|Birth: ||Feb. 9, 1938|
St. Louis City
|Death: ||Oct. 27, 2011|
St. Louis City
Mike 'Talayna' Faille, well-known restauranteur has died of a heart attack.
Mike "Talayna" Faille, pizzamaker, stained-glass collector, jitterbug dancer and self-described "pure animal," died Thursday (Oct. 27, 2011) at Barnes-Jewish Hospital from complications of a heart attack. He was 73 and lived in the Central West End.
Mr. Faille was best known for his Talayna's Italian Restaurant at Skinker Boulevard and Forest Park Parkway, which he ran for 21 years until 1997. He had numerous other restaurants, including the Jukebox Party Club and Fast Big Hearted Mikey Ts, and had franchised his nickname to Talayna's Juke Box Diners in the St. Louis area.
He was to open a new restaurant today — the Frontenac Grill, at Lindbergh Boulevard and Conway Road.
"He was always after that next adventure," said Nancy Zimmerman of Clayton, a niece and owner of the former Rossino's Restaurant, 204 North Sarah Avenue.
Mr. Faille was rushed to Barnes-Jewish on Oct. 21 after one of his employees found him unconscious in his apartment. He underwent heart surgery two years ago and had been advised recently to have another operation, Zimmerman said.
Mr. Faille, the sixth of seven children, grew up on Hamilton Avenue in the city's West End. He attended the former Mercy High School in University City and got his start making pizzas at Rossino's.
He earned his nickname playing handball at the Forest Park courts, where some of the Jewish players called him "the Talayna," the Yiddish word for Italian. Mr. Faille played there regularly until about a decade ago, when he was struck by a car and seriously injured.
Mr. Faille opened his first pizza parlor in 1964 in the 300 block of DeBaliviere Avenue then moved to Skinker in 1966. His restaurant became a hit for its many styles of pizza, the stained-glass windows he had bought from old churches and a clutter of other artistic objects.
In an interview with the Post-Dispatch in 1979, Mr. Faille said he had been wild as a young man. He called himself "a pure animal ... I'm a natural-high guy. I get drunk on music and life." He took part in jitterbug contests and reached a national dance competition in Las Vegas, a city he frequently visited over the years.
In 1991, one of his gambles was building a $1 million mansion at Lindell and Des Peres boulevards, two blocks from his restaurant on Skinker. Citing financial troubles, he couldn't finish the house for several years, which earned him the scorn of neighbors. He sold it later that decade.
Mr. Faille's latest project was the Frontenac Grill. A big fan of Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack entertainers, Mr. Faille wanted to call the restaurant Old Blue Eyes, a nod to Sinatra. Zimmerman said he renamed it after running afoul of the Sinatra copyright protectors but still filled it with photos of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and others.
Tony Faille of St. Charles County, one of Mr. Faille's sons, said they still plan to open the grill. "We will continue his dream," the son said.
Among Mr. Faille's other survivors are another son, Mike Faille Jr. of Oakville; a daughter, Linda Faille of Oakville; three sisters, Nina Russo of St. Louis, Esther Murphy of Sunset Hills and Nancy Horneker of St. Peters; a brother, Charles Faille of Affton; and two grandchildren.
Faille, Michael "Mike Talayna" fortified with the Sacraments of the Holy Mother Church on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
Mike was born February 9, 1938 in St. Louis to the late John and Mary Faille.
Loving father of Anthony Faille (wife, Caroline), Michael Faille Jr. and Linda Faille; dear grandfather of Michael Faille III and Mitchell Faille; dear brother of Nina Russo, Esther Murphy (husband, William), Charles Faille (wife, Joann) Nancy Horneker (husband, Keith) and the late Marie Papin and Joseph Faille; dear brother-in-law of the late Clark Papin and Roy Russo; former husband of Barbara Faille; uncle, cousin and friend to many.
Services: A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Roch Catholic Church, Waterman Blvd., at Rosedale Avenue, St. Louis on Tuesday, November 1, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.
Interment immediately following the mass at Resurrection Cemetery, Affton, MO.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Louis Stray Rescue, 2320 Pine Street, St. Louis, MO 63103 or Masses preferred.
St. Louis County
Plot: Section 15E, Lot Number 0115
Created by: Timothy Tumbrink
Record added: Oct 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 79472812
Thanks for this touching piece about my father-in-law, the one the only Mike Talayna. The 'MAN" the "MYTH" the "LEGEND"...I know his in heaven smiling down on us.....|
Added: Jan. 19, 2012