Archive for January, 2012

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

5K Run for the Chocolate Coming through Old North Feb. 12

Get ready for the streets of Old North to be overtaken by hundreds (or maybe thousands) of runners on the morning of Sunday, February 12.   Just two days before Valentine’s Day, the “Sweetest 5K in St. Louis” will come to the heart of Old North as part of the first “Run for the Chocolate.”  See below for the race map and to see how it travels through Old North (primarily up N. 13th Street to Warren, then Warren to N. 14th Street, then up N. 14th through Crown Square to St. Louis Avenue, and then back the same route).  Please help pass the word along to your neighbors that some of the streets and intersections along the route will be temporarily closed during the race.

If you’d like to participate as a runner, see below for registration details.  And, with this many participants coming through the neighborhood, we could use a lot of volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks, including helping set up barricades and directing the runners through intersections and along the route.   If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Mike Weiss (by email:, and be sure to mention that you’re interested in helping in Old North.

This exciting new 5K through the streets of Downtown and Old North will spice up Valentine’s weekend for couples and singles alike, as well as benefit the Downtown Bicycle Station.

When: Sunday, February 12th, 2012. Race starts at 9:00 am. Registration will be open at 7:00 am.

What: A 5K run from Laclede’s Landing to Crown Candy Kitchen and Back.  5K too much? We will also have a 1 mile Walk for the Chocolate. It could be cold and snowy- so be prepared for Midwestern Winter. Timing will be provided by Big River Running Company.

Where: The Run for the Chocolate Start and Finish will be on O’Fallon Street- just North of the Lumiere Casino.

Packet Pick-Up: We will have Race Packet Pick Up at Little Shark Athletic Company from 10:00am - 6:00pm on Saturday February 11th.

Registration Information: Cost for the Run or Walk is $30. There will be a slight surcharge for online registration. Race entry for Happy Couples that register together for the run or walk is $50. (This category is for ‘romantic’ couples- married or not quite married…)

Racers will be categorized by age and relationship status. Please identify if you are one of the following:

  • Bachelor
  • Bachelorette
  • Off the Market Men
  • Off the Market Women
  • Cougar Woman 40+
  • Serial Dater Men 40+ (Manther)

Age Groups for Bachelor, Bachelorette and Off the Market Categories will be:

12-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-70, 70+

Register by clicking HERE for the link to

Race Goodies- all racers will recieve sweet schwag.

Run for the Chocolate Signature Event Shirt (Will Run for Chocolate). These will differentiate between ON and OFF the Market runners. So you will know who you can schmooze after the race.

Edible Medals. Everyone wins.

Post race Hot Chocolate.

Winners of the Bachelor and Bachelorette Age Group will win a Blind Ice Cream Date at Crown Candy Kitchen or participating restaurant with their opposite gender age group winner.

Winners of the Off the Market Categories will receive a romantic Desert Date with their significant other.

Get Lucky: We will be raffling off romantic prizes post race.

And, as noted above…  Volunteer: Can’t run? Like Chocolate? We can make sure you’re helpful and sweetened. Email

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mark Your Calendar Now - Mon., Feb. 20: ONSLRG’s Annual Meeting & Pot-Luck Supper

Please make plans to join us on Monday, February 20th at 6 p.m. for Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group’s Annual Meeting & Pot-Luck Supper.  Watch for more details soon.

In addition to the opportunity to share a food dish with neighbors from Old North and friends and supporters from outside the neighborhood, we’ll offer a preview of some of the plans for 2012 and hold an election for new ONSLRG board members.

If you know of someone you’d like to suggest for nomination to the board, or if you have any questions regarding the nomination process, please contact Thom Fletcher, co-chair of our Social Outreach Committee, at or by phone at 623-4755.  ONSLRG Bylaws require that members of the board be members in good standing of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group, are 18 years old or older, donate their time and labor in ONSLRG’s efforts to improve the neighborhood, and uphold the Bylaws of the Restoration Group. For information on how to renew your membership of the Old North St Louis Restoration Group, or for information on how to become a member, you can contact Thom, call the ONSLRG office (314-241-5031) or visit the ONSLRG membership page on the ONSL website at

The Old North St. Louis Restoration Group is a community-based nonprofit organization established by neighborhood residents in 1981 to revitalize the physical and social dimensions of the community in a manner that respects its historic, cultural, and urban character.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Who’s Who in Old North: Musician/Songwriter Joe Eisenbraun

We’ve dedicated a lot of space on this blog to showing off the architectural richness of Old North’s historic building stock, with a heavy emphasis on the transformation in progress from abandonment to new life and purpose.  While all of that makes for compelling pictures, Old North wouldn’t be enjoying the resurgence that has attracted national attention if it didn’t have a vibrant community of residents who live in these architectural gems or work in the preserved or restored commercial spaces.  Therefore, with today’s post, we begin a new series of profiles of the talented, friendly, and unique characters who make Old North such a dynamic and creative community.

One of the people in Old North who has regular contact with visitors and residents alike is Joe Eisenbraun.  On many days you can find Joe behind the counter at Crown Candy Kitchen, just a couple blocks from the historic, Old North home where Joe grew up, which is just down the street from the house where Joe and his wife Susannah are living and preparing space for their soon-to-arrive baby.  It’s also worth noting that Joe and Susannah met at the North City Farmers’ Market, so theirs is a marriage made in Old North.

Joe is also one of the many creative types who call Old North home.  A talented musician and songwriter, Joe periodically performs at various music clubs around town and has been releasing new albums on a regular basis since 2001.  In a Riverfront Times review of one of Joe’s previous albums, Christian Schaeffer described Joe’s style:

“Eisenbraun writes sharp, catchy songs that display wit and heart in equal measure, as they vacillate between nervy power-pop and pensive folk-rock. … A little too snarky for alt-country and a little too wistful for indie-rock, Eisenbraun finds a comfortable middle ground in between genres.”

Joe's latest CD includes cover art by another Old North resident, Linda Molinari, and graphic design by another product of Old North, Joe's brother, Robert.

Joe's latest CD includes cover art by another Old North resident, Linda Molinari, and graphic design by another product of Old North, Joe's brother, Robert.

After 18 months of hard work, Joe’s newest album, Big Guns, is now out and features 18 tracks of homemade pop, rock & folk tunes.  (Among Joe’s friends who collaborated with him on this one were two former Old Northers, Greg McNair and Maggie Clements.) The album is available at Vintage Vinyl and Old North’s neighborhood coffee establishment, La Mancha Coffeehouse at 2815 N. 14th Street.  For the next two weeks, La Mancha is offering a free small coffee with every $10 purchase of Big Guns. So now you can enjoy listening to the musical talents of Joe Eisenbraun and a good cup of Joe at the same time.

For information about Joe’s previous releases, to see some more photos, and to listen to a few of his songs, visit

Stay tuned to this space for more upcoming posts on the people who represent the spirit and character of Old North.  In the meantime, feel free to click HERE to read the profiles of a few other Old North residents on the People page of the website.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Year Brings More Media & Outside Attention for Old North

The new year is barely two weeks old, but Old North has already received a good deal of attention in 2012 from a range of outside sources, including some publications with national readerships.

The latest moment in the spotlight came when HUD’s Best Practices website posted a feature on Old North’s Crown Square on Friday.  The Crown Square redevelopment earned its place as the latest in a series of reports on “best practice” developments around the country because the project resulted from a strong partnership between Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and Regional Housing & Community Development Alliance (with support from the City of St. Louis), a genuine community-based planning process, and a commitment to affordable and mixed-income housing, historic preservation, and various other sustainable development principles.  Click HERE or on the image below to read the full report.

On January 5, Builder Magazine posted a story on their website about the desirability of walkable neighborhoods and used Old North St. Louis as their featured example of a community that has benefited from improvements to its walkability.  The article cited Old North’s comprehensive approach to redevelopment and offered several photos from Old North, including a community garden, the North City Farmers’ Market, historically sensitive new homes at North Market Place, and the streetscape at Crown Square, to illustrate the elements that have made Old North not just more livable for current residents but also more attractive to prospective residents.  Click HERE or on the image below to read the full article.

Eleven Music Magazine’s January issue has hit the streets with Old North as its “Neighborhood of the Month”, which is nice recognition, especially for the Crown Square redevelopment of the former 14th Street Pedestrian Mall.  (Although the piece includes a mis-quote about the age of the neighborhood - indicating that the neighborhood was a separate village from St. Louis from 1860 - 1940, rather than the real dates of 1816-1841, we’ll forgive that because of the overall positive tone of the piece and the fact that the actual quote may have been difficult to hear during the interview, which was recorded at Old North’s La Mancha Coffeehouse, with the sound of an espresso machine and various diners’ chatter in the background.)  Click HERE or on the image below to read the article.

Visitors to hotels throughout the St. Louis area are picking up this month’s issue of Where Magazine-St. Louis, in which they’ll read about 6 new independent retailers “worth your time,” including Old North’s newest Crown Square establishment, Rambles Gift Gallery & Boutique.

Where Magazine is available at concierge desks and in-room at medium-to-high end hotels and other select businesses, but it’s also available online to provide travelers (and locals) with “the most complete guide to the city’s top restaurants, shops, shows, exhibits, and tours.”  The online version (seen below) also features a photo of the interior at Rambles.  Click HERE or on the image below to see and read the online version of the review of Rambles.

Thank you to all of these publications for sharing our story with the rest of the world!


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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