For City Foundry STL, Aug. 11 Is The Big Day
Next week, City Foundry STL will finally open its doors to the public — with the first phase of its Food Hall ready to greet diners on Aug. 11.
The entertainment and office complex is an ambitious redevelopment of the old Federal Mogul site at Vandeventer and Forest Park avenues in the city’s Midtown neighborhood. The project has been underway for five years, with the COVID-19 pandemic pushing back the original 2020 opening date. Some office space is now in use, and a concert series this spring brought music lovers outdoors, but Aug. 11 will be the first time members of the general public can go indoors.
The 30,000-square-foot Food Hall will include 11 kitchens in its initial phase, with another nine on the way. Niche Food Group is developing the central bar concept, the Kitchen Bar.
“Guests can expect on Aug. 11 to walk into 11 unique, individually designed restaurants and kitchens,” explained Susie Bonwich, director of operations for the Food Hall, “and then be able to not only experience the unique cuisine, but this really fascinating space where they can gather with their friends and family.”
That fascinating space has a long history, as Will Smith explained on Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air. Smith is one of the project’s developers; his father, Steve Smith, is co-founder and CEO of the architecture design firm Lawrence Group.
“The iconic architecture of the building includes a butterfly roof, which is where they were pouring molten metal and creating a lot of different things over time,” Smith said of the Federal Mogul site. Most recently, he said, brake parts were manufactured in the space. “Where they created brake parts and used molten metal, we've got different ingredients, and a different experience planned for that space now.”
After stints in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago, Smith moved back to St. Louis in the midst of the pandemic last year to work on the project with his father. Father and son recently formed a new development company, New + Found, with a planned focus on urban revitalization and real estate consulting. Smith said he now plans to stay in St. Louis.
“When I was making the decision to come back, there was a little bit of concern, of ‘Do I want to do this?’ I had a career elsewhere,” he said. But, he continued, “What I've seen here, the creativity, the entrepreneurship, the passion in the city and the concepts that people are coming up with, has me so excited to be here.”
What: City Foundry STL Food Hall Opening
When: Aug. 11
Where: 3730 Foundry Way, St. Louis, MO 63108
“St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. Paola Rodriguez is our production assistant. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.