Blind Tiger at Sutton Place to close Friday

Sources in Maplewood have said The Blind Tiger at Sutton Place (7376 Manchester Road, Maplewood) will close soon.

photo(1)A Blind Tiger employee was one of the sources, who said the doors will remain open following an event Thursday evening for as long as there’s inventory.

Co-owner Mike McLaughlin confirmed Tuesday that The Blind Tiger will be closing.

Update: The Riverfront Times reported that The Blind Tiger will close Friday.

McLaughlin and co-owners Mike Jones and Kelly Jurotich cut the ribbon for Blind Tiger in January. It opened in December.

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McLaughlin also owns The Crow’s Nest ( 7336 Manchester Road, Maplewood), which is in no danger of closing, though it won’t open Monday, Sept. 22, until 3 p.m. due to kitchen remodeling. The remodel won’t include a pizza oven—no room for that—so no Blind Tiger pizzas (Hog Mess or Garden of Eatin’) coming there.

See also: Robbery at Blind Tiger

Friday morning 40 South News began a contest, with a pizza from The Blind Tiger as the prize. The winner will now be named by Wednesday morning (Sept. 17).

Blind Tiger Hog Mess pizza

Blind Tiger Hog Mess pizza


22 thoughts on “Blind Tiger at Sutton Place to close Friday

  1. Regardless of what eventually goes in this space, I hope it doesn’t remain vacant for long. Having an empty space with no sign on this prominent corner in downtown Maplewood really hurts the image of the Manchester/Sutton business district, in my opinion.

    I hope the pizza along with a handful of the whiskey options are brought to The Crows Nest. They’re so good!

    • You’ve got two corners at that intersection that are empty if you include the barely used Monarch space. Plus the two open slots next to Shop-n-Save don’t help either.

  2. This is an interesting discussion. I agree with the comments about the need for a family place on the avenue. My little street has four children under six and a fifth on the way! Does anyone remember when Noble Romans used to screen old, goofy, black and white films? The location by me had a glass wall between the dinning room and kitchen with a platform for kids to watch the cooks. This was one of my favorite places as a kid. Hey, entrepreneurs! Get creative, but keep it Mapleweird 🙂

  3. How about going a different direction and opening a kid friendly cafe? The neighborhood is sorely lacking this type of business since CooperElla changed to an art studio.

    • I agree! I was so bummed when CooperElla was re-branded as an artisan cafe (or whatever it was). It made no sense to me, because the place had a built in customer base that they totally excluded. You are certainly correct that not only Maplewood but also the entire area is lacking in kid friendly cafes. I think the Nest was probably too intricate to survive, but a basic coffee shop with some small play equipment for babies and toddlers? Less fear of people staring at you when or if your child cries? I would be there in a heartbeat with my baby. I would even pay more (although not too much more) for food and drinks at such a place.

      • One would that hope someone in the restaurant business will look at the shifting demographics of Maplewood and realize that family-friendly dining is a very under served market.

        I’ve mentioned elsewhere that when the weather is decent you’ll see tons of families walking their infants and toddlers around Maplewood. On my block alone there are three families with babies under 2 years old. Also look at how MRH Elementary now has to have classes in trailers because of continued enrollment growth: yet there’s little or no family options in Maplewood.

        We’ve cut down on our visits to Foundation Grounds and Stone Spiral as I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been given “the look” because we dare bring a child into the place even if they’re not acting up. Or there’s the challenge of eating at The Post because who knows if you’ll have some drunken group dropping f-bombs like they’re in a Scorsese movie.

        I’m not saying we need a Chuck-e-Cheeze’s like madhouse in Maplewood: but I think the city has more than it’s fair share of grown-up places.

        • We have luck at the Wood happy hour. It’s usually empty around 4:30-5:00, which minimizes “the look.”

        • I agree with The Wood. Also, it’s been my experience that the crew and crowd at Stone Spiral couldn’t be more welcoming to anyone who walks in.

  4. What about a diner with entertainment? It’s a great location. It just hasn’t found it’s calling. Pizza & whiskey didn’t grab my attention. Quick, reasonably priced lunch food, a choice to spend & little more for dinner & entertainment on the weekends I think would draw a lot more people in. There’s a good lunch crowd in Maplewood looking for places to eat, tap into that.

  5. I don’t think it’s the location as everything else nearby seems to be doing fine. Just (un)luck of the draw and the always tough restaurant business.

    I just don’t know if bringing dueling pianos back to that corner would be a call right now. There’s Howl at the Moon at Ballpark Village and Lucky’s in the old Washington Ave Jive and Wail spot. Can St. Louis support a third dueling piano bar? I’d really doubt it.

    Would the Sugarfire Smoke House owner want to return to Maplewood and open in either the Blind Tiger’s spot or the very underused Monarch space? I think a full barbecue place would be a slam-dunk for the area.

    • Well find out soon if a third is sustainable since Jive and Wail is opening next month out at Westport (which would only strengthen your point about the number of them already). Still, I am more of the opinion that these locations are fairly spread out and would draw different crowds. That being said, it needs to be branded uniquely and requires some ingenuity, whether that is diversifying music or coming up with alternative ways to present the show as Spanky seems to have in mind.

  6. I wanna bring a piano bar back to that space! I was co-owner when Jive & Wail and performed there. We didn’t leave because we needed a bigger location, many other reasons prevented us from staying there. I’m no longer associated with Jive and would love to bring a piano bar back to this space!

    • What are your thoughts on making it more of live music entertainment in general? You could still have your staple of dueling pianos on Friday and Saturday, but Wednesday and Thursday would host other music, like jazz or acoustic.

      • I would make it dueling pianos Thurs-Sat, with Thurs being a different kind of DP. Theme night and things like that. The biggest issue with that location is the proper marketing of it. I know exactly how to get people in the door there. Plus, I’ve been waiting to take the view of dueling pianos from the audience’s perspective to a new level. I have all kinds of cool ideas to give people the wow factor and keep people wanting to come back more often.

        • My family and I loved coming to the jive. Washington Ave is no where near as fun as the Maplewood location! I can promise you we will be back plenty if you come back!

    • As soon as I read the article headline, my first thought was, “Bring back the piano bar.” I was just thinking about how the Jive and Wail was great a few days ago coincidentally. With the Landing not seeing nearly the success of years past and Morgan Street brewery looking for new ownership, it would be a good fit for a business like the Big Bang piano bar to move. It is unfortunate to hear of businesses closing but got to say that I am pretty excited that others are already on the same page of wanting a piano bar.