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Parkmoor Drive-In, inspired by beloved St. Louis restaurant, opens in Webster Groves

Parkmoor Drive-In, inspired by beloved St. Louis restaurant, opens in Webster Groves

Parkmoor Drive-In exterior

The Parkmoor Drive-In opens July 8, 2020, in Webster Groves. 

The Parkmoor Drive-In, a new restaurant inspired by the beloved St. Louis restaurant of the same name, opens Wednesday at 220 West Lockwood Avenue in Webster Groves. It occupies the former Half & Half space in the Old Webster district. (Half & Half remains open at its original Clayton location.)

Co-owner Frank Romano says the idea for a new Parkmoor began with his three teenage children: “They always complain that they're bored and that there's no place for them to hang out.”

Romano — whose extensive front-of-house experience includes Kemoll's, Araka, Robust Wine Bar and Triumph Grill — thought back to his own teenage years, hanging out in the Parkmoor in the 1990s.

“You always felt like you're welcome there,” he says. “The service was always good. You could get a good cup of coffee there. While (the cooking) was fast, it was just really good food.”

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Oct. 28, 1999--Early morning sunlight illuminates patrons as they sip coffee in the soon-to-be-closed Parkmoor resurant in Clayton Thursday. PHOTO BY ANDREW CUTRARO/PD

The original Parkmoor (though no longer the original building) closed in October 1999, ending a nearly 70-year run.

“If your idea of heaven on Earth is a booth at the Parkmoor Restaurant with a King burger and a plate of homemade onion rings in front of you, better hurry,” the Post-Dispatch wrote after the original's closure was announced.

“Another slice of Americana is about to bite the dust.”

The King burger and onion rings are highlights of the new Parkmoor's menu. Romano says he has some original Parkmoor recipes — or at least purportedly original Parkmoor recipes — but some of these haven't measured up properly, and some products are no longer available.

“So it was just like, 'Okay. We have a baseline. Let's just make the best damn version that we can make,'” he says.

Early feedback has been positive.

“We did (a) test-run pop-up on Saturday, and people were like, 'The onion rings are right,'” Romano says. “So when you take a bite of this onion ring, you get a bite of breading and a bite of onion.”

The Parkmoor will feature a breakfast and a lunch-dinner menu. (The slinger from the former will be available on the latter.) There is also a walk-up window for sno-balls.

For this opening week, however, the Parkmoor will be open for takeout and patio dining from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. — or as long as supplies last — Wednesday-Saturday. The walk-up sno-ball window will be open 1-8 p.m. Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

After a break Sunday (sno-balls excepted) through Tuesday, regulars hours are slated to begin July 15.

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