Monday, January 24, 2011

Park Avenue Coffee to Open Downtown Location

Gooey butter lovers rejoice: Park Avenue Coffee is opening a second location in downtown St. Louis at 417 N. Tenth Street in Loftworks' Tenth Street Lofts building. The new store will open on February 28 and will be a welcome addition to the downtown retail scene.

The original Park Avenue Coffee in Lafayette Square was recently featured on the Food Network's "Food Feuds" program, where it beat out Gooey Louie's for the distinction of best gooey butter cake in town. Park Avenue offers over 70 varieties of St. Louis's favorite treat.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Roberts Orpheum Theater: Underutilized?

The RFT recently featured a conversation between its theater reviewers, Dennis Brown and Paul Friswold, regarding the state of theater in St. Louis. The discussion touched on the role that the Peabody Opera House will play in the cultural scene, as well as the underuse of the Roberts Orpheum.
Dennis Brown: Last week we talked about the year just ended. Today let's chat about the year to come. Perhaps the big event — at least the most costly — will be the expected reopening this fall of the old Kiel Opera House. Although renovated at enormous taxpayer expense, nevertheless it should wonderfully fill the city's desperate need for yet another theater that is too large.
Paul Friswold: I'm on the fence about the new Peabody. The city put up quite a bit more dough for a football stadium and a baseball stadium, and I've never been to either. And yet I paid for them, at least in part. So I suppose I should be thrilled that this time my money is going to something I'll visit every now and again. I do wonder what will play here — will the Peabody attract more Broadway tours? I'd rather see the city splash out some cash for any of the local gypsy companies than for a big barn for touring productions, but at least the money's not being spent on a basketball team. In short, I'll take it and like it.
Brown: I think it's indisputable that cities need the arts if their downtown areas are to thrive. Look at Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville, Memphis. Color me old-fashioned, but I've always believed that downtown St. Louis begins east of 12th Street, so I don't see the Peabody having an impact on downtown. Meanwhile, the Roberts Orpheum Theater is downtown and plays no theater role whatsoever.
Friswold: And that puzzles me. Two Decembers ago Stages St. Louis presented a Little Women at the Roberts that worked well from an audience point of view, and it felt like an event. Why doesn't the Orpheum house more theater?
Brown: Why indeed? I'll try to keep an open mind about the opera house, but the cynic in me is certainly stirring.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hinshaw & Culbertson Renews and Expands in Gateway One

Chicago-based law firm Hinshaw & Culbertson recently renewed its 11,000 sf lease on the 13th floor of Gateway One, and has expanded by an additional 3,000 sf to accommodate the potential addition of more attorneys.  The firm currently has 10 attorneys based here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Look at the St. Louis Creative Scene

AgencySpy recently featured an interesting look at the St. Louis creative community: The STL's Creative Scene: Dangerously Creative

Nearly all of the firms listed here are located either downtown or elsewhere in the City of St. Louis - What in the heck are you waiting for, Momentum and Cannonball - come join us downtown!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Best of 2010: Saint Louis Coworking

Despite the challenging economy, lots of great things happened over the course of 2010. Major development projects such as the Peabody Opera House, Central Library, Park Pacific, The Laurel, and One City Centre/Sixth Street Garage all began construction this past year and figure to play major roles in downtown's ongoing renaissance upon their completion.

Since these projects have already received a great deal of press in recent months, I'd like to focus on some of the notable developments and business dealings of 2010 that may have flown under the radar a bit.

Let's start with the opening of Saint Louis Coworking in the Shell Building.

Saint Louis Coworking has been a hit with freelancers, startup entrepreneurs and the self employed since opening in August.  Not only does Saint Louis Coworking provide these creative professionals wtih high-quality workspace, it allows for opportunities for socializing and collaboration as well. Weekly pancake breakfasts, parties and other social events hosted by Saint Louis Coworking have allowed the space to develop its own culture, despite the independent nature of its tenants.

More than 40 different people have used the 10,000 sf coworking space since it opened in August. Representative of the type of tenant drawn to the coworking concept is Boom.reactive, a new web development and branding firm led by Shawn Hautly and Jon Becker.  It will be interesting to see if Saint Louis Coworking can develop into a true business incubator for downtown, giving fledgling firms a place to start before they "hatch" and lease space elsewhere - it certainly appears to be well on its way.  Who knows what great ideas will emerge from this type of environment?

Kudos to Mike Tomko and Chris Buehler of Scorch Agency (a Shell Building tenant) and the owners of the Shell Building for bringing the coworking concept to St. Louis!


Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A Look Inside Powell Square

The blog We Are the City has some fascinating pictures and videos taken inside the Powell Square Building. Check it out here.

Over the years, Powell Square's graffiti has become more and more attractive to me, as it gives it a little personality. It would be great to see graffiti art somehow incorporated into the building's redevelopment plans. A renovated Powell Square with a graffiti covered facade would be a true landmark for the southeastern edge of downtown and would give the Chouteau's Landing neighborhood more of an identity.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Back and Blogging Again

Things have been a little crazy since the birth of my second child, so I thought it would be wise to take a little hiatus from blogging.  However, the start of a new year has given me a new resolve to jump back into the blogosphere, so be sure to look for more regular updates coming soon.

Thanks for your patience, and thanks for reading!