909 Public House opened July 31, adding a steampunk-styled restaurant to the Wentzville dining experience.
Jill and Joel Ragan own the new establishment, and 909 Public House will be their second restaurant. They see Wentzville as a perfect location, with many chain restaurants that their independently owned business can flourish around.
Stepping through the door, patrons will notice the Victorian steampunk theme, which pays homage to what people in the Victorian age thought the future would look like. Bar manager James Nahm is responsible for the theme. He explains how he was sitting in his office one day when the thought struck him:
“What if we did steampunk?”
The rest of the staff agreed, and steampunk became the official style of the restaurant, allowing for creativity and vintage decorations to meld together.
Commitment to the theme ranges from metal gears hidden in plain sight to antique dishware, and even earth maps drawn by a local artist. The back of the bar is actually a 105-year-old jewelry cabinet specifically repurposed and redesigned to fit the theme.
“Ninety percent of our decor has been sourced at local auction houses,” Jill Ragan said. “So it’s not just random pieces, but true antiques that are hanging here.”
Going beyond the interior decorations, the Ragans believe the restaurant will have a relaxed, artisan feel to it.
“This place is going to be family friendly fun,” she added.
Part of creating the independent restaurant vibe includes purchasing food from local farms such as Tony Tomatoes, Fox River Dairy, Sunfarms, Ole Tyme Produce, and Performance food service. The menu includes southern- and bar-inspired meals. Public House 909 will also serve St. Louis based Kaldi coffee, and many of their taps come from local breweries.
“We like to support small business,” Jill Ragan said. “We’re a small business. So I will very much support an independent small local business over a large conglomerate every day.”
“Wentzville has not seen this type of restaurant before,” said Michelle Hanson, the restaurant’s general manager. “The menu is southern meets bar food. Everybody gets the chance to have an artisan experience, craft beer, craft cocktails, scratch kitchen.”
909 Public House is located at 909 Main Plaza Dr, Wentzville, MO 63385.