By MARY ANN O’TOOLE HOLLEY
When a business is built with love and 100 percent union craft workers, it’s already on track for success, but add to that the famous Syberg’
s name, and the crowd cheers, learning the St. Louis institution has expanded westward, arriving in St. Charles County.
Kirk Syberg, co-owner of Syberg’s nine family restaurants, including Helen Fitzgerald’s Restaurant and Pub and Twisted Tree Steakhouse in South County, opened its latest sports bar and restaurant Nov. 27, in the former Joe’s Crab Shack location in St. Peters, 586 Suemandy Dr., across from Mid Rivers Mall.
“This is our biggest remodel yet, and of course, we use 100 percent Union craftsmen on all of our projects,” Syberg said. “It’s quality workmanship, and union craftsmen get the work done right the first time.”
Joe’s Crab Shack opened in St. Peters in 1998, but closed in June 2017. Syberg said the unkempt building was not up to code and had to be seriously upgraded. To date, Syberg’s said, about $1.5 million has been invested in remodeling and expansion of the building expected to open any day now.
Kirk, a second generation Syberg, has been overseeing work at the new location, and as opening day grew nearer, construction crews were busy up to the last minute putting the finishing touches on the new 8,750-square-foot building.
Syberg said everything in the restaurant is new, except for the roof and the walls.
“It’s really been good working with BBI, our general contractor,” Syberg said. “We’ve had minimum overruns, except for unforeseen issues. It’s been on time, and we’re very happy with the way the project has gone. It really shaped up, and looks beautiful.”
The electric was the most challenging part of the project, Syberg said. All of the outside lighting was replaced; new asphalt was poured; at least 40 television sets were installed, and some of the TVs are 108-inches wide. The electrical contractor, Akron Electric, did a great job and they didn’t rest until it was right, Syberg said.
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 Business Representative Rob Dussold said it was great working with Syberg, not only for the craftsmen, but for the business.
“Our foreman made a lot of suggestions that ended up saving money and making thework more efficient,” Dussold said. “It was a great team.”
Akron foreman Tom Raciti agreed that work has gone very well. “Our motto is work smart instead of hard,” Raciti said.
The large center bar and hostess desk features beautiful manufactured concrete countertops and wood-look ceramic tile flooring. The outdoor patios will feature heaters for chilly months and high-top tables in the bar area.
“It’s similar to our other restaurants in decorating theme, only a bit larger,”Syberg said. “It’s going to be a great place for everyone, whether it’s a night out for dinner or drinks.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY
Syberg was 18 when he first started working in his parents catering business. It was 1975, and Richard and Sally Syberg had begun a catering business working out of St. Simon’s Church kitchen in South St. Louis.
When the catering business grew too big, the family opened their first restaurant at the Gravois location on St. Patrick’s Day 1980.
Now, all those years later, Syberg said his son Conner will work as general manager at the St. Peters location, the seventh Syberg’s restaurant in the in the metro area.
“Our business is all about family,” Syberg said, noting that members of the Syberg family work at each of the nine locations. “We feel like the craftsmen are part of our family, too. They did a wonderful job on everything, getting it done ontime and very close to budget.”
Every Friday during construction, Syberg served lunch to the craftsmen, something he says is only seemed right.
“We appreciate them, and with Friday lunch, we show it,” Syberg said. “We feed people, so why not feed those who are helping get our first new St. Charles County restaurant off the ground?”
Syberg said the St. Peters location will include the largest outdoor patio of any Syberg’s location, an indoor/outdoor bar and an area with live music. A spacious front bar area features high-top tables, and a dining area is devoted to the other side of the restaurant.
For sports lovers, several 108-inch television sets will be featured for easy viewing, and there will be plenty of other television sets to catch other sporting events.
Syberg’s had annual sales of more than $30 million and planned to open more locations in St. Charles County moving forward.
“I think our plan is opening up a new restaurant every other year or so,” he said.“We’re also looking at a few spots in Wentzville.”