Bridge Construction Among Factors in Demise of 3 Flags Tavern
St. Louis, MO/March 9, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It’s a sad day for foodies in St. Louis as we learn of the closing of Three Flags Tavern at 4940 Southwest Ave. After just three years in business, owners John and Cathy O’Brien are calling it quits. The husband and wife team announced Monday that they had shut down their restaurant at the end of business Sunday due to low revenue.
Three Flags Tavern had been named in honor of the three-way land deal that made the St. Louis territory part of the United States. (The other two nations involved were France and Spain). The decor inside TFT reflected this storied history, as did the clever and creative menu designed to reflect the influences of all three cultures. The food was impeccably conceived and prepared, but not pretentious in the least.
TFT had a reputation as hospitable and comfortable with an elevated menu. It was a well-liked restaurant with good customer reviews. Their “Oyster Hours” were especially liked. They were like regular weekday Happy Hours, except there were oyster specials along with drink specials. Brunch at TFT was also quite popular. They also received critical acclaim. In 2016, TFT was named to OpenTable’s top 10 restaurants fit for foodies in the St. Louis region.
Until bridge construction on Kingshighway slowed traffic in the area to a trickle, you needed reservations to get a table at TFT on a Friday or Saturday night. John O’Brien told St. Louis Magazine that they can’t blame it all on the bridge, but it did take a significant toll on the business. The long-running bridge project has kept South Kingshighway closed between Southwest Ave. and Shaw Blvd. for most of two years. It was supposed to reopen last fall, but construction delays are keeping closed until later this spring.
Three Flags Tavern had occupied the site left vacant when the venerated Harry’s Bar & Grill closed in 2011 over lease issues. South city diners can only hope some other worthy endeavor finds its way to that patch of Southwest Ave. soon, and that John and Cathy O’Brien find another way to feed St. Louis so well again.