Why You Should Try Cheri's Happy Place

In a space adjoining Metropolitan Grill, Cheri’s Happy Place Pizza & Champagne Lounge serves wood-fired pies for every taste bud.

By Katie Pollock Estes

May 2024

environment inside Cheri's Happy Place, Springfield MO
Photo by Brandon AlmsCheri’s Happy Place offers a comfortable atmosphere for gathering with friends—and we love that the wall art proclaims “Cheers” in different languages. Don’t miss the floral photo backdrop. Purchase Photo

Longtime fans of Metropolitan Grill, are used to owner Pat Duran doing two things: Serving up consistently delicious eats at Metro Grill, and throwing out dining surprises every now and then that always delight. The most recent: Cheri’s Happy Place Pizza & Champagne Lounge, which opened last fall in a space adjoining Metropolitan Grill.

With its colorful and highly Instagrammable floral backdrop that just begs you to share your good time, Cheri’s Happy Place is the perfect chic-yet-casual spot to meet up with friends for a little bubbly and a little pizza—two of life’s greatest joys, if you ask us.

My husband, Eli, and I recently tasted some of the items from the menu at Cheri’s Happy Place, and they did not disappoint.

We started with a salad, the restaurant’s Cheri Caesar salad, with its crisp baby romaine lettuce, nutty Parmesan cheese and (my favorite part) super-crisp roasted garlic crouton rounds. The dressing was a non-traditional sweet basil pesto Caesar, which was so thick and flavorful it could easily double as a veggie dip. It was a tasty starter, but we were most excited to try the pizza.

We ordered the Hotter than Jacquez and the Trease Me! pies. Like all the pizzas here, it’s 11 inches—big enough to split with a friend, especially if you’re also having a salad, drinks and apps. But if you have a big appetite, you might be able to polish it off yourself. Eli and I ordered two pizzas, and we had a lot of leftovers! You can get a wheat crust or a gluten-free crust, but we opted for the house-made crust on both pizzas, which uses Italian Caputo flour. The crust was the perfect balance of crunchy and chewy with that wood-fired char that just sends a pizza over the edge in terms of flavor. They use a wood-fired oven that combines a traditional stone hearth and pecan-wood burning with more modern natural gas technology. I don’t know much about pizza oven technology, but I do know this: That crust is a delight.

Photos by Leah StiefermannThe Hartman Sliders come with house-made potato chips on the side. Purchase Photo
Photos by Leah StiefermannFrom top right: The Cheri Caesar Salad, the Hotter than Jacquez pizza, the Hartman Sliders and a custom build-your-own pizza. Purchase Photo
Photos by Leah StiefermannThe wood fired oven creates the perfect pizza crust. Purchase Photo

Okay, back to the pizzas we ordered. The Hotter than Jacquez was my favorite. It came topped with roasted red sauce, house cheese blend, Parmesan cheese, sliced sausage and pepperoni—plus my two favorite components: jalapeños and hot honey. I simply cannot resist a pizza topped with some spicy jalapeños. And even though I usually don’t like sweet pizza toppings, that hot honey complements the savory meats and balances everything perfectly. This pizza checked all the boxes for me, and I will definitely be ordering it again.

The Trease Me! pizza was excellent too. Like the other pizza, it had the house cheese blend. But it also had goat cheese (another one of my pizza weaknesses), romanesco red sauce, portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions and sausage. While the Hotter Than Jacquez’s jalapeños brought a fresh and spicy brightness to that pie, the Trease Me’s toppings went the opposite direction. The goat cheese and caramelized onions gave this pie a more earthy, creamy, warm flavor. It was delicious, and a nice flavor partner to the other pizza when they were ordered together.

In addition to the regular pizza menu, Cheri’s lets you build your own pie (with excellent toppings beyond the expected ones, like  fresh arugula or pulled pork). There are champagne-inspired cocktails too, plus you can order from the Metro Grill menu to get fun apps like sliders, desserts and kids menu meals. We ended our meal with a slice of moscato cake, which was light and fluffy with a not-too-sweet frosting that was the cherry on top of an excellent meal.