ST. LOUIS — There are business districts around the St. Louis area surviving and thriving in the wake of the pandemic. The Delmar Loop has shown its resiliency.
The Loop starts at Laurel Street and runs several blocks east to Kingsland Avenue.
“The Loop is county and city,” said Qui Tran, owner of Nudo House.
While the stretch is referred to as “The Loop” is it more of a line than it is a loop.
“It’s a straight street,” said Joe Edwards, a local entrepreneur.
The blocks along Delmar Boulevard have a lot to offer visitors.
“It has a little sprinkle of everything,” said Monique Cherise, a beauty boutique owner.
There is everything from music venues to small mom-and-pop shops.
“A lot of independent stores where people put their hearts and souls in the businesses,” said Edwards.
The variety of places to eat is wide-ranging.
“More cuisines from around the world represented in our restaurants here than any city in the Midwest,” said Edwards.
One of the perks to doing business on the Loop is that the area is close to most other places in St Louis.
“This is really centrally located,” said Cherise.
But the Loop wasn’t always a vibrant and bustling place.
“The area was kind of down and out to say the least,” said Edwards.
Edwards helped in turning the Loop into a “go-to place” in St Louis. He opened some of the well-known businesses along the street.
“Offering places where people can put their troubles behind them for a couple of hours and really enjoy things,” he said.
“It definitely started with Blueberry Hill,” Edwards said.
He owns the restaurant along with The Pageant, Moonrise Hotel, and a few other places. He also started the Walk of Fame by installing stars and plaques on the sidewalk.
“I think we’ve had more influential people than from Chicago, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, right here in St Louis,” he said.
He also commissioned a statue of music legend Chuck Berry that stands across Delmar from Blueberry Hill.
“People come and take their pictures with it all the time or they pretend to do the duck walk,” he said.
People are encouraged to spend their time on The Loop walking from shop to shop during the day and at night.
“At night it’s really, it’s really lit up,” said Cherise.
“There’s people out all the time,” added Tran.
They consider the Loop to be a welcoming environment.
“When you walk through The Loop you don’t really do a double-take at anybody,” Cherise laughed.
“There’s young. There’s old. There’s all nationalities,” said Tran.
“It was designed one of the ten great streets in America,” said Edwards.
Now there is a responsibility among the shop owners to uphold that distinction.
“You have to live up to the hype of the Delmar Loop,” said Cherise.
The civic pride is important for keeping the area going because The Loop has become a destination for tourists and a symbol of what St. Louis has to offer.
“Such an integral part of who we are as a city. It’s who we are as a culture. It’s who we are as a society. All of that makes everything great,” said Tran.
If you want to learn more about what the Loop has to offer here is a link to their website: https://visittheloop.com/.