Anita’s Café and Bar will open in Midtown

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Owner and manager Anita Abdul-Karim said she hoped to open Anita’s Café and Bar by June, but that is an “unofficial timeframe”.

ST. LOUIS — A new concept bar and small-bite cafe, Anita’s Café and Bar, is set to open at 2700 Locust St. in St. Louis’ Midtown neighborhood.

Owner and Manager Anita Abdul Karim said she hopes to open by June, but that is an “unofficial timeframe”.

A newcomer to hospitality, Abdul-Karim said the venture, “an uplifting and stimulating cafe and bar with Middle Eastern undertones,” will serve small, fresh bites and offer brunch. Specialty coffees and lattes will also be available.

The space, formerly GYA Arts Gifts & Wellness and several blocks east of popular brunch spot Egg and longtime restaurant The Fountain on Locust, is leased to St. Louis-based Tower Real Estate Group, whose partner is Jassen Johnson. Abdul-Karim brought in his in-house interior designer to prepare the space for opening. A brochure about Tower’s website says he charged $2,949 a month for the space, not including utilities.

Abdul-Karim said she received support from friends and family and invested her own money in the project, with the help of a loan from the US Small Business Administration. The company is currently hiring service staff, including bartenders, servers and cooks.

She said she had no experience in the hospitality industry and took a leap into the unknown when she decided to open the cafe.

“I put eggs in this basket that I don’t even have,” Abdul-Karim said with a laugh. “It’s the championship game.”

Abdul-Karim said she hopes the space will be welcoming and relaxing, catering to all kinds of people. She called the cafe a “little spark in the city” where people can come to feel “a little more inspired” and “a little more relaxed”.

In addition to food and coffee, the liquor program at Anita’s Café and Bar will include beverages such as charcoal espresso martinis, green lemonade mojitos and orange blossom mimosas.

Click here for the full article from the St. Louis Business Journal.

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