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Cafe and bar to open in Midtown

Owner and manager Anita Abdul-Karim said she hopes to open Anita’s Café and Bar by June, but that is an "unofficial timeline."
Credit: SLBJ
A Midtown space, shown in 2020, that's now targeted for a new cafe.

ST. LOUIS — A new concept bar and small-bites 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 timeline."

A newcomer to hospitality, Abdul-Karim said the business, "an uplifting and empowering cafe and bar with Middle Eastern undertones," will serve fresh, small bites and offer brunch. Coffees and specialty 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 being leased from St. Louis-based Tower Real Estate Group, whose partner is Jassen Johnson. Abdul-Karim has utilized its in-house interior designer to get the space ready to open. A brochure on Tower's website says it sought $2,949 a month for the space, not including utilities.

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

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

"I'm putting eggs in this basket I don't even have," Abdul-Karim said while giggling. "This is the championship game."

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

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

Click here for the full story for the St. Louis Business Journal.

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