Delmar Loop | St. Louis Public Radio

Delmar Loop

The Delmar Loop in 2017
Flickr/TedEngler

Rachelle L’Ecuyer grew up right near the Delmar Loop, so becoming its first-ever executive director earlier this month felt a lot like coming home. Still, she’s been looking at the area with fresh eyes.

“I was walking down Delmar yesterday, and I was taking a picture of the Tivoli sign, and two young men walked up to me and I said, ‘I love it!’” she said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air. “And they looked at me and I said [again], ‘I love it.’ And I pointed from bottom to top, and they said, ‘Oh, I love it: The Tivoli spelled backwards is ‘I love it.’ And we ended up having a pretty long conversation about the Loop.”

Tony and Jack Erker are fifth-generation opticians who are challenging online vendors with a brick-and-mortar experience where customers can watch frames being made in a mini factory. June 2018
Melody Walker|St. Louis Public Radio

Brothers Jack and Tony Erker did not want to go into the family optical business.

They spent years pursuing other careers to take them far from the shop at Sixth and Olive streets in downtown St. Louis, where it all started in 1879. But it’s hard to resist five generations of history, not to mention the entrepreneurial DNA embedded in their genes.

This spring Jack and Tony opened Copper Hinge, a brick-and-mortar optical shop in the Delmar Loop.    The brothers envisioned a new way to sell eyeglasses, one that’s not available online or in other stores.

The head of a developer with strong St. Louis ties is hoping his commitment to the Loop Trolley will help lift a cloud that has been hanging over the project.

ClayCo Chief Executive Officer Bob Clark says his company decided to make a $750,000 commitment after sensing the initiative was getting a "toxic" reputation.

"It's indicative of a place that is kind of stuck. All of this negativity all of a sudden becomes reality if somebody doesn't do something about it. So, I felt very strongly that it can be exciting," Clark said. "It can be a winning thing."

Delmar Loop businesses take damage in stride

Sep 17, 2017
Artist Cornell McKay paints plywood covering a broken window
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

 

Restaurants and shops along the Delmar Loop in University City were bustling Sunday, hours after protesters took to the streets in the arts and entertainment district.

On Saturday night, Delmar Boulevard was packed with people expressing outrage over a judge’s decision to find former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley not guilty of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of Anthony Lamar Smith. The protests were peaceful, but after the official demonstration was over, there were some confrontations between protesters and police. Twenty-three businesses were damaged, with dozens of windows broken, according to the University City Police Department.

There were no serious injuries, but officers made 10 arrests and five people face various charges from looting to assault on a law enforcement officer, officials with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, St. Louis County police and University City police said. 

Two yellow signs indicate a streetcar crossing on Delmar Blvd.
Joseph Leahy | St. Louis Public Radio

For the first time in more than 50 years, trolley cars – a few of them, at least – will be rolling down the streets of St. Louis. Construction on the Loop Trolley’s 2.2-mile stretch between Forest Park and University City wrapped up in November and, according to trolley officials, test runs on Delmar Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue are set to begin in the next week or so.

Joe Edwards at Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill.
Courtesy Blueberry Hill

Legendary musician Chuck Berry, the “poet laureate” of rock 'n roll, died Saturday, at his home in St. Charles. He left behind him a changed world of music, culture, friendship and a dedication to the St. Louis region that continued until the very end.

Related: Obituary: Chuck Berry dies. He was the ‘poet laureate’ of rock ‘n’ roll

Loop Trolley cars delayed but project still on track

Jan 31, 2017
Joe Edwards poses with a green and white trolley car purchased in Seattle for the Loop Trolley.
Synergy Group

The Loop Trolley project is still on track to begin giving rides this spring despite delays in getting some of the street cars to St. Louis.

Construction on the 2.2 mile route between Forest Park and the Delmar Loop wrapped up last fall, but two of the trolleys remain at a facility in Ida Grove, Iowa, for testing.

The Loop Trolley Transportation Development District

All major construction on the Delmar Loop Trolley has been completed.

Trolley construction began March 2015. The final path of the trolley circles more than two miles from the western end of The Loop and through Forest Park near the Missouri History Museum.

Long Acres Farm co-owner Debbie Schneider talks to long-time customer Susan Wells-Souza during the produce stand's last day at Delmar Loop, October 29, 2016.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio / St. Louis Public Radio

A produce stand that’s been a Delmar Loop institution for more than four decades is moving to a new location.

After 43 years at an outdoor market in a parking lot just northwest of Fitz’s, Long Acres Farm is being forced to move because it can no longer afford the rent.

New venue Delmar Hall opens in The Loop

Sep 30, 2016
Local guitar duo Fine to Drive play onstage at a preview show at Delmar Hall the night before its grand opening.
Jess Luther | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ newest concert venue opens tonight in the Delmar Loop neighborhood. With Delmar Hall, Joe Edwards and Pat Hagin, co-owners of the Pageant concert hall next door, continue their push to make the neighborhood an entertainment hub.

“This is the live music corridor, center, of St. Louis and this just cements that,” Edwards said.

Delmar Hall will seat up to 800 people and focus on concerts, comedy and private business events. Edwards said up to 25 percent of the acts will be local performers with national touring groups making up the remaining shows. The opening weekend features Stir, Jay Farrar, and Hippie Sabotage.

Joe Edwards poses with a green and white trolley car purchased in Seattle for the Loop Trolley.
Synergy Group

Commuters who use Delmar Boulevard to get between University City and St. Louis will need to temporarily find an alternate route starting Monday.

The intersection of Delmar Boulevard and Kingsland Avenue on the western edge of Delmar Loop will be closed for the next three weeks while contractors put in a switch for the Loop Trolley.

Loop Trolley construction in Feb. 2016
LoopTrolley.com

Another busy intersection in the Delmar Loop will be shut down starting Monday for Loop Trolley construction. More than 85 percent of the track for the project has been installed, but traffic won’t be allowed at Skinker and Delmar boulevards for at least the next 12 days.

A year without Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill

Oct 5, 2015
Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

This month marks one year since Chuck Berry wrapped up his iconic run at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop. The musician’s performing status is up in the air, according to Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards.

“The fact he’s almost 89 years old, who knows? He has the interest in doing it but he’s also working on some songs,” said Edwards. 

Work begins this week to lay Loop Trolley tracks

Jun 14, 2015
Artist rendering of the proposed Loop Trolley stop in front of the Delmar MetroLink Station.
courtesy Loop Trollety Transportation Development District / Loop Trolley Transportation Development District

Traffic on three blocks of Delmar Blvd. is being diverted to the road’s westbound lanes beginning Monday in order to start laying tracks for the Loop Trolley.

While construction is underway between Kingsland Ave. and Melville Ave. there will be no street parking on that stretch of Delmar.

Authors, Readers Prepare For Lit In The Lou

Oct 3, 2014

“St. Louis is kind of underappreciated as a literary city,” St. Louis author Ann Leckie said. “There’s the long history, but there’s also plenty of writers who are here now.”

That history, including authors like Maya Angelou and Tennessee Williams, and award-winning authors like Leckie are fueling next weekend’s Lit in the Lou festival.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Count Joe Edwards among the Delmar Loop business owners who are salivating at the prospect of hundreds of students living near their businesses.

Edwards, the owner of Loop staples Blueberry Hill and the Moonrise Hotel, said the more than 400 Washington University students who will live in the soon-to-be-finished dorm rooms will be a boon to local businesses. He said he’s hopeful all those students will also keep business lively at the Peacock Diner, a 24-hour restaurant he owns that will serve up spiked milkshakes and a variety of pies.

Wayne Pratt, St. Louis Public Radio

He's won Emmy awards and been enshrined into the broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Now he has his very own star.

Former Major League Baseball player Tim McCarver was inducted Monday into the St. Louis Walk of Fame. He was a stalwart on Cardinals teams of the 1960s and was named an All-Star twice.

"I've never had anything, any Walk of Fame, anywhere," McCarver told St. Louis Public Radio. "This is really something."

Joe Edwards outside Blueberry Hill
File Photo | Jarred Gastreich | Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - If you don’t know who Joe Edwards is, you probably haven’t lived in St. Louis for long. Owner of Blueberry Hill; friend of Chuck Berry; driving force behind local standbys like the Pageant, the Pin-Up Bowl, the Flamingo Bowl and the Moonrise Hotel (all of which make him unofficial mayor of the Delmar Loop); connoisseur of Hawaiian shirts: These things help describe Joe Edwards.

Sound Bites: Restaurants In The Loop

Oct 11, 2013
Carmen Troesser / (Courtesy Sauce Magazine)

In our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine, host Steve Potter discussed the ongoing growth of the restaurant scene in the Delmar Loop with Joe Edwards, the owner of Blueberry Hill and other Loop landmarks, Ryan Pinkston, co-owner of newcomer Three Kings Public House and Ligaya Figueras, executive editor of Sauce Magazine.

(Courtesy University City Public Library Archives)

When Edward Gardner Lewis purchased the land that would become University City at the turn of the twentieth century, there wasn't much in the area beyond an amusement park, a race track and the loop of the trolley from which Delmar Loop gets its name. But he had a vision for a magazine empire and needed space to expand his printing presses. He built an iconic octagonal building for his headquarters overlooking the street car line and in view of the site of the upcoming 1904 World's Fair. From there, a bustling street of businesses grew, full of places to eat, shop and have a good time.

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