With the Fox Theater, City Diner, Vito’s Sicilian Restaurant and Flying Cow Frozen Yogurt Company all in the neighborhood, North Grand Boulevard is a hot spot for both tourists and Saint Louis University students. But 10 years ago, walking north across Lindell Boulevard was a completely different story.
For those that have relatives who went to SLU, they might have heard the warnings of crossing into this area. Steve Smith is the man responsible for part of the transition of this section of city into a common hang out spot.
Smith built and created Triumph Grill, a restaurant and museum located at 3419 Olive Blvd., just across from the Olive-Compton Parking Garage.
Smith is a “smart and successful business man, but is very down to earth,” said Deanna Duckett, the finance manager of Moto Europa, the Triumph motorcycle dealership connected to the back of the restaurant.
Triumph’s motorcycle museum opened up on April 14, 2007, and the restaurant opened just over a year afterwards on Oct. 1, 2008.
With a museum, gallery, restaurant and dealership, not to mention the attachment of Cafe Pinxtos, which is affiliated with SLU-owned Hotel Ignacio, Smith has created an upscale motorcycle oasis that has changed the whole demographic of the area.
When walking in, you are automatically confronted by important and legendary pieces of motorcycle history. Triumph is both a posh restaurant and bar. There are separate dining rooms, each named and decorated after a different European motorcycle.
Most of the decorations are handmade out of old bike parts by Smith and his son Zach, the owner of Flying Cow Frozen Yogurt Company. For example, in the Bohmer room, when looking up, diners will see chandeliers made out of old bike wheels and spokes. The walls are covered with framed collages of speedometers and exhaust pipes. The restaurant has intimate lighting and comfortable lounge chairs and tables. The setting creates a relaxed atmosphere while still maintaining the excitement of the history found throughout Triumph Grill.
Triumph Grill is the ideal place for a nice night out, a casual lunch or a Sunday brunch buffet. The food is top-notch, specializing in sandwiches, burgers and fries, and salads.
The servings are easily large enough to share or take home for a second delicious meal. The staff is friendly and welcoming. They go beyond what is expected to make sure customers are comfortable.
SLU student Ana Valencia also enjoyed the restaurant.
“I think the design is cool,” Valencia said. “I thought it was sleek and private, so if the restaurant was full of people it still wouldn’t feel crowded.”
On top of the great atmosphere, Triumph even accepts Billiken Bucks. With Cafe Pinxtos connected, the location is perfect for a SLU student looking for a place to relax that is not a dormitory or the student center. The cafe is a naturally bright and quiet area that offers coffee, pastries and free Wi-Fi.
At the start of spring, Triumph Grill will host a Vintage Bike Night on the first Tuesday of every month. The street will be lined with old and new motorcycles of all kinds. There will be food from the grill and a DJ at the event. It is the perfect blend of great food, a taste of history and a social atmosphere. It is sure to please everyone.