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‘There’s something for everybody’: How Blueberry Hill has stayed in business for 50 years

"Darts has been an incredible part of the success of Blueberry Hill."

ST. LOUIS — Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop is one of St. Louis’ most iconic spots. This year marks the restaurant’s 50th anniversary.

“In the very beginning 50 years ago, I never thought past a week,” said Blueberry Hill’s owner Joe Edwards.

Edwards has created a unique experience at Blueberry Hill. The place is known for live music and food.

“There’s something for everybody,” he told 5 On Your Side.

The décor is also different. The items on the walls range from old photos to stuffed animals to sports and music memorabilia – all from Edwards’ own private collection.

“Filled with pop culture memorabilia. There’s so many things to do a Blueberry Hill,” he said.

One of the biggest things to do there is in a room not far from the bar. A side room with wood paneling and dart boards is one of the reasons the establishment has survived.

“Darts has been an incredible part of the success of Blueberry Hill,” Edwards said.

Each year the boards offer a challenge to some of the top players in the nation when Blueberry Hill holds a tournament.

“Longest continuous running dart tournament in North America. They get to play against the best,” said Edwards.

It has developed into a special event.

“There’s something extra special about this one. There’s just a mystique about Blueberry Hill,” said Dave Madison.

Madison won the tournament back in 2020.

“I’m getting shivers, goosebumps right now just thinking about it. That was actually my 30th year playing the tournament,” Madison said.

A couple of things make the tournament a big deal. One is the thousands of dollars in prize money. The other is winners getting their picture permanently placed on the wall of fame.

“It almost immortalizes you. Just very cool especially for a St. Louis kid to win in Blueberry Hill and have your picture on the wall,” said Madison.

“People come in from around the country still trying to get their picture up on that wall,” added Edwards.

But the feat is not easy to achieve. There are some mental factors at play.

“Internally you’re probably shaking because you don’t want to miss. Believe that I can do it for that one shining moment,” said Madison.

The event has earned a level of prestige, but believe it or not, darts weren’t always available at Blueberry Hill.

“In the very beginning I didn’t put a dart board up, the first week,” Edwards explained.

He is very happy with the decision. He believes the bar room game attracts customers to be a part of the scene.

“Darts is such a great social sport. It was the greatest thing,” he said.

Edwards believes darts could help keep the place going for another 50 years.

“I think it’ll be here. Yep,” he said.

The 50th annual dart tournament begins Friday and runs through Sunday.

If you want to learn about dart leagues at Blueberry Hill, click here.

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