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 | Busch's Grove
Busch's Grove was an unpretentious white frame roadhouse on Clayton Road at Price, in the city of Ladue. For years the name epitomized genteel, gracious dining in St. Louis. But the multi-century, multigenerational story that is Busch's Grove is as much about the building that housed the restaurant as it is the restaurant itself.
John Philip Litzinger, who purchased the Clayton Road property from James S. Forsyth in 1855, is given credit for constructing the original frame building that would eventually be known as Busch's Grove. The property changing hands multiple times, with the building used as a farmhouse, a post office, a stagecoach stop, a general store, a hotel and a saloon. In 1891, the property was acquired by George Buente, who leased the building to John H. Busch.
Busch, who came to St. Louis with his wife from Amsterdam in 1869, opened an establishment which has been variously called a restaurant, a roadhouse, a hostelry and a resort. While the venture was eventually named Busch's Grove, before that it was known as The Woodlawn Grove and housed the Price Post Office.
At the turn of the century, Busch's Grove served as a training site for out-of-town prize-fighters (1902), the destination for hayrides, moonlight picnics, and dancing (1902), a saloon and outdoor grove for beer drinkers (1907), and a haven for late night poker gatherings (1908).