ST. LOUIS — A beloved Washington Avenue business is closing its doors soon and it's sad news for many people who have grown to love it.
The Washington Avenue Post Grocery Store and Coffee Bar is the oldest independent coffee shop in downtown St. Louis. However, after more than a decade of serving the community, the owners are now seeking a new beginning.
A cup of coffee, or "morning joy" as some might describe it, is something thousands of people swear by every day. At the Washington Avenue Post, the owner Bob Ray said St. Louisans have been swearing by it for more than a decade.
"When we opened 14 years ago there wasn’t much downtown at all. We would go 45 minutes before somebody would walk in and we see him and would cheer hey we've got a customer," Ray said.
He said when his family opened this business the customers were scarce. But over time it’s become a staple in the downtown community something many people have grown to appreciate.
"We've grown up with the neighborhood and everybody here has grown up through all these changes with us. We fill a need in this neighborhood that isn't met anywhere else," Ray said.
Part of that need is supporting other St. Louisans by selling their merchandise, but now that void will come back at the end of August when their doors will close for good.
"We suffered through some lean years and watched downtown develop into what it is today," Ray said.
Ray said the business is successful but their family is just ready to retire, and they’re hoping someone can come along to keep this legacy going strong.
"We would rather sell it to somebody who would keep it here because it really is an important part of this neighborhood," Ray said.