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Restaurateur Zoe Robinson sells all 3 Clayton restaurants to another St. Louisan

All three of Robinson's restaurants — Bar Les Freres, I Fratellini and Billie Jean — closed during the pandemic and have yet to reopen
Credit: SLBJ
Zoe Robinson has sold all three of her Clayton restaurants to another notable St. Louisan.

ST. LOUIS — Restaurateur Zoe Robinson has sold her establishments in Clayton to Susan Barrett, owner of art consultancy Barrett Barrera Projects. 

The sale includes all three of Robinson's restaurants — Bar Les Freres, I Fratellini and Billie Jean, which closed during the pandemic and have yet to reopen. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

I Fratellini and Bar Les Freres will retain their current brands, and I Fratellini will be the first concept to reopen in early 2022, with Bar Les Freres opening later in the year. A new concept will take over the Billie Jean space. All three restaurants are located on Wydown Boulevard in Clayton.

"Like many in the restaurant industry, I took time to reflect during the pandemic — to evaluate my own personal happiness and growth," Robinson, who has been spending much of her time in Aspen, Colorado, said in a statement.

Robinson told St. Louis Magazine, which first reported the deal, that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2020.

“I had to reevaluate my life and consider that it might be shorter now,” she told the magazine. “Were the restaurants still in business, I would have owned up to the fact and said I was getting treatment and I made it out OK. Considering all that I’ve been through and all the details involved, I think I did a pretty good job.”

In her statement Wednesday, Robinson said that after 30 years in the restaurant industry, she knew that stepping back would require a new owner who would promise to continue operating the restaurants with the "same care and hospitality."

"I've found that in Susan," she said.

Officials said Barrett will implement new design aesthetics at all three restaurants but will continue Robinson's legacy of hospitality with a new chef-operator who will be named in the coming weeks.

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