central, Clayton. MO, after 14 years in business it seems that yet another Del Pietro "oldie" is shutting it's doors. In preparation of bigger things on the horizon?
"As sad as it is to see this place go and all of the fond memories and fun times it brought, we're really enjoying our new restaurant located in Webster Groves." said Lea Del Pietro.
Lea was referring to their latest establishment in downtown Webster Groves, called The Block Restaurant and Butcher Shop. Which mind you is one of my most favorite restaurants in town. When inquiring to Lea and her mother, Mary Rose, the Matriarch of the Del Pietro Restaurant Family, as to future plans for any new restaurants or plans for any new ventures, "Well Aimee, you never know what we have up our sleeve..." with her big grin and a giggle to follow.
"But what about that beautiful space on Central Avenue?" I asked Lea. Would it sit vacant for months on end, would it be replaced with yet another Tapas Bar? Marc Del Pietro then leaned over to me and whispered, "Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe out of Columbia is moving in there. We own the building, and the lease is signed."
Aha! A mystery no longer. Too bad it wasn't that easy to find out the truth about what's going into the old Cheshire space.
As much as I enjoyed my time and the memories of Kilkenny's, the newest generation of Del Pietro restaurants seems to keep outdoing the "oldies" with their modern twist on classic dishes as well as implementing new and exciting recipes. As for the familiar face of Amy Del Pietro, Marc Del Pietro's wife, who was also a management staple at the family pub, you can find her bright smiling face running around The Block from time to time.
After the last hurrah, the final night open Saturday May 26, once 1:30 a.m. arrives, it's just a matter of what, when and where The Del Pietro's will lure us for the newest of several family culinary experiences throughout town.