ST. LOUIS – A longtime popular restaurant in St. Louis is now closing, citing eminent domain—when a government has the right to take private property for public use.

In Grand Center, on the front door of this Delmar business, a sign letting customers know that Sweetie Pie’s Upper Crust restaurant will be closing.

On Wednesday morning, a social media post, as well as multiple signs, read as follows:

“We are closing to make room for the more than $400 million Cochran Veterans Hospital Expansion. We thank each and every one of you for your 25 years of support.”

A longtime customer said they went to every Sweetie Pie’s location in St. Louis.

“Every time I come in, I come here,” said Yul Troupe. Some of the best food in the country. A lot of people think the south has the best food, no, St. Louis has the best food.”

“Yeah, we’re definitely going to miss this place because it’s very good food, good service, and good people,” said Ronni Simms, a longtime customer.

The VA hospital expansion is expected to take two decades to complete and cost a billion dollars. It covers 700,000 square feet of new building space.

The founder of Sweetie Pie’s, Robbie Montgomery and the Sweetie Pie’s family, shared a message to the customers:

“It has been a pleasure to serve you, your friends, and families. We hope to have an opportunity to serve you in the future.”

A family that’s seen its share of heartache recently when a jury convicted Ms. Montgomery’s son, Tim Norman, in a murder-for-hire plan that left his nephew, Andre Montgomery dead.

Many customers are learning about the news of the popular soul food restaurant’s closing.

“Yeah, I just recently found out,” Troupe said. “That’s a bummer. This is the last location, so hopefully, it opens again here or somewhere else here.”