St. Louis Confidential

Seven Reasons to Visit the Loop

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Where do young people hang out in St. Louis? One popular place to go is the Delmar Loop, or simply “The Loop.”

The Loop is a six-block area on Delmar Boulevard filled with restaurants, boutiques, nightlife, entertainment, and culture. The area got its nickname because it used to be the place where “streetcars from downtown ‘looped around‘ to return to the city.”

In no particular order, here are seven good reasons to visit the Loop:

1) The St. Louis Walk of Fame – If you walk around the Loop, chances are you’ll notice the bronze colored stars on the sidewalk. These stars and accompanying plaques recognize famous St. Louisans including Chuck Berry, Nelly, Maya Angelou, T.S. Eliot, Yogi Berra, Scott Joplin, Charles A. Lindbergh, Joseph Pulitzer, and many others. There are 116 stars in total. In order to get a star on the Walk of Fame, people must be nominated and must make it through a rigorous selection process. Criteria for nomination include:

*The person must have been born in St. Louis or spent their formative or creative years here.

*The person’s accomplishments must have had a national impact on our cultural heritage.

Selections are made by the Walk of Fame selection committee, which consists of 120 St. Louisans.

Chuck Berry's Star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. Photo Courtesy of http://discoverblackheritage.com/walk-of-fame/

2) Blueberry Hill – Blueberry Hill is a famous restaurant and music club in the Loop. It is a crowd favorite because Rock and Roll legend Chuck Berry played there, and still does, on a monthly basis. Chuck Berry was born in St. Louis and was one of the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Blueberry Hill is a great place to get a burger and listen to some live music. The restaurant also features many collections of pop culture memorabilia, from baseball cards to Beatles figurines. Watch the video below to see Chuck Berry perform at Blueberry Hill:

3) Fitzs Bottling Company –  Fitz’s Bottling Company, “America’s original soda microbrewery,” is a restaurant and Root Beer Bottling company, known for its home-made root beer and its burgers. It has been a fixture in the Loop since 1993. You can watch the factory bottle root beer using its vintage bottling line and then enjoy some freshly made root beer. You can also take a tour of the facilities. Fitz’s Root Beer is made using an original recipe developed in St. Louis in 1947.

Fitz's Bottling Company. Photo courtesy of Fitz's Web site.

The Fitz's vintage bottling line in action. Photo courtesy of Fitz's Web site.

4) Pi Pizzeria – See my earlier post for more information about this awesome pizza place.

5) The Pageant – The Pageant is a concert nightclub that features shows from local, national, and international bands. Upcoming shows include Creed, The Fray, FUN., Afrojack, The Shins, Ingrid Michaelson, and Tenacious D. The pageant was built like a theater so that every seat or standing room area is within 70 feet of the stage. This creates an intimate concert experience where there is no such thing as a bad seat. Tickets usually cost around $15-$50. Pollstar recently rated the Pageant as one of the top five concert venues in the world.

The Outside of the Pageant. Photo by Adam Allington.

6) Nightlife – At night, the Loop is a great spot for going out. Make sure to check out the Moonrise Hotel and Lounge, which features a rooftop terrace bar that overlooks the St. Louis skyline, Pin-Up Bowl, a bowling and martini lounge, and Cicero’s, a bar that features live music and has 55 different beers on tap.

Roof-top Terrace Bar at the Moonrise Hotel. Photo courtesy of The Moonrise Hotel's photo gallery/Web site.

7) The TivoliThe Tivoli is a landmark movie theatre in the Loop that plays independent film and foreign language cinema. For example, the Tivoli will be playing a new documentary about the Beatles in May. The Tivoli has been operating since 1924, and has three screens. The building itself is also an architectural masterpiece, known for the huge vertical sign that stands in front of the building.

The sign outside the Tivoli Theatre. Photo by Tojosan, on Flickr.

Make sure to stop by the Loop the next time you’re in St. Louis for the weekend!

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