Business Finance

Ferguson Business Drakes Place Restaurant Shares their Success story and working with the STL Partnership

Drakes Place Restaurant shares their history and story of success.

Inside view of Drake’s Place Restaurant (Photo courtesy of Drake’s Place Restaurant)

As you walk into Drake’s Place Restaurant, you can expect a warm, friendly environment with the delicious aroma of fresh food being prepared. Drake’s Place Restaurant is located in Ferguson, MO and specializes in American cuisine and house made sauces that will bring you back for more.

The restaurant also attributed some of its growth to working with the STL Partnership and receiving a Rapid Deployment Grant. “We had a very positive experience with the STL Partnership and the Rapid Deployment Grant was a much needed financial blessing to help us with expenses,” said Bridgett Lewis, Co-Owner of Drake’s Place Restaurant.  “It was a fairly easy process and we were treated with dignity and respect.”

The Beginning

Sonny and Bridgett Lewis, Owners of Drake’s Place Restaurant (Photo courtesy of Drake’s Place Restaurant)

Drake’s Place Restaurant started from humble beginnings. “My husband, Chef Sonny Lewis discovered his passion for cooking as a teenager,” said Bridgett. “He worked his way up the ranks from dishwasher, to pantry person, to line cook all the way to Executive Chef at some of St. Louis’ premiere restaurants and clubs.”

“Consequently, Sonny always dreamed of having his own sit down restaurant,” said Lewis “After 20 years of being the Executive Chef at Heart of St. Charles Ballroom and Conference, we stepped out on faith and opened Drake’s Place Restaurant.”

The name of Drake’s Place Restaurant also has a significant meaning. “Sonny’s real name is Deundrake Lewis and when our youngest grandson was born, he was named Tristan Drake Lewis,” said Bridgett. “That’s how we decided on the name and Tristan who is 10 years old now, loves the restaurant!”

How the Restaurant stays successful during COVID-19

Grilled and fried shrimp with baked potato and green beans served at the restaurant (Photo courtesy of Drake’s Place Restaurant)

Drake’s Place was recently featured on the Food Network reality show Restaurant Impossible with celebrity chef, Robert Irvine. “With the help of the community, they gave our restaurant complete renovation,” said Lewis. “The Restaurant Impossible team set our POS system and our website up to take online orders which helped to keep the doors open when the county shut down indoor dining and as a result, we provide carryout and curbside services.”

Drake’s Place also makes sure to adhere to the CDC and St. Louis County guidelines. “All of our staff wear masks and we sanitize all surfaces continually and perform contact tracing,” said Bridgett. “We take our staff’s temperature at the beginning of each shift and we continually wash our hands.”

“We have signage that says mask are required, however, if a customer does not have a mask, we will provide one for them and we also practice the 6ft social distancing guidelines in our dining area.”

More than a Restaurant

Co-Owner Bridgett Lewis with loyal customer (photo courtesy of Drake’s Place Restaurant)

“Our greatest accomplishment at Drake’s Place is the fact we have met our objective of making our restaurant into a place where most people feel at home including regular customers, out of town visitors and staff,” said Bridgett. “We know so many of our customers by name and we will call to check on them if they are ill.”

“We are proud that we are able to teach and mentor our youth in the community,” said Lewis. “For instance, Sonny has taken young people who had no desire to learn to cook and coached them into a state of confidence where they are no longer intimidated but have become eager to learn the trade.”
“Some have gone on to other places with a skill set better than some cooking institutions.”

Moving Forward

Fried chicken sandwich with Drake’s Place signature sauce (Photo courtesy of Drake’s Place)

Sonny and Bridgett Lewis have great plans for the future. “We are so excited to have recently filed for a trademark for our signature Drake’s House salad dressing as well as our Sweetie Tweedie & Spicy Bob BBQ sauces,” said Lewis “Both were inspired by our mom’s recipes.”

“We have been approached by Schnucks stores as they saw our restaurant featured in Feast Magazine,” said Lewis “We are also working on enhancing our New Sonny’s BBQ Smokehouse menu.”

“We are here to serve the people in our community and we work very hard to provide an atmosphere where all feel welcome,” said Lewis “We have an eclectic delicious menu with affordable prices and friendly servers that will make you feel right at home!”

For more information about Drake’s Place Restaurant and to order online visit their website here.