First Look - The Fountain on Locust
Could it be this generation's Crown Candy Kitchen?
By George Mahe
Photograph by Katherine Bish
A lot of us have fantasized about opening a restaurant that served only our
favorite dishes — a random assortment of foods not bound by any trend, theme or cuisine — but we never had the guts to test such a wacky idea. Joy Grdnic had the same fantasy ... and a lot more guts. In a vertiginous frenzy, she transformed the former Stutz auto dealership downtown (remember the Bearcat?) into a caboodle of visual, aural and culinary firsts. How about a "birdseed" salad or one topped with brûléed apple slices? Dill pickle soup? Why not? And then there's an ice cream soda fountain where you can get "the world's smallest hot fudge sundae." And homemade chocolates. And a special tea service and retro alcohol cocktails. Perhaps she assembled this panoply during the months she was perched on a ladder detailing the impressive 360-degree Art Deco "fountain" mural. Another throwback touch: continuous two-minute audio episodes — 400 of them — of "Soap Hospital," a spillover from Grdnic's ongoing stint as a radio comedienne. Will all this whimsy be embraced by others? Could it be this generation's Crown Candy Kitchen? Stay tuned.
3037 Locust, 314-535-7800, fountainonlocust.com. Hours: Tue–Wed 11 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Thu-Sat 11 a.m.–midnight.