5 Star Burgers Now Open in Kirkwood

My wife and I checked out the Garden Glow at Missouri Botanical Garden Thursday night—we loved it, by the way—and afterward decided to stop at one of the casual spots in Kirkwood. We drove by the new 5 Star Burgers location and, to our surprise, there were people inside, eating! So, we stopped and went in.

5 star room

After being seated, we chatted with proud owner Steve Gontram (pictured below). He told us that final inspections had just been completed that morning. Thursday night was practice night, the shakedown cruise for the staff before official opening day on Friday, December 20.

Steve Gontram

Our food and service were perfect. My wife had a salad and I had the 5 Star Burger, shown below. (Pic shot with bite taken so you can see that it was cooked medium, as ordered.) We shared a basket of sweet potato fries.

My burger

The bar poured me a tasty Civil Life Brown and appeared to be making first night visitors happy. They have a good selection of local craft beers.

5 Star bar

And for Slinger fans, this month is a good time to visit. See below.


5 Star Burgers in Kirkwood is in the old Culpepper’s location at 312 South Kirkwood Road. Now open and ready to rock! (5 Star Burgers also has a location in Clayton, which opened last year, at 8125 Maryland.)


Location, Location, Location

Someone expressed disappointment last week via a social media post toward Kirkwood and its fine citizens for the closing of the Local Harvest store on Big Bend at I-270.


But the issue, I believe, is not the residents of Kirkwood and the greater southwest St. Louis County area. Had Local Harvest stepped into a better suburban location, I think they would’ve had a greater shot at success.

Big Bend is a main drag but doesn’t match Manchester or Kirkwood Road (aka Lindbergh Boulevard in other locales) in terms of shopping opportunities. Global Foods thrives on Kirkwood Road. West of I-270, Trader Joe’s on Manchester—despite access issues—is always busy.

This is not to say that Local Harvest would’ve necessarily had huge sales in the ‘burbs if they were in an ideal location. There may have been other issues at play as well. However, on each of my visits, I was impressed by the store and its fare.

Had they located in a busier shopping area, they would likely have had more store visits and more opportunities to convert newbies into partisans. And that, for any retail business, is a vital key to growth and success.