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Soulard diner announces permanent closure on social media

While there wasn't a reason given for the closure, other Facebook postings indicate that Billie's had been unsuccessful in hiring needed cooks and servers.
Credit: St. Louis Business Journal

ST. LOUIS — Billie's Fine Foods, the 1960s-era diner that reopened following a fire three years ago, has ceased operations, according to a social media post.

The restaurant, at 1802 S. Broadway, was mostly destroyed in a fire in July 2018, just months after friends Kelly Kaighin and Lauren Zych had acquired the business. Billie's continued operations that summer by barbecuing in front of the building and serving at sidewalk tables, underwent an interior renovation, and reopened in March 2019.

"For the few years I've had BILLIES, I've been blessed to have met and made friends with some of the greatest people. It is with heavy heart that I write BILLIES IS CLOSED. Thank you for your support, and love over the years. Take care EVERYONE," Kaighin wrote in a signed posting Saturday on Facebook.

While she didn't indicate a reason for the closure, other Facebook postings indicate that Billie's had been unsuccessful in hiring needed cooks and servers. The restaurant had closed for days or even a week at a time this year, as well as recently shortened its week to Wednesday through Sunday, due to lack of staff. That included Nov. 10 when newly hired cooks "did not show up," and Nov. 11, when the restaurant was "down to just me and a new server," Kaighin posted.

While Billie's dining room closed in March 2020 with the shutdown due to the pandemic, it offered pickup, curbside and delivery services. The restaurant reopened its dining room in August 2020.

Read the full story on the St. Louis Business Journal website.