We “like” lots of St. Louis restaurants, but we only love a few. Gyro House in the Loop is one of them, though sadly it’s owner was shot and killed outside of his home Friday night in Maplewood.
It’s weird. We’ve seen Ahmed a lot though didn’t actually know his name until now, and never said much more to him other than “Jumbo gyro to go.” and “Thanks.”
Police said Ahmed Eltawmi, 50, owner of the Gyro House in the Delmar Loop, was shot three times during a dispute and scuffle shortly after 9 p.m. outside in the parking lot near one of the building’s entrances. Witnesses said the shooter ran and the victim stumbled across the parking lot yelling that he had been shot and for someone to call 911.
He was taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
So much for getting our Gyro fix on Monday.
Police did not release a motive, but Eltawmi’s uncle, Ali Raffa, 66, of Ladue, said police hinted at robbery as a motive.
Now we aren’t sure if that’s what this was about, but we do understand some people aren’t a fan of the extra charge for more feta cheese.
We got a hold of the current Foursquare “Mayor” of Gyro House, Terry Blastenbrei, for a comment on Eltawmi’s violent passing:
I first met Mr. Eltawmi in 1998 when I started working at Commerce Bank on Delmar. My now-wife and I (who was my boss at the time) regularly ordered from there. He and his partner seemed like gruff guys…my wife and I thought they reminded us of Soup Nazi from Seinfeld. We joke to this day that their gyros are the best in town because they sprinkle extra hate in them. Over time though, he got to know our order, and he didn’t seem like such a bad guy.
I came back to St. Louis in 2005, and him and his partner still seemed gruff, though not as much as the old days. And they have the best damn gyros I’ve ever had. And I’ve not heard anyone say a bad thing about Mr. Eltawmi…he was apparently well-loved by family and friends.
Rest in peace…
Well said Terry. Here’s hoping his surviving family keep the store open.