Richard and Sally Syberg were raising six kids as they started a catering business in the mid-1970s out of the kitchen at their parish church, St. Simon the Apostle
ST. LOUIS — Business for the Syberg’s Family of Restaurants, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in March just as the pandemic shutdown began, has taken a hit. But the group is still moving forward with expansion plans, including a new restaurant concept.
Richard and Sally Syberg were raising six kids as they started a catering business in the mid-1970s out of the kitchen at their parish church, St. Simon the Apostle in South County. The Sybergs began looking for their own commercial kitchen.
“So that’s how the Syberg’s on Gravois came about,” Kirk Syberg, second-generation co-owner, said of the original restaurant. The first Syberg’s, an Eating & Drinking Co., opened at 7802 Gravois Road on St. Patrick’s Day 1980.
The group has continued to expand, currently operating seven Syberg’s branded locations featuring its famous wing sauce. Today, Syberg’s offers a broad menu of appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, seafood and salads, with a sports bar atmosphere and live music.
The group expanded its reach in 1992, opening Helen Fitzgerald’s Irish Grill & Pub at 3650 S. Lindbergh Blvd. in Sunset Hills, with an Irish twist to the menu. “We named it in honor of my grandma, (Sally Syberg’s mom), who was a hostess at the Missouri Athletic Club for over 30 years,” Kirk said.
Sally Syberg is still active, but Richard Syberg died in 2018 at age 86, Kirk said. Second-generation Syberg siblings Dennis Syberg, Debbie Bunse and Fawn Lindquist previously worked for the restaurant group, which currently is owned by second-generation members Kirk, Rick and Brett Syberg. Several third-generation family members work in the business, including Kirk’s and Rick’s sons, Conner Syberg and Josh Syberg, respectively, who are on the company’s board.
The group partnered with the Abbadessa family, owners of Macon, Missouri’s revered Pear Tree Kitchen & Bar, to open Twisted Tree, with a menu featuring aged beef, batter-dipped seafood, an extensive wine list and house-made ice cream.
The Syberg’s group is planning to open a more casual spinoff, called Twisted Tavern, in November at a leased former Ruby Tuesday’s location in Arnold, featuring a steak burger and specialty sandwiches. “We think Arnold will be a good test market for us, and I think we’ll probably plan on opening more of these,” Kirk said of the concept.
In addition, a new Syberg’s location is planned for January, after about a $500,000 renovation of a leased former Ruby Tuesday’s location in Wentzville, he said.
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