Robbie Montgomery’s soul food restaurant Sweetie Pie’s Upper Crest has closed its doors at its St. Louis location, nearly a week after the singer’s son pleaded guilty to murder-for-hire charges.
Is Sweetie Pies Still Open
10:56 p.m. September 22, 2022 An earlier version of this story reported that a federal grand jury indicted James “Tim” Norman on various charges last Friday. A jury convicted him of the same charges.
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“We are closing to make room for the four-hundred million dollar expansion of the Cochrane Veterans Hospital,” said a statement posted on Montgomery’s Instagram. “Thank you to each of you for your support over 25 years. It has been a pleasure serving you, your friends and families.”
Sweetie Pie’s became popular as the subject of OWN reality show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”. According to OWN, the documentaries “follow the powerful, beloved and often singing Montgomery family as they work to expand their empire, one spiritual dish at a time.” In addition to Montgomery, the series also starred her son James “Tim” Norman and her grandson Andre Montgomery.
James ‘Tim’ Norman and his late nephew Andre Montgomery were both stars of the reality show ‘Welcome to Sweetie Pies’. Montgomery was shot and killed in 2016.
Last Friday, a federal jury convicted Norman of murder-for-hire, murder-for-hire and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty, but the former “Welcome to Sweetie Pies” star could be sentenced to life in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for December 15.
Sweetie Pie’s’ Murder For Hire Possibly Caused After $200k Stolen From Robbie Montgomery’s Home
Federal prosecutors said Norman, 43, hired two men to kill Andre Montgomery, 21, on March 14, 2016, and then tried to take a $450,000 life insurance policy from his nephew months earlier.
Montgomery fled St. Louis after at least $220,000 in cash, jewelry and other items were stolen during a June 2015 burglary of Robbie Montgomery’s home.
Norman told jurors that he and his mother hired a private investigator to find and confront his nephew about the robbery, but that he had no intention of harming him.
While Sweetie Pie’s Upper Crust will soon end its St. Louis run, the restaurant’s announcement ends on an optimistic note.
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Alexandra Del Rosario is an entertainment reporter in the Fast Break bureau of the Los Angeles Times. Before the Times, she was a television reporter at Deadline Hollywood, where she first served as an associate editor. He has written on a variety of topics including television ratings, casting and development, video games, and AAPI representation. Del Rosario is a graduate of UCLA and has also worked at The Hollywood Reporter and The Wrap.
10:56 p.m. September 22, 2022: An earlier version of this story reported that a federal grand jury indicted James “Tim” Norman on various charges last Friday. The court convicted him of these charges. After a decade in The Grove, Sweetie Pie’s has closed its location at 4270 Manchester, it has been confirmed. The Grand Center location, called The Upper Crest, will remain open. The storefront at The Grove isn’t likely to stay empty for long. While no new tenant has been announced, it is understood that negotiations with a new tenant are nearing completion.
Sweetie Pie rose to fame with the reality television series Welcome to Sweetie Pies on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN television network. The show enjoyed a successful run of six seasons, airing a total of 76 episodes and specials. Popular before the series, the show built on the success of Sweetie Pie, bringing tour buses and long queues to The Grove, where many episodes have been filmed.
Tim Norman Found Guilty In Sweetie Pie’s Murder For Hire Trial
Over the years, a Sweetie Pie location in Manchester had apparently closed for long periods of time without warning, leading to speculation that the restaurant had closed. Each time, customers were surprised by closed doors, unanswered questions, and then the restaurant reopened.
Sweetie Pie’s was founded by Robbie Montgomery and his son Tim Norman in 1996 in the northern suburbs of St. Louis of Dellwood. The location at The Grove opened in 2006. The success of both locations led Montgomery to open a restaurant, banquet hall and cooking school in 2012 in the city’s Grand Center Arts District.
The site has appeared in jeopardy for years, as the nearby John Cochrane Veterans Administration Medical Center eyed a parking expansion. “One of the things we’re struggling with is whether we’re going to be able to take over the restaurant because of the veterans hospital. If they put me somewhere else,” Montgomery told St. Louis American in 2013. ready to go, so I’m ready to be a good citizen and go ahead and make room if that happens.” The VA also looked at the adjacent historic Palladium building. It appears that expansion plans have stalled.
A deal struck in 2014 to expand the Sweetie Pie franchise to other cities never materialized. We reported that the restaurant was close to closing a deal with Matthew Knowles, father of international recording superstar and actor Beyonce. The first location outside of St. Louis was in Houston. The eventual failure of these plans, as well as plans to open a location in Memphis, were covered on the telecast.
Sweetie Pie’s Closes Popular Location In The Grove
Most recently, Montgomery’s son TJ opened Sweetie Pie’s NoHo in North Hollywood, California last year. The opening sparked a lawsuit with his mother over trademark issues. In November of last year, the tiny borough of Berkeley in St. Louis County approved a permit for TJ Sweetie Pie’s to operate in the former Del Taco. The location reportedly opened in the past few weeks.
Sweetie Pie’s has also been the subject of several lawsuits. Last July, a creditor filed a lawsuit for more than $215,000 in unpaid debt. Earlier this year, Sweetie Pie failed to appear in court and lost a $30,000 judgment in a case involving a customer who slipped and fell at the restaurant.
Montgomery grew up in the Pruitt-Iago Housing Project. She first came to prominence during the 1960s as a member of the Ikettes’ backing group, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue. He also worked with Drs. John, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison and The Rolling Stones, before retiring from singing after a collapsed lung in 1980.
As of October 2016, Sweetie Pie’s in The Grove is now Sweet Times run by Robbie Montgomery’s son Tim Norman. You can read more about the change at the Post Dispatch.
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Alex is the founder. He received his B.A. He holds an MA in Journalism and Public Affairs from Indiana University and studied in Adelaide, Australia and Perugia, Italy. Alex can be found on Twitter @alexihnen and contacted at [email protected].
Architecture in St. Louis is committed to providing original stories and unique perspectives on diverse urban topics such as development, transportation, historic preservation, urban planning and design, and public policy. We’re always trying to add new, different sounds to the mix. We accept anonymous tips, suggestions for story ideas and full stories. Just a few hundred yards from the Grand Center Arts District, Sweetie Pie’s Upper Crest gained a national audience through a reality TV series that followed the fortunes of the Montgomery family and its singer matriarch. The restaurant became Miss Ruby. The restaurant has become a local soul food institution, with often long queues attesting to its popularity. Order meat or fish and two or three sides from a rotating menu of daily specials — barbecue ribs and sides on Saturdays, roast beef and large turkey legs on Sundays — along with staples like baked chicken and pulled pork. No matter what day of the week you visit, you’ll be totally fixated on soul food staples like black-eyed peas, mac ‘n’ cheese and okra. Don’t forget to order a slice of peach or pear cobbler.
Saturday noon is the perfect time for lunch at this wonderful diner in the historic heart of Ferguson. The Route 66 decor that adorns the walls takes you across America, and chef-owner Kathy Jenkins’ menu reflects her love of travel as she spins her own dishes picked up on her adventures. Grab a counter stool or chrome stool and relax with shrimp and grits, catfish nuggets, grits and Cathy’s signature Cajun seafood spaghetti, or try Philly cheesecakes and Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches.
Owner Trezel Brown is passionate about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but she also wants her vegan cooking to offer the comforting quality of a good, home-cooked meal. At CC’s (named after her granddaughter) in Princeton Heights, Brown puts a plant-based spin on a range of soul food staples. The Soul Food Plate offers fried oyster mushrooms in place of chicken with sweet potatoes and greens on the side. Other restaurants include plant-based fried fish and roast beef, but Brown’s menu features signature soul-food dishes such as plant-based burgers, vegan cheese nachos and fries.
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