New Hi-Pointe Opening Downtown
Photos By Carmen Troesser
Chef and founder Mike Johnson, Charlie Downs and the entire Hi-Pointe Drive-In team are pleased to announce the opening of Hi-Pointe’s second location on Thursday, April 11th! Located catty-corner to Sugarfire Downtown at 634 Washington Ave., St. Louis, Mo. 63101, the restaurant will officially open for business at 11 a.m.
Founded in December of 2016 by the team behind St. Louis’ Sugarfire Smoke House, Hi-Pointe Drive-In is the second chef-driven concept by award-winning pitmaster Mike Johnson and restaurateur Charlie Downs. A departure from barbecue, the restaurant rides on the coattails of Sugarfire’s overwhelmingly popular burger with a throwback Americana menu of ‘smashed,’ thin-patty burgers, a burger style aligned with the era of true drive-ins. All burgers are made from an in-house mixture of brisket, chuck, and rib and are served on a buttered, toasted potato roll by St. Louis’ own Fazio’s Bakery.
In addition to burgers, Hi-Pointe offers a selection of signature sandwiches showcasing house-roasted meats cut to order, or meats from such local suppliers as Salume Beddu and Wenneman Meat Co. In particular, chef Johnson recommends his Taco Burger, an homage to Naugles: a popular Mexican restaurant chain in Southern California, operational from 1970 to 1995, that offered tacos and burgers. Built with a taco-seasoned blend of black angus beef, crushed Cool Ranch Doritos and Chili Cheese Fritos, The Taco Burger is dressed with an exclusive, original sauce created in collaboration with St. Louis’ Mission Taco Joint, and has received both local and national praise alike.
Lighter options such as the Impossible burger (gluten free, vegan, kosher and halal), the T.L.T. sandwich (housemade tofu bacon, lettuce, tomato, fried green tomatoes, garlic mayo on hearty wheatberry) and salads with a choice of five house-made dressings are also available at Hi-Pointe. Options for side dishes include green beans with bacon and onion and three cheese mac n’ cheese in addition to the restaurant’s not-so-usual suspects like Belgian-style frites, vinegar slaw, and barbecue Hi. chips. As for sweets, pastry chef Carolyn Downs brings her selection of classic treats to the table including hand pies, whoopie pies, and a variety of her renowned cookies. An array of boozy shakes graces the menu as well, oftentimes featuring collaborations with local breweries or nearby businesses, such as St. Louis’ Strange Donuts. In addition to the restaurant’s regular menu, guests look forward to over-the-top, “Hi.ghly-recommended” daily specials that are announced via its social media platforms each morning.
Housed in what was previously Perano Pasta, Hi-Pointe Downtown will offer a bright and playful interior and the counter-service format that’s familiar to the brand. The 3,600-square-foot restaurant will be larger than its flagship, seating approximately 100 guests, with 70 seats inside and an additional 30 seats on the covered patio. From the exterior spaceship signage to the interior design, guests will notice the new location will lend to a sleeker aesthetic that further highlights the brand’s space-like theme and nod to the extraterrestrial. Upon entering, guests will be greeted by an out-of-this-world mural by St. Louis-based Killer Napkins and Top Coat Signs, with future illustrations to be completed by Portland-based artist Guy Burwell. Other “finds” will show themselves in weeks to come, such as a quite famous ‘Burger Mobile’ Johnson is currently working to refurbish.
In celebration of the opening, both Hi-Pointe locations will launch revamped menus, with new additions including the French onion burger, Cuban sandwich, salmon BLT, sweet potato tots, onion rings and more! Furthermore, the opening will kick off an ongoing partnership with the St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation by offering an on-menu “Arch D-Lux” Burger (double American cheeseburger with peppered bacon, ketchup, special d-lux sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, sesame bun, $8.5). In efforts to continue giving back to the community that has supported him, Johnson will forever donate $1 from every Arch D-Lux sold to the St. Louis Gateway Arch Park Foundation, which seeks to better weave an international icon into the fabric of the region and improve connections to St. Louis and the riverfront.
Hi-Pointe Downtown will open at 11 a.m. on Thursday, April 11th with service running Monday thru Thursday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.. Upon opening, the restaurant will provide carryout and delivery via phone at 314-405-8274. For Hi-Pointe’s menu and more information, please visit hipointedrivein.com.