St. Louis restaurant owner Aaron Teitelbaum never thought he’d be in the diner business when, five years ago, he was asked to come up with a concept for 4651 Maryland Avenue.
The Culinary Institute of America graduate was tasked with creating a restaurant theme congruent with the nearby World Chess Hall of Fame — one that worked in tandem with nightly chess events held in the dining room.
“I kicked around a lot of different ideas, anywhere from coffee shop to sandwiches,” said Teitelbaum. “One day I said ‘what about doing a chess-themed diner?’ They loved it.”
Now, in 2020, Kingside Diner has become a staple of the Central West End’s breakfast scene. The popular eatery combines Teitelbaum’s take on fine dining with affordable favorites and creative St. Louis dishes, all in the company of an extensive library of chess-themed paraphernalia. The breakfast and lunch chain with a full bar has since opened a second location in Clayton at 8025 Bonhomme Avenue.