October 28, 2020

Guerrilla Street Food owners go back to their roots as they close locations

Guerrilla Street Food owners Joel Crespo and Brian Hardesty were forced to close a number of their restaurant’s locations, leaving Webster Groves as their main location.

2015 was a big year for business partners Joel Crespo and Brian Hardesty, Guerrilla Street Food (GSF) started as an American-Filipino food truck back in 2011. 

2015 was the year GSF expanded into a restaurant chain around the St. Louis area. Locations included Webster Groves, the Delmar Loop and Maryland Heights.

Earlier this winter, GSF announced the closing of the Delmar and Mary Heights locations, meaning Webster Groves is now the main location. 

According to Crespo, closing locations became a result of numerous factors. Among them, expanding too fast and ending lease agreements pre COVID-19.  

“Filipino cooking is all about different cooking styles and cooking techniques,” Crespo said. “It’s all about how you approach food [preparation].” 

Operating six locations at one point, Crespo admitted to struggling with mass production and quality control between locations. 

He went on to explain that scaling back the chain helped stabilize the business and then COVID-19 hit. 

“Webster Groves is a smaller spot, but it has allowed us an opportunity to redefine ourselves in a way,” Crespo said. “We made the decision to get back to our roots.”

First starting out in the food truck, Crespo recalls going to the market everyday, working with local farmers and changing the menu based on ingredient availability.

The GSF located in Webster Groves is temporarily closed in order to revamp menu recipes and begin using local farms to supply the restaurant. 

Jennifer Perkins has eaten at Guerrilla Street Food and has enjoyed the food before. She looks forward to the new menu changes.

In close proximity to the Webster community, Perkins and her husband, Colin, share their experience with the Guerrilla Street Food truck. 

“The food truck was a popular spot, the line was always long but definitely worth the wait,” Perkins said. 

While the opening date is undetermined, Crespo and his partner plan on reopening sometime later this month if it is safe for the community with COVID-19. 

“I am curious to see the new menu has to offer,” Perkins said, “Colin and I enjoy the chicken adobo so much that we found a recipe online to make at home, but it is no were near as good as Guerrilla Street Food’s dish.” 

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