The acclaimed Hill restaurant J. Devoti Trattoria will permanently close after service on March 31, chef and owner Anthony Devoti announced Wednesday.
Devoti intends to step back from cooking full-time and instead pursue a career in woodworking. He still loves to cook, he said, but restaurant hours have caught up to him, and he wants to spend more time with his children.
“I’m giving up (working) nights, man,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing. I’m giving up the nights and the weekends.”
J. Devoti’s closure will mark the end of a 16-year run for Devoti. He opened Five Bistro in 2006 in the Grove in Forest Park Southeast. Three years later, he moved Five to 5100 Daggett Avenue on the Hill.
(He also operated a second Grove restaurant, Newstead Tower Public House, from 2007-2010.)
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In March 2018, Devoti closed Five, but reopened the space the next month as J. Devoti Trattoria, putting an Italian spin on his contemporary, farm-to-table cooking.
Both restaurants have won Devoti numerous plaudits over the years. Five was a four-time honoree of this restaurant’s critic STL 100, J. Devoti a three-time honoree.
One of the prime reasons for both restaurants’ success? Even if you didn’t see Devoti during your visit, you could be confident he was cooking in the kitchen.
“I mean, I was on the line every single night,” Devoti said.
Beginning next week, J. Devoti will be open for dinner Friday-Sunday through the end of March. This Thursday (Feb. 16) will be the restaurant’s final regular pizza night. Devoti owns the building, and the space will remain available for catering, including events that are already scheduled.
J. Devoti is closing “on a high note,” Devoti said: “I don’t owe anybody any money. Life is good.”
Read Devoti’s full message about the closure here.