CRESTWOOD, Mo. – We’ve heard of restaurants and bars closing because of the pandemic nationwide. That’s not the case for Malone’s Grill & Pub, which closed Tuesday.
The owner said it’s because he couldn’t keep a full staff of employees.
“One of my favorite memories is watching the Blues win the Stanley Cup here,” said Paul Bolin of Affton. “This place erupted, it was awesome! Everyone cheering, like, knocking over tables, they were so excited.”
Whether it was watching the Cardinals win the World Series or the Blues clinch their first Stanley Cup, patrons of Malone’s Grill & Pub have fond memories of their experiences at the restaurant.
“You got the coleslaw, you got the mashed taters, and you got the salad dressing and also that chicken, oh my God, it’s great,” said Christopher Thornburgh, a Malone’s regular.
Steve Schafermeyer, owner of Malone’s, said business was fine.
“We’ve made money 27 out of 28 years it has nothing to do with money. It has to do with people,” he said.
Schafermeyer made the decision to close because of lack of employees. On Tuesday, he was down to six workers.
“Some of these guys haven’t had a day off. They’re working open to close. You can’t keep doing that to people,” he said. “It’s not about the money anymore; it’s common sense.”
He’s helped the employees who’ve been by his side up until now land new jobs and he’s helping them where he can.
“I gave them a gift card for gas and food and told them they wouldn’t lose a week’s pay, that once we close, I’ll still pay them to come help clean up and there’s another job waiting for them if they so choose to take it,” Schafermeyer said.
Charly Tishma, who worked at Malone’s for 17 years, stopped by for a farewell with friends.
“I don’t drink but I very much enjoy people who do,” she said. “It makes me sad because I won’t know one place where I know I can see all of these wonderful people.”
There’s a memory board for those who wanted to wish Schafermeyer well and thank him and those who are a part of Malone’s.
“It’s heartwarming. It’s even more heartwarming, the amount of employees that have worked for me,” he said. “I mean, some of these guys, 15-20 years, all showed up the other night and it was a really nice experience.”
Schafermeyer sees this not as an ending but a new beginning in his life.
“I’m old, man. People my age shouldn’t be working,” he said.