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Oaked in Benton Park

The main bar at Oaked, 1031 Lynch Street in Soulard

Photo by Hillary Levin,

This post has been updated with comment and new information from Oaked owner John Cochran.

The Soulard restaurant Oaked will close this weekend after an 8-month run. Owners John and Anne Cochran announced the closure on Facebook, as St. Louis Magazine first reported.

“It has been a great adventure for Anne and I, but after this weekend we have made the decision to close Oaked,” the Facebook post reads in part. “We cannot say thank you enough to all of our friends and patrons that supported us. Seeing you, meeting you, spending time talking to you and making so many new friends was by far the highlight of the experience for us both.”

John Cochran told Off the Menu that he and his wife have been working at the restaurant 70 hours per week.

“We were running low on fuel, and quite frankly, I just couldn't take it any further,” Cochran said.

Oaked opened in February at 1031 Lynch Street, the building across from the Anheuser-Busch brewery that has housed several restaurants over the years, including Lynch Street Bistro, Sage Urban American and Fleur de Lillies.

When Oaked debuted, it did so with an origin story involving the Cochrans and another couple, Venessa and Christopher Schwarz. Both couples were Soulard transplants — the Cochrans from the county, the Schwarzes from San Francisco — who wanted a more sophisticated neighborhood place to eat and drink wine.

In fact, Cochran said, the original plan involved eight people, but two other couples backed out “just prior to starting," and by the time this restaurant critic reviewed Oaked in June, the Schwarzes were no longer involved in the restaurant's day-to-day operations.

“I had a set amount of money that I was willing to invest, and my wife and I ended up buying our partners out in July, and we made some changes, and we got some momentum,” Cochran said.

“I was really pleased with the team that I had and the product that we had and the service we provided. I just couldn't get butts in seats.”

Cochran said business has generally been slow on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, and October weekends have been slower than usual, which he ascribed to the weather and the Cardinals' playoff run. Cochran also believes he and his wife waited too long to market the restaurant's event space. 

Oaked will be open 6 p.m.-midnight Friday and noon-midnight Saturday with $20 all-you-can-eat appetizers and discounted beer, wine and spirits. There will also be retail sales of discounted wine and spirits bottles.