Retail Rally: What's Next For Downtown St. Louis?

New and changing stores, restaurants, and businesses in the City of St. Louis
First unread post1170 posts
Jmo, but this project didn’t belong in StL. There is a lot blues music history infrastructure and it’s in Memphis. Tens of thousands of Europeans travel to the river delta area of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee (staying in Memphis) to experience what’s left of delta blues. This museum belonged in Memphis, IMO.

That isn’t a slight to StL or DT or anything it’s just Memphis is the epicenter of blues, and early rocknroll, tourism and history.
Great! A source. Now we're getting somewhere.
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FoghornLeghorn wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:02 am
Unfortunately i can almost guarantee you it's not doing well.
From the aforementioned source: “Overall, it has been a great year, especially working with all the resources we didn’t have. We couldn’t ask for anything better,” [Executive Director Dion] Brown says.

So it sounds like a bit of a mixed bag - some successes and some setbacks and lots of looking forward to continued development and outreach initiatives - which is the general tone of the entire article when read as a whole and not cherrypicked.
They didnt put the blue note on the hockey jersey for nothing!
I wish these guys all the success in the world, but this is a mom and pop operation masquerading as the NATIONAL blues museum. The space they are in gives it away immediately. They're renting a first floor of a hotel.
Big silver bullet projects won't save downtown, but neither will these kinds of niche museums.
FoghornLeghorn wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 10:01 pm
I wish these guys all the success in the world, but this is a mom and pop operation masquerading as the NATIONAL blues museum. The space they are in gives it away immediately. They're renting a first floor of a hotel.
Big silver bullet projects won't save downtown, but neither will these kinds of niche museums.


Have you actually been to the museum? Your comments on this matter make it apparent that you have not. It's very well done. It's not some hogwash job. To call it a 'mom and pop' operation is ridiculous. The America's Cup band tournament-- something I don't think many realize brings thousands to St. Louis--lists the Blues Museum as a 'must see' for visitors. Not to mention that the museum has extremely high rankings on TripAdvisor, Yelp!, and pretty much all STL travel sites.

"Big silver bullet projects won't save downtown, but neither will these kinds of niche museums." ... What?

Either way, I encourage you to visit the museum instead of sitting at your computer bashing it. But given your comments on here, it seems like that won't happen.
Chalupas54 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:26 am
Have you actually been to the museum?
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing with the "Renting space on the first floor of a hotel" comment.
Also, I really encourage anyone who goes to actually use the song writing stations. The system is really well done and they e-mail you the mp3 at the end. Granted, my friends just find mine funny because of how awful it is but that was intentional.
Also, the concerts are actually decently attended. Every Friday night there's at least 30 people in there, which is fine considering the room only seats about 50.
BellaVilla wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:09 pm
Jmo, but this project didn’t belong in StL. There is a lot blues music history infrastructure and it’s in Memphis. Tens of thousands of Europeans travel to the river delta area of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee (staying in Memphis) to experience what’s left of delta blues. This museum belonged in Memphis, IMO.

That isn’t a slight to StL or DT or anything it’s just Memphis is the epicenter of blues, and early rocknroll, tourism and history.
Lots of great Blues cities in this country. Memphis would be a deserving place, but St. Louis isn't undeserving. Whether the name "National" is appropriate or not, it's nice to see. St. Louis celebrating and having celebrated their place in Blues history.

Memphis already does that and has that. Chicago, which essentially took the Blues progress that developed in New Orleans, Memphis, and St. Louis and capitalized on it as the biggest growing city, already does that and has that.

St. Louis, beyond the name of the hockey team (which as great as it is, really was a song about an encounter in St. Louis buy by a Memphis Blues muscian, WC Handy), really didn't have their place in Blues adequately marked. This is a step towards that.

I also think it's appropriate that it's in St. Louis as St. Louis is arguably the founding place of Rock 'N Roll, the earliest forms of which developed out of Blues. Our Blues museum really attempts to celebrate that full encompassing history.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I haven't been to the museum yet, and I'm not a music history expert. These are just my understandings.
jstriebel wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:41 pm
BellaVilla wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 4:09 pm
Jmo, but this project didn’t belong in StL. There is a lot blues music history infrastructure and it’s in Memphis. Tens of thousands of Europeans travel to the river delta area of Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee (staying in Memphis) to experience what’s left of delta blues. This museum belonged in Memphis, IMO.

That isn’t a slight to StL or DT or anything it’s just Memphis is the epicenter of blues, and early rocknroll, tourism and history.
Lots of great Blues cities in this country. Memphis would be a deserving place, but St. Louis isn't undeserving. Whether the name "National" is appropriate or not, it's nice to see. St. Louis celebrating and having celebrated their place in Blues history.

Memphis already does that and has that. Chicago, which essentially took the Blues progress that developed in New Orleans, Memphis, and St. Louis and capitalized on it as the biggest growing city, already does that and has that.

St. Louis, beyond the name of the hockey team (which as great as it is, really was a song about an encounter in St. Louis buy by a Memphis Blues muscian, WC Handy), really didn't have their place in Blues adequately marked. This is a step towards that.

I also think it's appropriate that it's in St. Louis as St. Louis is arguably the founding place of Rock 'N Roll, the earliest forms of which developed out of Blues. Our Blues museum really attempts to celebrate that full encompassing history.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I haven't been to the museum yet, and I'm not a music history expert. These are just my understandings.
I'm don't disagree with any of this. Maybe it needs more marketing

Btw StLbues was also a distinct type of the blues
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Louis_blues_(music)
The old Drunken Fish building is changing quite a bit.

A Korean fushion restaurant, called Kimchi Guys, will open on the first floor. A coffee shop, called Miss Java, will also open on the first. Lastly for the first floor, a smaller event space, called KOR, will open. The space will seat 125 inside, with a small outdoor area overlooking the Mississippi River, seating another ten people.

An event space, called Vue, is opening on the fifth floor with views of the Arch. This space will hold up to 325 guests.

The underground portion of the building is also being renovated into an additional venue for weddings and private parties.

The fourth floor will be home to Drunken Fish's corporate office, and the second and third floors of the 612North building will be available to rent for office space next year.
STLhistoryBuff wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:53 pm
The old Drunken Fish building is changing quite a bit.

A Korean fushion restaurant, called Kimchi Guys, will open on the first floor. A coffee shop, called Miss Java, will also open on the first. Lastly for the first floor, a smaller event space, called KOR, will open. The space will seat 125 inside, with a small outdoor area overlooking the Mississippi River, seating another ten people.

An event space, called Vue, is opening on the fifth floor with views of the Arch. This space will hold up to 325 guests.

The underground portion of the building is also being renovated into an additional venue for weddings and private parties.

The fourth floor will be home to Drunken Fish's corporate office, and the second and third floors of the 612North building will be available to rent for office space next year.
^ The RFT has a story on this here: https://www.riverfronttimes.com/foodblo ... es-landing

I'm really happy to hear this. Between this and the redo of the old MoDOT headquarters, maybe the area is starting to see some light at the end of the C+A+R project? Now if we can just some better waymarking to help folks find the landing from the rest of downtown (or even better, more than one way into it. But I'm not holding my breath on that).

-RBB
BMO Harris branch will be opening soon in the back end of the M/X by the Y. Nice to see this once completely dead stretch of lower Locust slowly coming back to life.... the Mercantile Library project will also be a huge help once completed. (Kinn should also be opening on the 7th Street side of M/X -- in the old Trova spot) before too long as well.)

But still so much in the way of empty retail spots in the CBD left to fill.
Pharaoh's just posted on Facebook
Hey everyone! We just want to say thank you thank you thank you for all of your continued support! Check us out on channel 5 at noon tomorrow! And keep a look out growth is coming!!!!!
Second location and/or relocation within downtown would be great.

I've asked them if they advertise in the convention materials/handouts and they said they don't have to. They also asked me that morning if there was a lot of people walking around because business had been crazy that day. Sadly, being a Saturday morning, the sidewalks/streets were empty. They said that almost every hotel concierge recommends them.
I was able to track down a response from Hawkeye Hotels, the current owner of The Hotel Majestic. They confirm that the renovations are still planned and told me they should be sharing some specific news later in the month.

Here's the original article from 2016 when they purchased the building and initially announced the plans: http://www.stltoday.com/business/column ... ccfa8.html

I know many of us worried this project may have stalled out. We know better than to get too excited before work begins, but this is certainly a promising response.
In my opinion, this is a HUGE win for downtown.

The restaurant will be a major anchor and the pageants will easily bring in 1000+ visitors once a year.

Not to mention this is a very creative group of entertainers in a part of downtown that could use a little... color 🏳️

Also, awhile back another thread mentioned the migration of the gay neighborhood as the grove gentrified. I think this has real potential to anchor the start of a new community. Downtown, Laclede Landing would be a great!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.riverf ... a=AMP+HTML


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
^ This previous post is about the new Hamburger Mary's at 4th & Washington, by the way.
More discussion on the new location here: https://urbanstl.com/forum/viewtopic.ph ... rger+marys
was retail announced for the 900 Locust project? I believe I saw a reference a couple days ago on social media but can't find anything.
The new cocktail/coffee bar that's open to the public as part of the Mississippi Valley Trust renovation for the co-working space looks pretty cool. Anyone stop in yet?

https://www.truststl.com/
From this weeks Busineess Journal, just wish downtown would look at doing something similar.

The city of Clayton’s Board of Aldermen will consider an ordinance that would allow officials to provide tax breaks to developers that bring more retail to storefronts in some of the city's oldest buildings. 

The program is called the Clayton Vibrant Retail and Restaurant Incentive Policy, and it would provide a 50 percent sales tax reimbursement for up to five years to developers who bring retail or restaurants to any of Clayton’s 122 commercial buildings that are 50 years old or older. 

Only ground floor space would be eligible for the tax break. 

Clayton’s Economic Development Director Gary Carter did not return requests for comment.

Clayton's Board of Aldermen will consider the ordinance at its meeting Dec. 19. The item was postponed from the board's Dec. 12 meeting.
^ reallllyyy though. The best thing Downtown STL Inc., could come up with was to create another redundant website and a new hashtag.
aprice wrote:
Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:09 pm
^ reallllyyy though. The best thing Downtown STL Inc., could come up with was to create another redundant website and a new hashtag.
the MySTL platform is a good idea to reconnect rest of St.Louis to downtown.

They have/or are launching a program to help attract small biz downtown.
Overheard today that the food court thing in Metropolitan Tower will be open Jan 29. Some of the covering is off the windows and you can see the place coming together. Subway tile! Yes! Did not see any Edison bulbs or plumbing pipes used as shelf brackets, but that doesn't mean it's not there.
danke0 wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:57 pm
Overheard today that the food court thing in Metropolitan Tower will be open Jan 29. Some of the covering is off the windows and you can see the place coming together. Subway tile! Yes! Did not see any Edison bulbs or plumbing pipes used as shelf brackets, but that doesn't mean it's not there.
The 2010s are great.

This will be interesting. With Gerard Craft, Chris Sommers, and the origin of a new STL fast casual chain three blocks away, it's got some competition. Have there been any announcements about chefs they're bringing in or anything? Doesn't mean it won't be good. Whatever, I'm excited to try it.
aprice wrote:
Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:26 pm
Have there been any announcements about chefs they're bringing in or anything?
Kim Cheese, Dino's Deli, and some sort of salad place.
My guess is another venue that shuts down after 4pm, if not immediately, eventually.

Porano somehow braves the post work crowd, but it's depressing going in there for dinner. I'm usually the only one. Sugarfire is usually pretty popping, but just look around Downtown and there are empty dining rooms.

How do we get diners to Downtown for dinner? Maybe somehow getting more diverse retail instead of one and done dining destinations would help keep people in the neighborhood. Oversimplified, but there is such a glut of underperforming/underpatronized restaurants downtown that it's just gotten old. We can't create a functional neighborhood with just restaurants, but give people a reason to visit it as a destination neighborhood for things they need.
bwcrow1s wrote:
Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:55 am
My guess is another venue that shuts down after 4pm, if not immediately, eventually.

Porano somehow braves the post work crowd, but it's depressing going in there for dinner. I'm usually the only one. Sugarfire is usually pretty popping, but just look around Downtown and there are empty dining rooms.

How do we get diners to Downtown for dinner? Maybe somehow getting more diverse retail instead of one and done dining destinations would help keep people in the neighborhood. Oversimplified, but there is such a glut of underperforming/underpatronized restaurants downtown that it's just gotten old. We can't create a functional neighborhood with just restaurants, but give people a reason to visit it as a destination neighborhood for things they need.
I think creating a better aesthetic environment downtown would help. The outdated streetscapes and hideous parking garages don't create a welcoming environment. What's the good in eating downtown if aesthetically it's no more appealing or adventurous then eating in a parking lot in the suburbs. Also, adding more residential density and tourists (hotels) will also make downtown have venues open later, but I actually think we are slowly moving towards a critical mass downtown. We may be 10-20 years away before downtown gets that "vibrant" feel. Right now, I just don't think downtown is the destination it needs to be. How often do families just say, let's go downtown and hang out, if it's not going to a sporting event or City Museum? In many cities you will see families just walking around downtown on a nice day, but I think a lot of that goes back to downtown just feeling voided and dated in many areas. It's not a welcoming environment outside of Washington Avenue.