Archive for the News Category

Citywalk News for February

Happy birthday to Faraci Pizza.. The Ferguson original is celebrating fifty years: happy golden anniversary!


The much anticipated “Baked Wood-Fired Pizzeria” has already been mentioned in Sauce Magazine. The new restaurant plans to be up and running by the end of February. Employment applications are now being accepted.


GOOD TIME TO “REBUILD TOGETHER”


In 1973 a small group of neighbors and friends, who had seen houses in their community deteriorate, banded together to dedicate one day to elderly, disabled and low-income homeowners who needed help to maintain their homes. A movement was born, Rebuilding Together, and eventually blossomed into a national organization. Rebuilding Together – St. Louis joined the effort in 1992. More than fifty neighborhoods from around the St. Louis region have benefited from Rebuilding Together.


Rebuilding Together has provided free home repairs for many years in Ferguson. The next project is scheduled for May 5, 2018. Emerson will supply funds and volunteers, as they have in prior years.


This is a project that benefits all of Ferguson, including Ferguson CityWalk. Improvement of homes adjacent to CityWalk businesses can only improve business by setting a tone that is hospitable, and strengthening pride in the neighborhood.


Rebuilding Together is looking for 10-12 homeowners on one block that meet their low-income requirements and that need home repairs, so they can participate in the May 5 Rebuild Together project. Ideally, they would have applications in hand before the end of February, in order to complete their evaluation process by deadline. For an application follow this link: http://www.rebuildingtogether-stl.org/wwwroot/docs/New2014_Homeowner_Application.pdf . To get further details on the organization and contact information, go to http://www.rebuildingtogether-stl.org/discover#vision or contact Dave Ervin, at (314) 918–9918, or dervin@rebuildingtogether-stl.org .


CityWalk business owners have a standing invitation to attend the Ferguson CityWalk Advisory Board. The FSBD meets the 2rd Thursday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The meeting location for February has not yet been determined. To get this information, please contact Robin Shively at 314-495-7452 or cornersframing@gmail.com.

Citywalk News for January

“Blessings and Treasures”

Two Ferguson businesses emphasize the values of reusing, recycling and repurposing in two different ways.


There are blessings to be discovered at Blessings Closet Thrift Boutique, 307 S. Florissant Road which opened October 2015. The Boutique provides fashionable, low-cost apparel options for the everyday individual. Blessings Closet is a 501(c) 3 organization with a non-profit program called “DRESS LIKE YOU’RE BLESSED.” The mission is to help persons with limited resources to assemble an outfit for job interviews, as well as for their first days on the job.


Nikki Wilson, owner, remarks: “Some people don’t realize how awesome you can look for around ten dollars. I believe that everyone should be able to obtain simple things like clothing and still be stylish.” Nikki’s hope is “that people will open their closet and think of how they can be a blessing to others with what they already have that they no longer wear or can’t fit.” Blessings Closet is currently accepting monetary and clothing donations. For more information, you can email blesssingscloset@gmail.com or call 314-877-9888.


Treasures are to be uncovered at Hidden Treasures, 220B N. Florissant Road, also a new and used boutique, of a different flavor. Hidden Treasures began its sixth year of business this November 2017. The business evolved before the store front opened. Owner Jeniece Andrews began in a small way, with one to two yard sales a year. After her husband was laid off, she started vending at flea markets. The next thing she knew she was buying jewelry, buying gold. Jeniece also began doing estate sales.


Hidden Treasures prices are affordable, although this is not intended as a thrift boutique. Visit the shop and you will see clothes, jewelry, furniture, antiques and objects d’art. Are you mad about shoes? Well, here you will find shoes upon shoes: really stylish and in mint condition. Ninety per cent of clothing in stock is new, not used. If it is used, it has been used gently. Do you like vintage clothing? Upscale resale? Come and explore. Need help with an estate sale? Call Jeniece at 314-757-2858 or email her at jenieceandrews@gmail.com.


Hidden Treasures best kept secret is that they are here! They are not so hidden: the store is right next to Little Caesar’s. Welcome New Businesses: People’s Healthcare Services located at 49 N Florissant Road inside Schnuck’s has joined the Ferguson CityWalk roster of businesses.

Citywalk News for December

At one of the Ferguson CityWalk gatherings, I asked Mike Palmer: “So who is this Montrey?” In my mind this was the owner of the cigar lounge located at 401 S. Florissant Avenue. Mike explained that the name “Montrey’s” was selected because the one hundred year old house in which the business is situated. Built by Joseph Montrey of Ferguson, he and his wife raised a large family in this home, and owned Montrey’s Bar less than a block away at 500 S Florissant (now Marleys).


Mike Palmer was marketing the property for a lease. Someone approached him interested in converting the space into a private cigar club. The interested party did not pursue the idea, but after researching similar places within the St Louis area as well as the cigar market, he and his business partner found this would provide a unique destination and the vision for the Ferguson Special Business District.


Montrey’s offers a selection of roughly one hundred varieties of cigars at any given time, and the selection changes every month or so. They also have one of the best spirit collections around: whiskeys, bourbons, scotches and cognacs offered at different price levels. In addition, there is live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Montrey’s has a private members’ lounge: a few remaining memberships are currently available. Cutting edge air filtration system inside keeps the smoke from becoming overwhelming. There is a large patio in the front and back of building.


Need gift ideas for a cigar aficionado? Mike offers a few suggestions: “We have cigars that can be sold by the box. We can order special cigars by the box: there are thousands of types of cigars, if someone has a favorite. We also have our very own branded ‘Montrey’s’ cigar in stock.” Furthermore, they have cigar accessories for sale on site such as butane lighters, cutters, punches, and torches. Or what about that membership opportunity? Don’t smoke, but like to do crafts? Montrey’s makes cigar boxes available for one dollar a piece.


And while we are talking about smoke… Welcome back to Ferguson, Red’s One and Only BBQ! Red’s is smoking up a storm 304 S. Florissant Road. The grand opening was November 11.


Welcome also to:

  • Dr. David Goldberg DC – 111 Church Street, Suite 111
  • New Chinese Gourmet – 42 S. Florissant Road
  • Active Angels LLC – 4 Church Street
  • Jean Trader – 10 Church Street

Citywalk News for November

Check It Out


Library = Books.


That’s the equation in my brain. But Ferguson’s Municipal Public Library has a much longer, much more complex equation: FMPL = Books + Safety +Education + Art + Employment Support + Outreach +Creative Response to Community Needs.


An essential part of that equation is Scott Bonner, the Director of the Library. Yes, Scott has a Master’s in Library Science. He also worked in mental health. The combination of these work experiences helps to broaden the vision of “library” as more than a repository for print media. The library can be a source of many forms of help for citizens of Ferguson. Scott began his directorship on July 1st, 2014. He took the position because he fell in love with what he saw at the library, and then proceeded to fall in love with Ferguson.


Six weeks later, he was part of the unfortunate history that has been played over and over in mainstream media across the globe. The civil unrest that erupted that August and again after the grand jury’s verdict in November of 2014 made for synergy, as Scott asked: “How can we help? What do people need? What more can we do?” The library staff followed his lead as the library began to morph into: an “ad hoc school on the fly,” an oasis of safety, a gallery for “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot!” – an exhibit by the Alliance of Black Art Galleries, a location from which the U.S. Small Business Association could give emergency assistance to ailing businesses, and an agent of social outreach in many other ways. Donations poured in that constituted 95% of the annual budget. The Ferguson Municipal Library was awarded the Gale/LJ Library of the Year Award for 2015 for Courage in Crisis.


What are Scott Bonner’s dreams for the future? Now that the most severe time of crisis has waned, so have the big donations that were realized in 2014 and 2015. How can we make sure that financial support continues at an intensity that will allow the library to hire a reference librarian to support small businesses, and provide other means of business support? The library wants to expand its outreach to schools, businesses, neighborhoods – reaching into corners of Ferguson that may have great need but don’t have easy access to the location. With such a vision of outreach, the building at 35 No. Florissant Road, while remaining a destination, can grow as a base camp to empower the library in providing resources beyond its brick walls, to schools, to businesses to all Fergusonians, while serving as an example across the country as to what “library” can mean in the 21st century.




Welcome to The Nehemiah Epicenter at 104 S. Florissant Road, which houses the Nehemiah Housing Agency and a business incubator to both support and attract new businesses–small, new, and major businesses that can additionally contribute to the growth and well-being of the future of Ferguson.


And yes, where there is smoke, there is barbecue – Red’s is coming. Red’s One and Only will be opening at the corner of S. Florissant Road and Compton Street. The recent smoke and lines were just a preview during a special, temporary permit.


Business seeds being planted: more businesses to be sprouting up soon.

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!

CONTACT

FERGUSON CITYWALK
110 Church Street
Ferguson, MO 63135
(314) 524-5197
EMAIL

 

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