It was in 2017 that Tim Meinecke opened Café Piazza in Saint Louis, Missouri, an authentic Italian café that is now commended as a community staple. Taking inspiration from a Sicilian piazza, it is an eatery that brings together food, art, and gathering, making it the perfect destination to indulge in some traditional, mouth-watering Italian food – and not to mention, coffee!
In light of International Coffee Day, Tim is excited to celebrate the coffee bean, which he describes as “a very historic and influential crop that every culture has found a home in.” We learn more about Café Piazza and Tim’s love of coffee.
“We’re a piazza, an experience.”
When one enters Café Piazza, it is as though they have arrived in a Sicilian piazza, a location where people gather throughout the day to socialise while enjoying a bite to eat, some gelato, or a cappuccino. Tim Meinecke has recreated the essence of this daily camaraderie for the people of Saint Louis, alongside the most luxurious of coffees and the “the best Sicilian crust anywhere.” Locals and tourists alike are presented with a little slice of Italian tradition with all its delicious flavours – including the “best pizza in town” – and all the glorious bustling personality of a piazza.
“This place is the definition of scrumptious. It’s my new favourite place to eat, and will be coming here multiple times a week!”
Tim Meinecke’s food and hospitality career spans nearly two decades, during which time he has cultivated a strong career as a restauranteur. He started out as a busser and line cook at Vito’s Pizzeria, and soon took on roles of assistant kitchen manager at Smokin’ Chicks BBQ, line cook at TGI Friday’s, and then kitchen manager at Sky Hi Grill. Having worked his way up to executive chef level for Vito’s, he soon found his flair for entrepreneurship as co-owner of Ristorante, and Café 32.
At present, not only is Tim co-owner of Café Piazza, but also Infamous BBQ, and Benton Parkade, all located in Saint Louis, in addition to owning STL Toy Co. All this stems from his passion for cooking, hospitality, and entrepreneurship, combined with a desire to help his hometown flourish. He loves “the influence and impact that a hospitality establishment can have on its community, no matter the culture or origin it’s in.” Mr Meinecke’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed either, with him being honoured with a Business Award to celebrate his extraordinary professional accomplishments and expertise.
Noun: A public square or marketplace, especially in an Italian town.
From the Dublin iced coffee (coffee, Guinness stout, Jameson, simple syrup, cream, and a cinnamon stick), to the Siciliano (sweet vermouth, amaro, cold brew coffee, simple syrup, and club soda), to an espresso, cappuccino, or latte, Café Piazza knows exactly what it’s doing when it comes to this delicious caffeinated (or decaffeinated) beverage. And coffee-adoring visitors couldn’t find a better place to indulge in their favourite drink, as they know it’ll be served with a spectacular social atmosphere and the most complementary Italian dishes, nibbles, and desserts.
Tim goes on to tell us that a key focus of his when it comes to serving coffee is “making sure the product is handled and developed the proper way by the best farmers and roasters I can find.” As of late, Café Piazza has been working with Mina’s Coffee which imports beans from different regions across the world to be roasted locally, while raising money for the communities from which they originate.
So, what is Tim’s favourite coffee? He replies with delight, “I love all coffee! Recently, I tried a blend that Mina’s Coffee produced that is aged in whiskey barrels to give it that oaky taste. Very cool and unique!”
Meanwhile, also enhancing the divine ambience at Café Piazza is the art that adorns its walls, with the intention of intriguing, stimulating the senses, and promoting a sense of community. The café is keen to showcase and even sell the creations of local artists, with Paco Rosic and his spray paint interpretation of the Sistine Chapel being among those featured. If you’re interested in displaying your work, the café would love to hear from you! For more details on art at Café Piazza, visit: www.cafepiazza.com/about/art
“Café Piazza is definitely my new favourite place to grab a bite to eat or have a beer. It’s hard to choose between the pizza and the paninis. Love the mural on the dining side and the fun atmosphere of watching the food be prepared in front of you on the fast-casual side.”
– Aubrey Schmoll
Café Piazza’s guests all agree that its dining room is the best they’ve ever been to – and the food and drink is the greatest that Saint Louis has to offer. For it is not simply sitting down to eat, but it is an experience, a place to go to have a great time and create the fondest memories.
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