The fact the event now carries the designation “annual” speaks to the success that it enjoyed. On a balmy Nov. 10 in St. Louis, diners patronized the more than 100 area restaurants participating in the Scott Knopfel Memorial Dine-Out. The event was held for the dual purpose of honoring the memory of a good man and raising scholarship funds for employees in the restaurant and lodging industry.
The event was initiated by St. Louis restaurateur Bart Saracino of Bartolino’s Osteria located inside the Drury.
A native St. Louisan, Scott Knopfel spent his entire career in the service industry, including many years in the restaurant and hotel sectors. He was the Drury Hotel clerk who was shot to death while working in the early morning hours of Jan. 15, 2015. The dedication of Scott’s brother, Mike Knopfel, and sister, Karen Ettling was critical to the success of the event. Without them, the event would have been much less than what it became.
A recent Facebook post by Mike Knopfel exemplifies the family’s gratitude and humble spirit.
“To all the family and friends who participated in Tuesday’s dine-out event in Scott’s memory – Thank you. You honored our brother, uncle, cousin and your friend. And you’re going to help someone pursue a dream and get an education. Bart Saracino, the Missouri Restaurant Association, and EnjoyALocal Restaurant put in a lot of hours behind the scenes and carried it out. They were tremendous partners. We enjoyed bouncing around to some of the restaurants throughout the day, and in visiting just a sample of the many people who participated. Seeing the photos of groups at the various venues throughout St. Louis was gratifying.”
Continuing, Mike stated, “I think this message from one of Scott’s high school friends pretty much summarized the first Scott Knopfel Memorial Dine-Out.”
“Yesterday was so emotional, but we had a great time! We shared a few laughs about Scott. Thanks for honoring your amazing brother. He brought so much joy to so many people. We should all strive to do the same. That’s what my lesson is out of all of this.”