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.