Maplewood Steak ‘n Shake, built in 1974, removes signs, awnings

The Steak ‘n Shake in Maplewood (store 66) was dismantled this week.

Brentwood resident Barry Williams said when he saw it on Thursday, the tall freestanding sign by Manchester Road had already been removed, along with the signature black-white awnings and red logos from the restaurant building.

Williams also reported:

“Indianapolis-based Steak ‘n Shake Co. purchased the land for its 66th store in 1973 from a family with deep roots in this Maplewood neighborhood, the Burgess Family for whom Burgess Avenue was named. I was a close friend of a member of the family, the late attorney Francis Travers Burgess…

“The Maplewood subdivision’s name is “Glynn.”  Travers Burgess’ father was a Burgess and his mother was a Glynn, so it would appear both families were prominent in the early years of this Maplewood neighborhood.

“The Maplewood location opened in 1974, 40 years after August “Gus” Belt opened his first Steak ‘n Shake restaurant in Normal, Illinois, in 1934.  Store 66 offered parking-lot curb service in its early years provided by teenage carhops, before the company eliminated this option in favor of drive-through takeout (“Takhomasak”) service. This popular diner-style restaurant served Maplewood for 45 years until its abrupt closing in January 2019, a casualty of the Indiana company’s faltering fiscal health.

“Like many others, I had hoped the large “Coming Soon – Under Renovation” banner that adorned the restaurant for the last year was an honest proclamation.  Alas, it was not.”

National Public Radio reported on the financial slide of Steak ‘n Shake since about 2016.

The photos (screen shots) below are from the St. Louis County real estate information, showing aerial views from 1955, 1966, 1970/72, and 1981.

20 thoughts on “Maplewood Steak ‘n Shake, built in 1974, removes signs, awnings

    • Can someone educate me, what is this prejudice against restaurants serving chicken that I often see in 40South?
      We only have three of them.

  1. Either of two things need to happen.
    1) the MRH school district needs to pounce and buy the land.
    2)someone needs to buy the land and build something generating revenue. Maybe a 3 story multi use building with offices/retail on the first floor and residences above?

  2. The Steak n Shake on Hampton is still going strong, at least it was last time I passed through the area

  3. The demise of this once great fast food chain is bizarre. They literally gave away their meals these past few years. 4$ meals, really? Their dinning rooms at every location were always full. They should have raised their prices and we all would have gladly paid the freight. Very stupid and unnecessary destruction of a great brand.

  4. Frankly, this empty lot and overly asphalted space has got to go. Better to wave goodbye and move on with our lives- hopefully we get something that supports the neighborhoods and foot traffic instead of another largely wasted parking lot.

  5. The steak n shake in terre haute indiana made them all take a 4.00 a hour pay cut and several employees are quitting after this week

  6. My 88 year old Mother misses going to that Steak N Shake. We went there every week. Now we occasionally go to the Hampton location. She ordered the Chili 5 Way and a child’s Mocha Shake. I would order the Double Cheese Burger with Fries. Sad. Dad and Mom went there often. Many family memories. ❤️

    • Not at Maplewood, there were 2 houses on the lots until the 70’s. You can look at the county historic Maps and see if you don’t beleive it.

  7. So sad to see this once great restaurant chain go down the tubes as a result of horrible mismanagement by a foreign CEO (Bilargi Holdings) who knows absolutely nothing about the challenges of food service. The Covid pandemic is likely the final nail in the coffin… Gus Belt is turning in his grave.

  8. Steak n’ Shake has been going downhill for years. Someone who knows what they are doing needs to buy them out.

  9. It was the worst Steak and Shake I’ve ever been too. Staff had their favorites and ignored others. I saw them take breaks when four or five were waiting for service. We tried it a few times it was always the same. That’s probably why it was closing.

  10. I believe that a Steak and Shake was there since I was in High school at MRH (60s)!? This store was a rebuild? Others need to weigh into this…

    • This building was built in 1974, according to St. Louis County real estate records. The county website also makes it possible to see aerial views through the years. The 1955 and ’66 views show houses on the lot (it’s two lots – two houses), and also 1970/72, though that one is a poor quality photo. The next one is 1981 and shows the Steak ‘n Shake.

      • Well haven’t read any good remarks about this Steak and Shake but when we moved here in ‘89 you got great food and good service. It was always a treat to go up there after working on the house or yard and get a treat. It will be missed so sad