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It's not often a restaurant opens and closes this suddenly yet we've had two do so (Root in Richmond Heights was the other) in seven months. Rapid closure of this sort often often stems from some extreme financial circumstance. And so it is in the case.
Kim Tucci and Joe Fresta had long wanted to open something a few notches up from the standard Pasta House Co. restaurant. That restaurant was Tucci & Fresta's Trattoria and Bar at 15 N. Central in Clayton, but for various reasons (first reported by Relish here) that plug was pulled just over three weeks ago. At the time, the partners decided, in our words, to play it safe and turn T&F's into their bread and butter, i.e., the 20th Pasta House unit in the regional chain.
This morning, Kim Tucci tells us--as only he could--"Forget about it. We're done. I could tell right away. Decent business at lunch and nothing at dinner. Never open a restaurant without a parking lot next door and an office building as your next door neighbor." He then alluded that, for awhile anyway, the supply of Clayton restaurants will outstrip the demand. "You've got Pastaria opening up, then Niche. You've got Half & Half and their new deal. And Five Star Burgers. J. Buck's just did a re-do. There's rumors of more. It's never-ending..."
The last day of service at 15 N. Central will be tomorrow evening.
PHC devotees can take solace that the flagship restaurant is located only a few miles away at Bonhomme and Delmar in U City. And if you really want to help out the Pasta House boys, consider that there's an unfulfilled lease on the 5000 S.F. space in Clayton. We'd wager that if you gave either Tucci or Fresta a call, they'd offer a sublease you can't refuse.