St. Louis’ Little Fox restaurant pivots, pivots again amid the pandemic | Coronavirus

St. Louis’ Little Fox restaurant pivots, pivots again amid the pandemic | Coronavirus

Mowgli and Craig Rivard met in the restaurant hothouse of Brooklyn, New York, but dreamed of owning a neighborhood spot in Craig’s native St. Louis. The couple moved to Fox Park, and in late 2019 opened Little Fox there. During the restaurant’s first three months, the neighborhood turned out.



Little Fox restaurant weathers COVID-19 challenges as a new business

Little Fox co-owner Mowgli Rivard carries food orders to deliver to customers at the restaurant in Fox Park on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Mowgli and her husband, Craig, opened their restaurant in December 2019, three months before the initial COVID-19 lockdown. In the summer, they had an outdoor tent dining option for customers, but are now providing takeout and delivery services only. Photo by Cheyenne Boone, [email protected]




“We had a strong support (already), which we saw on so many of those snowy nights where most of our reservations would cancel, and then the neighborhood would come in,” Craig said in a Post-Dispatch interview last March.

“It was everything we had hoped for, being a neighborhood restaurant.”

But when the pandemic arrived, Little Fox, like so many other restaurants concerned about safety for their customers and staff, shut down completely. Inevitably, the Rivards pivoted their still-new restaurant. They offered takeout, a walk-up window for sales of bottle wine, and outdoor dining on their own patio and on a previously vacant lot across the street.



Little Fox restaurant weathers COVID-19 challenges as a new business

An exterior view of Little Fox in Fox Park on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. Little Fox co-owners Craig and Mowgli Rivard opened their restaurant in December 2019, three months before the initial COVID-19 lockdown. In the summer, they had an outdoor tent dining option for customers, but are now providing takeout and delivery services only. Photo by Cheyenne Boone, [email protected]




Now, though, Little Fox is offering only wine sales and very limited takeout. The Rivards are preparing to welcome diners back inside the restaurant in early spring.

The financial reality of pivoting is stark.

“It’s not sustainable,” Mowgli says. “We’re not making any money. And you’re just trying so many different things. We need to make sure we still are able to be Little Fox, which we only got three months to really try to do.”

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