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Are restaurants closing or opening in downtown St. Louis?

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ST. LOUIS (KPLR) – Over the last few weeks several downtown St. Louis restaurants have announced they are going out of business.  The closing has some wondering if it's the start of a downward trend.

FOX 2's Paul Schankman is in downtown St. Louis where some believe the success of Ballpark Village may be responsible.

Well some do, but a lot of people don't, and they point to this as proof.  A new Gerard Craft restaurant opening on Washington Avenue that’s being called Italian fast food, named Porano Pasta.  Chef craft is the man behind several successful St. Louis restaurants, and he says he has no reservations about opening a new restaurant in downtown St. Louis.

His new place is on Washington Avenue where two other restaurants on the same street have recently been added to the closure list, along with Mike Shannon's and Harry's across town.

The owner of Harry's has been quoted as blaming his closure partially on competition from ballpark village, and downtown crime.

St. Louis Magazine's dining editor says while those may be factors,  he believes the multiple closings are largely a coincidence and that other downtown restaurants and bars are thriving.

As George Mahe points out; last year at this time 13 restaurants in the St. Louis area went out of business in one week, and people were pronouncing the restaurant industry dead in St. Louis.  But it’s not, with restaurant business in the city of St. Louis increased in the first nine months of last year by four and a half percent.

If you are interested in trying Porano Pasta, they'd love to have you, but not tonight, their grand opening is next week.  This is just a test run with family and friends.