Support local businesses!

All businesses have suffered from the pandemic, but small, local businesses need our help most of all.


Almost a year after the pandemic began, restaurants have shown to persevere through the restrictions and continue to stay open for business. It may be easy for some staple restaurants and businesses, such as Joey B’s and Dierbergs, who get regular customers no matter what, but for the smaller family-owned shops, it’s been difficult to grow and stay afloat. My favorite small business is St. Louis Taco and Pita Grill, located on Manchester Road near Andy’s. Matthew Rogers works at Mattress Outlet on Manchester Road, across from Buffalo Wild Wings, which is family-owned and operated. Also, sophomore Srujan Garimella’s parents own Bawarchi Biryanis, which is also on Manchester road but east of Highway 141.

St. Louis Taco and Pita Grill

My personal favorite of the Manchester Road businesses and my go-to restaurant when craving authentic food is St. Louis Taco and Pita Grill. They have dine-in, carry-out, and drive-thru, but be warned; without calling your order ahead, you’ll be waiting in line for a while. It most certainly is not fast food, but it’s fresh food. The little shop is run by a husband/wife team, who will have their kids running around helping or a friend in the back helping their dad cook. They’re the nicest people you’d ever meet, and help direct you around the gargantuan menu. The food ranges from American, to Greek, to Mexican, and even Indian. Pretty much anything you could want, they have. Fries, pita, cheesesteaks, tacos, tamales, hot wings, gyros, the list goes on and on. 

Now, you may be thinking “There’s no way they are able to make this wide of a variety taste good all the time.” That’s what makes them stand out. They make every dish carefully and filling, getting you your money’s worth of food. It takes a long time to be cooked, but always comes out hot and ready. My personal favorite is the California Chicken Philly, but each time I try a new item, I love it and would definitely order it again. I have yet to find a dish they create that I do not like. 

However, adjusting to pandemic life has been extremely difficult on them. After closing for much of the summer and fall due to not enough business, they are back up and running. If you’re looking for a new place to try that’s supporting local families and businesses, Taco Pita Grill is the place! Put their hours on here.

Mattress & Futon Outlet – 15438 Manchester Rd, Ellisville, MO 63021

Senior Matthew Rogers has been working at Mattress Outlet for over five years now. Starting in middle school, he would go after school and work at the Manchester location of the local company, owned by his grandparents. After having the job for so long, he knows the ins and outs of what makes Mattress Outlet a better option for buying beds than any other competitor. 

“Mattress Outlet is a great local store because we don’t shove our advertisements in your face and have the same quality mattresses as Mattress Firm or Mattress Direct but cheaper,” Rogers said. This is because they keep the customer’s interests first.

Now, since he is able to drive, he works in the warehouse in St. Charles. “I have a pickup truck and trailer, so I often will do deliveries and loadouts for customers,” Rogers said.

I own a bed from Mattress Outlet, and could not be more pleased with it. The worker who helped me was very friendly and personable, and helped get me the best deal I could on the specific mattress I wanted, which was memory foam. It’s spacious and comfy, and I got it cheaper than anywhere else would have offered.

“Our all-natural latex bamboo beds are the best selling mattresses,” Rogers said. 

They sell beds, futons, and covers for beds. There is a large selection available, he said.

“The latex bamboo beds sells the best because they’re extremely marketable, being good for the environment and spring-free. I would definitely recommend getting one of those if you come by,” said Rogers.

Bawarchi Biryanis – 14222 Manchester Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011

Located east of Highway 141 is Bawarchi Biryanis, a locally owned Indian cuisine restaurant. Sophomore Srujan Garimella’s parents happen to be the owners, and I had the privilege to ask how they’ve dealt with the pandemic.

“They’ve been a lot more careful than usual to make sure they don’t catch the virus themselves,” Garimella said. “This means I also have had to sacrifice some of my free time and leisurely activities to keep the restaurant open.” 

However, since he is still in school, it’s hard for him to find time to work there and help his parents. He will usually only go on weekends with his family.

“Most weekend mornings I’ll do whatever they need me to do in the kitchen, whether that be washing dishes or unloading boxes,” Garimella said.

After reading through the menu, I was able to get the impression that it had a huge variety of options, making it a great choice for beginners to the cuisine. You can choose from food based from South India, North India, Indo-Chinese, and many, many more. They have a kids menu as well, and soups, appetizers, and Indian desserts.

Garimella agreed with my observation, “There are a lot of basic options for newcomers, and my personal favorite would be the naan. I don’t know anyone that hasn’t liked it,” Srujan said. 

Although they initially stuck to takeout only, you can now reserve tables and dine in if that is what you prefer.

All in all, there are a plethora of options for shopping and dining out, and they don’t always have to come from the corporations. It’s always beneficial and helpful to support the local business in St. Louis, and these were just a few of the options.