Old Bavarian Inn, Tower Grove East

Update: Renovations began in the winter of 2022; see progress in the fall of 2022.

The Bavarian Inn opened in 1946, but its famous owners, the Eiseles, bought it in 1963; the Black Forest down on Cherokee Street was also run by the family. The building is obviously older, but I do not know what it was used for originally.

The manila-colored bricks show that the corner and the windows were altered at some point; I suspect it was a corner store of some sort originally. Hermann Eisele passed away back in 2014; his obituary in the Post-Dispatch is one of the most unique I have ever read in that it mostly consists of stories of him beating up and/or shooting robbers in the 1990s. This part of the City was rough back then; one of my neighbors in Tower Grove East told me he was shot in a robbery after leaving the Bavarian Inn and starting his walk back home back in the early 90s.

The interior furnishings have been ripped out, unfortunately; for a short period of time, this was a bar known as Alibi’s.

I also find it fascinating that there was a matching two-family apartment building that was clearly built along with the restaurant. City records list the construction date as 1909 for the restaurant, and 1913 for the apartments, which looks about right architecturally.

I’ve been mystified that no one has found a way to redevelop this prime location; there is a parking lot that comes along with the property to the north across Arsenal (the faded sign still exists). The rest of the triangular shaped block that the restaurant sits on is filled with junk, and I wish that it would go away. Back in the day, there would be bands that would play out on the patio, but those days are long gone. German restaurants are just not popular anymore.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Dan Lewis says:

    I had visited there one time about 1995 or 96 it had been sold by then and was briefly called MJ’s Bavarian Inn, clearly the magic was gone.
    Some more info:

  2. Mary Denny says:

    The Bavarian Inn is getting a total face lift. for better or worse. All of the beautiful windows have been replaced with full plain glass. You can not tell what it is going to be. Hopefully the original windows are show cased inside the building. But it is a welcome site to this corner. Clement’s lock and key has moved out and that building is also getting a facelift along with the other corner across the parking lot. That intersection is looking like someone lives there now!

    1. cnaffziger says:

      I know, after so many decades of malaise, there are so many changes coming to that part of Tower Grove East!

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