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What's next for The Grove after the potential loss of Atomic Cowboy

Last spring, the business said on social media that it closed temporarily due to COVID-19
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — Memorabilia, tables, kitchen equipment and other items from Atomic Cowboy are up for grabs in a series of online auctions that suggests the longtime bar and venue in The Grove has closed for good.

GRS Auctions and Appraisals is hosting the three auctions, which began in February. On its website, GRS advertised that Atomic Cowboy, at 4140 Manchester Ave., had closed, adding "this is the chance to take a piece of Grove history ... say farewell to a St. Louis legend."

Atomic Cowboy has not announced a permanent closure. The business last spring said on social media that it closed temporarily due to COVID-19. Another post in November said it was closed for the winter and planned to reopen in the spring. Owner Chip Schloss did not respond to a request for comment.

But if the bar, which opened in 2004, is closed, as the auction suggests, it follows closings of other businesses in The Grove, including The Monocle and Attitudes that shuttered last year.

Losing Atomic Cowboy "was a big one," said Abdul-Kaba Abdullah, executive director of Park Central Development that oversees The Grove Community Improvement District, which receives its revenue through a sales and use tax and a special assessment tax on real estate. "You can't say that it's not and what it's meant to The Grove."

Abdullah said the CID hasn't received official word about Atomic Cowboy's fate, but they believe the bar has closed.

But, he said, most businesses in the area are doing well, evident by the CID maintaining its revenue through the COVID-19 pandemic. CID revenues were up 7.5% in January to $279,806 compared to January 2020, though that's largely due to an increase in special assessment taxes from new developments. The Grove CID board had projected sales and use tax revenue to be lower than it actually was.

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