Courtesy Sandwich Shop was established in 1935, once a bustling chain with over a dozen national locations. In fact, when eminemt domain laws were enforced, one New York Courtesy became rubble to make room for the World Trade Center.
Over the next 75 years, the chain dwindled (along with the diner trend) to a sole store on Kingshighway Blvd. in St. Louis.
In 1997, tradition was reborn when an established restauranteur purchased the name from the estate of Leon and Helen Burrow. As owner of O.T. Hodges Chili Parlor, eight Hen House restaurants, and Country Fixin's truck stop, the buyer was well versed in all aspects of restaurants, especially 24 hour eateries, and changed the name from Courtesy Sandwich Shop to Courtesy Diner. If he had not purchased Kingshighway, it is likely that the name would no longer exist. and the building would be a convenience store.
Kingshighway prospered, and two years later Courtesy expanded with a second location off Hampton Avenue. Although more modern, the abmiance still reflects old-time nostalgia with red vinyl, checkered tile, stainless steel skies, and classic juke box tunes.
Courtesy opened the doors to its third location (Laclede Station) in November of 2013. The chain is locally owned and family operated.
St. Louis natives are faithful to their home teams, keep toasted ravs in the freezer, and are privy to the St. Louis Slinger- a diner specialty consisting of one hamburger patty and two eggs (as you want them), all served with hash browns and chili.
While the Slinger is favorited by everyone from 7 AM breakfast regulars to the 3 AM bar crowd, little is known about the origin of the Midwestern dish. No cook can claim the fame, no STL diner can trademark the name, and no original recipe is in the books.
Courtesy created three variations of the Slinger- "The Hoosier" (Slinger with white gravy instead of chili), "The Hangover" (chicken fried steak covered in white sausage gravy, two eggs, and hashbrowns), and "The Devil's Delight" (Slinger minus the hamburger patty). We use STL's own Edmond's Chili.