St. Louis’ McKinley Heights neighborhood recently welcomed Gather – A Neighborhood Cafe, which debuted in May featuring coffee, pastries and casual fare, with seasonal specials for breakfast and lunch – and Gather just rolled out its first fall offerings.
The establishment comes from Megan King-Popp and Monica Croke, who also own neighboring business Urban Fort Play, an indoor play space for families with young children. Last spring, Gather replaced what formerly functioned as the café portion of the play space in an effort to rebrand and retool its offerings.
According to King-Popp, the building contains roughly 4,500 square feet, with the café taking up about a third of that space. She refurbished the café with a warm and welcoming boho-chic design, including tables by local company Rustic Grain. A large front patio is also available for outdoor seating.
Gather’s menu includes sandwiches, pastries, seasonal soups and salads, plus kid-friendly options, Living Room coffee, Blueprint Coffee espresso drinks, beer, wine, canned cocktails and more.
“As moms, we find that most family-focused places have food that is very simple and often bland, including subpar coffee and things like that,” King-Popp says. “One of our main goals was to make sure that parents knew they were our No. 1 focus. We wanted our menu to be interesting and delicious.”
Customers can choose from such highlights as a house-made buttermilk biscuit topped with turkey sausage or grilled tomato, American cheese, scrambled egg and mustard aioli. Autumnal specials include curried butternut squash and lentil bisque, as well as a chicken-apple melt with grilled chicken, apple, white cheddar, caramelized onion, arugula and hot honey on a Union Loafers hoagie roll. From the pastry case, customers likewise can choose from treats like freshly baked chai morning buns, Danish with house-made jam, and blackberry-lavender vegan scones.
“I think the most exciting part for us is just being able to expand our reach,” King-Popp says. “St. Louis families have been so supportive and grateful to have us as a resource, and it’s been really fun working on making the menu more accessible and welcoming a wider audience here with open arms.”
Gather – A Neighborhood Cafe, 1854 Russell Blvd., St. Louis, 314-376-4235, gathercafestl.com