the up in smoke burger at layla photo by lauren healey

Layla in Webster Groves has closed permanently

The last outpost of the beloved Lebanese-inflected burger joint Layla has closed without much ado.

Layla and the Bad Egg at 20 Allen Ave., Suite 130, in Webster Groves quietly closed its doors in October, a representative from the building's owner confirmed to the RFT. Michael Koch, director of investments for Novus Companies, said the eatery has been closed since and will not be reopening.

It was one month before the closure that Novus filed a suit against Layla owners Jason and Maria Sparks in St. Louis County Court, seeking $37,376.64 in missing rent, as the St. Louis Business Journal reported at the time.

The original Grove location of Layla had closed for good a year prior after its landlord there terminated the lease for non-payment. A representative from the restaurant told the RFT at the time that staffing issues were at the heart of the problem but that the Webster Groves location would remain open.

Layla's final social media posts on Instagram and Facebook state that the restaurant is closed but "will be back and ready for you at 4 on Tuesday!" Yelp lists the restaurant as temporarily closed with a reopening date in February. Neither, though, seems to be accurate.

Koch said that the Webster Groves location is a tough spot for a restaurant, as it sits within an office building and it was not initially intended to be a restaurant. It was converted about 20 years ago and has held several concepts that ultimately proved unsuccessful. For that reason, he is anticipating that the space will be filled with a traditional office or medical tenant. "I'd love for it to be a restaurant, just for the building and the area," he said. "But a restaurant has never really had staying power there."

This article was originally published by the Riverfront Times.