Ever wondered what happened to that restaurant you once loved and have memories of dining at with your family and friends? We did! And we discovered an amazing website called Lost Tables, dedicated to celebrating the restaurants of our past. We are partnering with the site's creator Harley Hammerman and celebrating these wonderful stories throughout the month of February.
Lost Tables | Balaban's
Herbert J. Balaban was born in Chicago on February 24, 1930 to Max and Dena Balaban. Two years later, Herb's father died and the family moved to Europe. Returning five years later, Dena Balaban met I. L. Carp, a St. Louisan who owned a chain of department stores. They married and moved to St. Louis.
Herb loved antiques and objets d'art. In 1959, he opened H. Balaban Carp Antiques at 335 North Euclid. In 1962, he purchased the property at 401-11 North Euclid, at the northwest corner of Euclid and McPherson. After restoring and remodeling the property, he moved H. Balaban Carp Antiques to the building's corner space.
By the end of the decade, Herb had transformed his 401 North Euclid space into the Gypsy Cowboy – a chic clothing boutique with a western accent. It had the appearance of a prairie trading post, with rough brick walls, exposed wood beams, and unpolished wood floors. Stuffed birds seemed to swoop down from the ceiling, enormous American flags hung from the beams and a collection of animal horns were mounted on the wall.
The space next door to the Gypsy Cowboy – 405 North Euclid – had been one small restaurant after another, and none of them had done very well. It was Sarah's from 1962 to 1964; at one point it was the Pleasant Peasant; by 1972, Timothy’s had moved out. Herb was concerned space would get a "loser location" reputation. So on March 14, 1972, he opened his own restaurant in the space.