Archive for March, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Old North Featured in St. Louis Magazine’s “Where We Live” Issue

St. Louis Magazine has done it again.  And we thank them very much! Old North St. Louis once again is featured prominently in St. Louis Magazine’s annual issue in which they take a look at the many different neighborhoods, municipalities, and communities that make up the greater St. Louis region.

The April issue arrived in our mail today, and we were very pleased to discover that not only did Old North make it into St. Louis Magazine’s 2011 Neighborhood Guide, the very first article in this section included a full-page photo of Old North residents Claire Wolff and Joe Sweet, sipping coffee at the former Urban Studio Cafe (soon to re-open as La Mancha Coffeehouse), followed by another full-page update on “What’s New in Old North” with even more photos of Crown Square, the North City Farmers’ Market, and the Johnnie Owens sign at the Hebert Community Garden.

And if that wasn’t enough to make us happy, the magazine’s website at uses the photo of the Crown Square buildings at 2601-09 N. 14th Street as the image to promote the link to the online content for the Neighborhood Guide.

As our way of thanking St. Louis Magazine for this well-deserved but generous coverage of Old North, we encourage one and all to rush out to the newsstands to pick up your own issue.  However, when you get the magazine in your hands, don’t just flip ahead to page 80 for the article about Old North.  Feel free to read the whole issue from cover to cover, but take a moment to stop at page 16 and read what Stefene Russell, the magazine’s Culture Editor, has to say about why she lives in Old North.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Lot Going On in Old North This Weekend, from Art to Blood Pressure Screening to Noodles Workshop

As usual, there’s no shortage of things to do in Old North this coming weekend.  In fact, the biggest challenge will be in deciding just how much can be done in one weekend.

On Friday night, the Poor Souls Society Art Gallery at 2701 N. 14th Street in Crown Square will hold an opening reception for their new exhibit and a “MeetUp” event, starting at 7 p.m., with more activities from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, including music, poetry, and an open mic session.  See below for details.

Also on Friday, just a little farther down St. Louis Avenue from Old North’s western border, the Polish Falcons will be hosting their weekly Lenten Fish Fry from 5-7 p.m. at 2013 St. Louis Avenue.

On Saturday, the Old North Grocery Co-op will host a blood pressure screening from 9 to 11 a.m.  This is just one in a series of events that will be happening at the co-op to make it easier for residents and customers to pick up some good, fresh information while they’re loading their shopping carts with good, fresh foods.  If you’d like to get a weekly email with news and updates from the Old North Grocery Co-op (similar to the message below), just send an email to

Also on Saturday, Old North will be the site of another LOVEtheLOU Community Festival, this time as a show of support for the soon-to-open La Mancha Coffeehouse at 2815 N. 14th Street.   See below for a flyer for that event - and click HERE to see the online version of an article that appeared in this morning’s Post-Dispatch about the plans for La Mancha, including pictures of owners Veronica and David Holden.

And if you have hopes for a modeling career, stop by Therapy Boutique at 2717 N. 14th Street between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Saturday while the boutique hosts its model call for their May fashion show.

On Sunday, at 1 p.m., Team Cookbook will be holding their second in a series of workshops leading up to an eventual re-launching of a new Old North cookbook.  This week’s workshop will focus on noodles.  See below for information or email

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Open/Closed Conference Puts Focus on Opportunities for Development

The Open / Closed Conference this past weekend brought together an eclectic mix of urban enthusiasts, preservationists, neighborhood development advocates, academics, and developers to explore various issues related to vacant land in St. Louis.  Old North St. Louis Restoration Group was pleased to play host for the event’s opening reception on Friday evening and the closing reception on Saturday evening.

ONSLRG’s gallery at 2700 N. 14th Street was the setting for a standing-room-only crowd on Friday evening for the opening remarks by the event’s planners from and Frontier St. Louis, followed by a presentation by Juan William Chavez, and clips from the soon-to-be-released documentary, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, along with the film’s producer, Paul Fehler, and former Pruitt-Igoe resident, Sylvester Brown, Jr. (shown in the second photo below).  Complimentary beverages were made available through the generosity of one of the newest microbreweries in town, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company.

With all of the interest in bringing development to vacant properties, this is a great time to point out that Old North is home to many historic buildings ready for purchase by individuals or developers with a commitment to preserving these buildings and capacity to carry out the job.  A full listing of properties available for rehabbers can be found on the Rehabbers page in the Real Estate section of - or by clicking HERE. Contact Matt Fernandez, ONSLRG’s Community Development Specialist, at 314-241-5031 or via to learn more about what’s available and how to go about preparing an offer or planning for a rehab.

The building at 1316 North Market is just one of many historic properties that are great opportunities for good rehabbers with commitment and capacity.

The building at 1316 North Market is just one of many historic properties that are great opportunities for good rehabbers with commitment and capacity.

ONSLRG stabilized and secured the building at 1300 Monroe, along with several others from the Land Reutilization Authority, so that it could survive long enough to be taken on by future rehabbers.

ONSLRG stabilized and secured the building at 1300 Monroe, after purchasing it and several others from the Land Reutilization Authority, so that it could survive long enough to be taken on by future rehabbers.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Retail Businesses Growing in Old North

It’s that time of year again when the lines at Crown Candy Kitchen start stretching out the front door and around the corner, with customers coming from far and wide for Crown’s famous BLTs, malts, various chocolates, and their legendary Easter monkeys.

This year, however, customers waiting to get into Crown Candy can look up and down the street to see other retail businesses to visit after picking up their lunch or Easter chocolates.

Just across St. Louis Avenue, at 2717 N. 14th Street, is Therapy Boutique, which was featured in St. Louis Magazine last month.

You can read the whole article at St. Louis Magazine’s online site by clicking here, but the best part includes the following:

What’s your favorite part about owning a boutique in this neighborhood?

The community is like a little town. The first week that Therapy opened, everyone from business owners to the neighbors came by and introduced themselves. It’s like being on Cheers. Old North is very, very family-oriented; throughout the year there are family events for the community.

Congratulations Ebony for the great press, and thank you for the kind words about the neighborhood.

Meanwhile, a few doors north of Crown Candy will soon be home to La Mancha Coffeehouse, in the space that up until recently housed the Urban Studio Cafe.

As the notices posted in the window explain, La Mancha Coffeehouse will open by late March or early April at 2815 N. 14th Street.  Read all about the plans for this new, neighborhood-family-owned business at their website:  This website also includes a link to a March 1 post about LaMancha on the Riverfront Times blog.

Stay tuned for more news soon about other businesses that will be opening at Crown Square.  For more information about commercial and retail spaces that are still available, contact Susan Sauer of Duffe Nuernberger Realty. by email ( or phone (314-571-7654).

Monday, March 7, 2011

Branch Street Improvements & Iron Horse Trestle Plans Will Be Discussed at Meeting Thursday

Your ideas and feedback are requested as part of the planning process for improving the access to the Riverfront Trail from Old North along Branch Street.  The first public meeting and visioning session for this project will take place on Thursday, March 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office and gallery, 2700 N. 14th Street.

As noted on the flyer, staff from Great Rivers Greenway will be on hand to provide an update on the plans for developing the Iron Horse Trestle into an elevated hiking and biking path from Old North to the Riverfront Trail.

Friday, March 4, 2011

New Entry Completed at Old North Grocery Co-op

As of today, the Old North Grocery Co-op has a new entry, with a convenient, ADA-compatible ramp.

The ramp is finished but the new railings aren't in yet.

The ramp is finished but the new railings aren't in yet.

The new doors bring a lot more light into the store and make it easier for prospective customers to get a glimpse into what the store offers as they walk or drive by the intersection of St. Louis Avenue and N. 13th Street.

Before all of this work was finished, the store received a high profile visitor last week when Dr. Roger Beachy stopped by to learn more about the efforts under way in Old North to increase access to healthy, affordable, and fresh foods.  Dr. Beachy is the Director of the National Institute of Food & Agriculture at the United States Dept. of Agriculture.  Dr. Beachy’s visit generated some more media coverage about the store, including a story on St. Louis Public Radio and an article in the St. Louis Beacon.

Rusty Lee, Dr. Roger Beachy, Kara Lubischer, and store manager, Sarah Kate Buckles.

Rusty Lee, Dr. Roger Beachy, Kara Lubischer, and store manager, Sarah Kate Buckles discuss the local foods sold at the Old North Grocery Co-op.


Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.

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