Archive for the News Category

Citywalk News for October

“Find Your Mission”


When you think about planning a trip beyond Earth, you likely envision that happening a long time from now in a galaxy far, far away. Surprise: you can experience that today, in Ferguson, at 205 Brotherton Lane.


While you know the schools that exist within the Ferguson CityWalk boundaries: McCluer South-Berkely High School, Vogt Elementary School and Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School, you may not be aware of a completely different type of educational experience here in Ferguson: The Challenger Learning Center. The Ferguson location is not just the only Challenger Learning Center in St. Louis – it is the only such entity in Missouri.


The center seeks to spark a passion for a lifetime engagement with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) through simulated space missions and science education programs that are so hands-on that the word “simulation” is inadequate to fully capture the nature of that experience. I visited The Challenger Learning Center on September 12. My first surprise was seeing a staff member wearing a NASA flight suit. Soon we entered Mission Control. Our tour progressed to entering the space station lab through and air lock. Director Tasmyn (Tahz-min) Scarl Front said they don’t describe the experience as a field trip, because while this is an outing, there is deep educational focus. During their “mission,” students realize and use skills that are necessary for lifelong success. For example, students often encounter some type emergency” that requires them to use critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. The students have all the resources they need to solve the problem, but sometimes need confidence. When they ask staff to help, they hear: “This is your mission. You are the expert in your field and you can do this.”


This is not only a wonderful opportunity for school kids. There are programs for the general public, birthday party packages, corporate programs and summer camps, to name a few opportunities that are available for interplanetary travel in your own backyard.


The Challenger Learning Center-St. Louis opened in November of 2003. It is part of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, an international not-for-profit education organization founded in April 1986 by the families of the astronauts tragically lost during the Challenger space shuttle mission. This location is part of a growing network of over forty Challenger Learning Centers located throughout the world. The Center serves groups throughout the greater St. Louis region. If you want to know more, contact the Challenger Learning Center at 314-524-3490 or check out the website at www.challengerstl.org.


Meanwhile, we’re waiting with bated breath to welcome several new businesses to Ferguson CityWalk. However, it isn’t official until the paperwork is complete. Keep your eyes on Ferguson CityWalk for these developments!

Citywalk News for September

“To Market, To Market”

One of Ferguson’s gleaming jewels is the Ferguson Farmers Market. Every Saturday, from May through October, the Market is in operation from 8 a.m. – noon. A group of Fergusonians including Bud Seiter, Joe Lonero and Gunner Brown started the Market in 2002. The 501 Plaza was in fact built for the market. However, by the time 501 Plaza was completed the Ferguson Farmers Market had already outgrown it, and so it continues at Victorian Plaza. Now in its fifteenth year, the outdoor market boasts an average of forty-two tents. Some of the vendors have been there since the beginning.


Marveena Miller, the current Market Manager, came on board later in the Market’s history. Marveena, who holds a Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Research, saw an ad in the Ferguson Times. She and her husband moved to Ferguson in 2011 because they liked what they saw here. This is Marveena’s fourth season working as the Market Manager. In addition to her involvement in the Market, Marveena also serves as the Marketing Coordinator for the Ferguson Special Business District (Ferguson CityWalk).


Marveena sees her role as “maintaining the integrity of the market,” and she is pleased to assert that overall the Ferguson Farmers Market has stayed true to what it started out as.


The market is blessed by 20-25 volunteers who show up every week. The early crew starts at 5:00 a.m. and sets up all the tents. They are followed by the 6:00 am. crew, most of whom stay until 1:00 p.m. to tear down the tents. There is a third group who arrive around 11:30 a.m. and finish the process of tearing down. The only compensation for these volunteers: the success of the Ferguson Farmers Market.


This year the Market collaborated with EarthDance Farm and obtained a Farmers Market Promotional Grant from the USDA. The funds have allowed Earth Dance to help transport people to the market to see fresh produce offered, and then visit the farm to have a tour and to see how food is grown.


November through April, the winter market is hosted by St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 33 North Clay in Ferguson, 9 a.m. – noon, on the third Saturday of each month. An average of ten vendors are present.


The next big Ferguson event is StreetFest 2017. This year, the festival has moved to 501 Plaza. Bands will play every hour, 5:00 – 10:00 p.m. on Friday, September 22 and noon – 11 p.m. on Saturday, September 23. In addition to music, you won’t want to miss trademark events such as the Manly Man High Heel Keg Relay and the combat booted Girly Girl Wench Relay.

Citywalk News for August

Keeping Up Appearances in the Summer Heat


Ferguson CityWalk has a good range of services in the area of looking your best.


If you just want to purchase products, you can check in at Mimi Beauty Supply (55 N. Florissant) or Lee’s Beauty World, 110 S. Florissant Road.


In the market for a mani or pedi? A number of the salons provide those services, but that’s the specialty of the house for VP Nails (59 N. Florissant Road).


As for salons and barbers: we have two businesses celebrating twenty-five years of doing business here in Ferguson: Ferguson Style & Spa and Latecia’s Beauty and Barber Salon.


Sherry Loesch owns Ferguson Style and Spa, at 811 S. Florissant Road. Besides being proud of twenty-five years in business, Sherry is very happy to say her clientele is very diverse: men and women, young and old, all ethnicities.


Latecia’s is a family salon, with a beautician and barber. There are four stylists available. They are located at 1028 S. Florissant Road. Happy silver anniversary to Latecia’s!


Exotic Trenz owner Cynthia Brown is justifiably proud of her building at 600 S. Florissant Road. Talk about an extreme makeover! She turned a gas station and Meineke’s into a beauty salon. She is also happy to say, Exotic Trenz is a family salon.


Fierce Ultra Salon, located at 920 S. Florissant Road, is yet another family oriented salon. Owner Hope Breedlove promises an atmosphere of peace to patrons.


Constance Estrada, the owner of Taste of Honey, 303 S. Florissant, describes her salon as “a nice Christian-based beauty salon and very friendly.”


Viva La Shear is located at 975 S. Florissant Road. You can spot the salon: it’s the one with the giant shears on the south side of the building.


So, with all this expertise, I polled as many of the salon owners as I could about recommendations for hair care in summer. All are agreed: just like you hydrate to keep your body healthy in the summer heat, you need to keep the moisture in. If you are a swimmer, after you are out of the pool you need to wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo: sometimes these are labeled as swimmers’ shampoos. Chlorine tends to adhere to the hair shaft and regular shampoo won’t get it out.


Keep oil, dust and pollen out by shampooing and conditioning at least once a week. This also helps keep the skin clear. Deep conditioning can revive hair. Last of all, when choosing hair styles, pick something that will last through all the heat and all the shampooing.


Stay beautiful (and handsome), my friends.

Citywalk News for July

Variety is the spice of life, the saying goes. Let’s talk about savory and sweet, spicy and mild – American food, road trip food, burgers and bakes – and there are two more restaurants underway as I type.


Cathy’s Kitchen opened in July 2013. Cathy Jenkins explains the concept for the restaurant: “We’ve always travelled. We were both self-employed for twenty-four years. We took lots of vacations. One time we took a road trip west along the entire bottom of the U.S. map, all the way to California. We based the trip on the Food Channel! Here at Cathy’s Kitchen you can enjoy the food you had on vacation – all year round!”


Her food distributor tried to discourage her from the concept: he insisted people want to see a standard menu: appetizers, soup, salad, entrees, dessert. But the menus at Cathy’s are organized by cities and states: California, Texas, New Mexico, Florida, Chicago, New Orleans, Memphis and of course, if you are getting homesick, St. Louis. Cathy’s top five: Cajun chicken Philly, Tuscan pasta, gumbo, fish tacos and her new Thursday special, six wings, six jumbo shrimp and cole slaw for $11.99. Cathy’s
Kitchen is located at 250 S. Florissant Road and is open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Drake’s Place opened in May 2014. Drake’s Place was built from a dream and a love of cooking. Now that it is a reality. Customers can enjoy fantastic food and phenomenal service every day. Their website proclaims: “We cook from the heart!” A first-time visitor would do well to enjoy one of their fresh homemade salads with Drake’s house dressing. When they say “house” they mean “house” – the dressing is made up fresh on site. Keep your eyes open: they will be selling bottles of the delicacy at the Ferguson Farmers’ Market this summer. All sauces are made in house and all food is made to order. Salmon and shrimp are very popular dinner entrees. There is a whole lot of “news at Drake’s: a new menu with more starters, sandwiches, burgers, and a couple additions to the dinner selections. Drake’s also has a new logo and a new website. Last but not least, Drake’s has a brand new patio. Now you can enjoy their delicious food al fresco. With a newly paved parking lot and the arrival of a brand new sign, the eatery has a fresh look that goes along with the freshly prepared food. You’ll find it all at 701 S. Florissant Road. Hours are: Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday, 4 – 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.


The most recent addition to the Ferguson Originals – restaurants that started in Ferguson – is Banana Yummies Bakes and Burgers (hereafter, BYB&B). Visitors are surprised when they see cakes, mini-cupcakes and cookies. “Oh, that’s what you mean by ‘Bakes’!” Andrea Steward opened BYB&B June 30, 2016 so they are just one year old. Want a burger? How hungry are you? Eight ounces hungry? Or fourteen ounces hungry? In the burger department, BYB&B’s specialty is stuffed burgers. You can order cheddar jalapeno bacon, cheesy cheese or apple gouda onion. The eight ounce selections include THE FERGUSON: Yum Burger with cheese, fried egg, jalapenos, tomato and red onions, topped with Sriracha and Ketchup. That’s the burgers: the “bakes” include sculptured cakes. Andrea, who trained and worked as a graphic designer, now expresses her creativity in batter and frosting. The most interesting order she had: her cousin, an avid gamer, wanted an X-Box cake. “What do you think of the cake?” she asked when he came to pick it up. He was standing right by it and said, “What cake?” He thought it was a real X-Box. BYB&B is located at 497 Airport Road. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m.

Citywalk News for May

Welcome to our new Ferguson Citywalk Businesses:


  • Schnucks Market – 49 N Florissant Road
  • Examinations LTD Inc. – 119 Church St., Suite 131
  • Ferguson Automotive – 505 Airport Road
  • Astounding, LLC, DBA Safe Mode – 14 Church St.
  • And welcome back, Whistle Stop, 1 Carson Road!

“May I show you a table – or two – or three – or…”


Last month’s column began exploring the Ferguson Citywalk Originals, that is, original restaurants that started right here in the Ferguson Citywalk district. By far the longest established restaurant in Ferguson is Faraci Pizza, which was established in 1968. When the original owners moved the business to Ellisville in 1997, Jim and Dawn Marshall, both McCluer High School graduates, bought it. Jim began working at the original Faraci’s when he was just fifteen years old. Dawn has been there around thirty-two years. Looking for an alternative to franchise pizza chains? Try Faraci Pizza at 520 S. Florissant.


The Whistle Stop is next oldest. Many eyes have been on 1 Carson Road, hoping for another taste of the delicious frozen custard. So The Whistle Stop is resurrected just in time for Spring.


Not long after the completion of the last Downtown Strategic Development Plan, The Corner Coffee House opened in a building that was revamped from a former automotive business, 100 N. Florissant Road. Besides offering coffee made from the “finest of coffee and ingredients” and fresh baked goods, The Corner Coffee House offers a social hub where folks can meet, talk, play games or just contemplate a cup of fresh Ferguson java. Outside seating also fits the vision of the developing Citywalk district.


Set in a repurposed office building, Vincenzo’s Italian Ristorante is named after Joe Lonero’s great-grandfather. Patty Smith has worked at Vincenzo’s since it first opened. Patty considers the restaurant a “hidden gem.” She considers Vincenzo’s Ferguson’s less expensive but just as delicious slice of “The Hill.” New customers are amazed at the quality of the meals. Patty recommends the chicken marsala or the pesce Vincenzo.


Do you work hard, but play even harder? Kelly Braun isn’t sure where their slogan came from, but she can tell you where Marley’s name came from: a combination of “Martin” (her husband) and “Kelly.” Their best kept secret is Pork Steak Wednesday, which features pork steak (of course), with baked beans and your choice of potato salad or cole slaw or deviled eggs. What would she recommend to a first timer? The wings or the jalapeño grilled chicken sandwich. Remember: Cinco de Marley is May 5. Marley’s is located at 500 S. Florissant.


More mouth-watering Citywalk restaurant history next month.

Citywalk News for April

Are You Hungry?


Over recent years, Ferguson has engaged in a visioning process. There has been a particular focus on planning for the Downtown Area. Participants in the 1999 Ferguson Downtown Vision process included “full-service restaurants” as something they wanted to see in the next twenty years. “Downtown Ferguson was once the heart of economic activity for the northern suburbs, featuring streetcar service to nearly the entire region. Florissant Road was lined with restaurants, department stores, offices…” (Downtown Strategic Development Plan, hereafter DSDP, page 17). In a public open house, September 13, 2008, people described the kinds of restaurants they wanted to see: the desires ranged from franchises (with a view to attracting college students, who identify with brands), to white tablecloth dining. There was also a request for international or ethnic restaurants, kid friendly and non-smoking restaurants, healthy food choices coupled with hamburgers. So: an eclectic assortment of restaurants.


Where is Ferguson Citywalk at today making this a reality?


There are twenty-four or more restaurants in the Citywalk district. It’s “or more” if you include the three bakeries and the potential of grazing at the Farmers Market.


So what have we? First of all, there are currently four pizza places: Imo’s, Little Caesar’s, Papa John’s and Faraci Pizza (a Ferguson Original). There are several franchises: Popeye’s, Quiznos, St. Louis Fish & Chicken Grill and Subway. There are four Chinese restaurants: Chinese Express, New Chinese Gourmet, Ferguson Chop Suey and Queen’s House.


Then there are the Ferguson CityWalk Originals. The beauty of original, non-franchised locations is that they can only be found here in downtown Ferguson (except for Faraci Pizza, established in Ferguson, which has expanded to other locations). It’s great for Fergusonians in two ways: it presents some nice options close to home, and it draws people into the area.


These are the Ferguson Citywalk Originals: Banana Yummies, Cathy’s Kitchen,Celebrity Southern Soul Food, Cork, Corner Coffee House, Drake’s Place, Faraci Pizza, Ferguson Brewing Company Restaurant and Pub, Marley’s, Mimi’s Subway Bar and Grill, Vincenzo’s Italian Ristorante, The (soon to return) Whistle Stop, (Montrey’s Cigar Lounge isn’t technically a restaurant, but it is certainly a Ferguson CitywalkOriginal.)


The restaurant business can be tough. Small businesses do not have the economies of scale that a McDonald’s or Domino’s boasts: small businesses pay more for ingredients and equipment than a big franchise. That means they must charge more than McDonald’s – of course, you get a higher quality menu item for that money. The hours are demanding and create a real balancing act for a family business. With all those challenges, this small area along Florissant Road, Airport Road and Darst has a pretty nice concentration of small business restaurants.


The next few columns will explore the restaurant history of the Downtown District (Ferguson Citywalk). Possibly, by the time the current locations have been written about, there will be one or two new arrivals!

Citywalk News for March

A warm welcome to these new CityWalk businesses:

  • Ryse Network, 25 S Florissant Road; and
  • Affordable Mattress & Furniture LLC, 149 S Florissant Road

CityWalk Arts!


“Bee Bum” in Jeske Sculpture Park

There is a vision among many “Fergusonians” that this city might become a destination for the arts. With a growing number of arts-related businesses and venues little by little this vision is being realized.


Corners Frameshop & Gallery, located at 2 S. Florissant provides custom framing services to residential and commercial customers throughout the metropolitan area. Robin Shively, owner, has earned the designation of Certified Picture Framer by the Professional Picture Framers Association. Her gallery primarily displays art and gifts handcrafted by local artists, many of whom are from Ferguson and North County. These artists are also showcased at frequent exhibits and First Friday events. You can reach Corners at 314-495-7452 or cornersframing@gmail.com.


Almost Picasso wants you to know that this is “the perfect place to go for a fun-filled afternoon or evening! Our instructors will guide you through each step, to recreate a painting, in a light-hearted, party atmosphere!! Be sure to bring your favorite wine/beverage and snacks!’” Almost Picasso is located at 18 Church Street. Call 314-801-6671 for more information.


FYI (Ferguson Youth Initiative) at 110 Church Street offers SLAM on the first Friday of every month, 6-9 p.m. in the Back Bay area. Youth can participate for free in open mic, spoken word, music and art. For information, contact info@fyifergyouth.org.


Good Shepherd Gallery, 252 S. Florissant hosts exhibits of spiritual art throughout the year. This month: “Corporal Works of Mercy,” March 5-31, with a reception Sunday, March 5, 1-3 p.m. Call Glynis McManamon, RGS, at 314-522-1155 or email rgsicons@yahoo.com.


The 427 GALLERY, located at 427 S. Florissant Rd, is a non-profit public service provided by Pearce Neikirk and Partners Realtors, LLC. The 427 GALLERY has proudly exhibited the artistic work of over 30 area artists since 2011. Exhibits are hosted by the featured artist and with specific exhibit times. The 427 GALLERY is very happy to announce the continued exhibition of the art of Mary Nichols through the month of March. Mary is a local, well established artist and has in the past been associated with the Northern Arts Council. For information on scheduling please call 314-521-5002.


Ferguson Farmers’ Market has invited artists to demo creative activities and Northern Arts Council has been involved in Art at the Market.


Viewing of the sculptures at Sculptureworks Ferguson, 830 S. Florissant Road, can be arranged by contacting Michael Quintero (mquintero@stlcc.edu) or Bryce Robinson (brycer@wustl.edu). Saturday March 11 Sculptureworks Ferguson will hold an opening reception for “Whistle While You Hum,” a solo exhibition by Ryan Doyle from 6:00-9:00 p.m. On Saturday, April 1, “Iron Pour in the Park” will take place at Jeske Sculpture Park, an all-day event brought to you by Sculptureworks Ferguson.


While the Jeske Sculpture Park is not within the CityWalk boundaries (the seven acre park is located at 211 Thoroughman Avenue, and on the web at www.jeskesculpturepark.com) the Jeske Sculpture Park Commission is also working to expand the presence of public art into Ferguson’s downtown business district. Currently the CityWalk District can boast two public sculptures, both by Bryce Olen Robinson, himself a Ferguson original. “Primary Lines” can be viewed in front of 401 S. Florissant Road. “Emergent Behavior” stands in front of 419 S. Florissant Road.


Want to promote the arts in Ferguson and throughout North STL County? A good contact is Dana Sebastian-Duncan, volunteer and acting director of the Northern Arts Council (NAC). Contact NorthernArtsCouncil@yahoo.com or 314-896-1278 (324-896-1ART).


NAC also has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NorthernArtsCouncil/.

Citywalk News for February

It’s a month for hearts, flowers, and sweets for the sweetest. We give a heartfelt welcome to a new CityWalk businesses: First Aid Credit Repair – 111 Church Street, Suite 202.


We are blessed with three bakeries here in Ferguson. Looking for something delicious to celebrate Valentine’s Day? Here are some suggestions: If you and your sweetheart are early risers, why not share a delicious breakfast at Spencer’s Bakery at 100 Church Street? Breakfast is served from 6 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., Tuesday through Sunday. An especially sweet deal on the menu is their special with two eggs, sausage or bacon, hash browns, toast or biscuits. All this for $4.95 including tax.


Natalie DuBose at Natalie’s Cakes and More invites you: “Come to Natalie’s to share love for Valentine’s Day.” Hosting a party on February 14? Check out the Natalie’s menu at : www.nataliescakesandmore.com. Note that their “Signature Caramel Cake” is also available in cupcakes. Natalie’s is located at 100 S. Florissant Road.


Beth Thompson wants to entice you with some exquisite Cose Dolci delights: “delicious chocolate covered strawberries and heart shaped decorated butter cookies- individually bagged with a ribbon.” And that’s just two of their sweet temptations. You’ll find more delectables at www.cose-dolci.com. Cose Dolci is at 425 S. Florissant Road.


And speaking of sweets, good news at the Train Station. Matt Kohler has been approved by the City Council to re-open the Whistle Stop. His target date is March 1, 2017.

Citywalk News for January

January: when we all make resolutions. Here in Citywalk we are resolved to continue growing, becoming an ever stronger and healthier community. New businesses continue to open. A belated welcome to Papa John’s Pizza, 419 S. Florissant. Another new eatery slipped in: Banana Yummies, 497 Airport Road. Tax Prep Zone has opened just in time: 195 N. Florissant.


St. Louis Dazzling Diamonds Dance Company

St. Louis Dazzling Diamonds Dance Company

Meanwhile, we have some Dazzling Diamonds among us! The St. Louis Dazzling Diamonds Dance Company (STLDDC) is a traveling, competitive, trophy award winning majorette dance team, founded by Naomi Ashby and DeAndre Isom. STLDDC’s mission statement is: “The St. Louis Dazzling Diamonds Dance Company’s Mission is to educate, inspire and instill principles of teamwork through the love of dance and cultivate it into a passion for a purposeful life.”


In addition to competing, STLDDC performs at community events, volunteer productions, fashion shows, sporting events, parades, birthday parties, charity events, and showcases. More than eighty-five kids (predominantly girls, but boys are welcome) practice every day at 48 S. Florissant, rehearsing Monday through Friday, 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, 9-5 p.m. They have been featured on the t.v. show “Bringit!” When asked why they have set up their location in Ferguson, Ms. Ashby said, “So many of our children who participate in our dance programs live right in this area.” STLDDC is currently raising funds for a dance floor. They have visions of expanding their programs beyond dance to agriculture and arts, having kids grow gardens and learn to cook what they grow. They will start offering programs for adults in the near future. STLDDC will open to the public in February 2017.


If you would like to become involved you can email them at stldazzlingdiamonds@gmail.com.


Remember:

• Celebrate the Life of Brian Fletcher, Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Ferguson Community Center.

• Ferguson’s Indoor Farmers’ Market January 21, 2017 at 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Citywalk News for December

First of all, I want to offer a big thank you to the restaurants and patrons who participated in Dine Out on November 9th! All the figures aren’t in as of this writing, but through your support and generosity, over $2,550 was raised to benefit our award-winning Ferguson Farmers market.


The Holiday Season in Citywalk officially kicked off with the Northern Lights festival and lighting of the Christmas tree at Victorian Plaza, adding to the festive decorations on street lamps and businesses! The lighted decorations along Citywalk can be viewed and enjoyed from carriages on Thursday evening, December 8th. The carriage rides are offered free to Ferguson residents and employees of Ferguson businesses, courtesy of Citywalk, to show appreciation for your continued support of our businesses and events. Join us that evening at Plaza 501 for hot cocoa, toasty fire pits and a Christmas movie.


Another traditional event is the Ferguson Christmas Twilight House Tour, which benefits the Ferguson Caring League. On Sunday, December 4th, seven wonderfully decorated private residences will be open for viewing. This year, the variety of architectural styles include century-old Victorian and Italianate manses, classic Bungalow cottages, and Mid-Century Modern ranches. Tickets may be purchased in advance at Corner Coffeehouse, Paul’s Market, or City Hall. They may be purchased on tour day at Pearce Neikirk and Partners Realty, 427 South Florissant Road.


There are many more special holiday events at businesses, churches and schools along Citywalk and down neighboring side streets of which to take advantage. Get out, enjoy your community and show your support by shopping and dining at Ferguson’s many fine local shops and establishments! We at Citywalk, wish you a peaceful and joyful Holiday Season!

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FERGUSON CITYWALK
110 Church Street
Ferguson, MO 63135
(314) 524-5197
citywalk@fergusoncity.com

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