Browsing Tag

Ian Froeb

Shop news: openings, a closing, renovation & new construction

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Tenderloin Room Kendra Scott Ian Froeb Bob Brazell Bluemercury AG Jeans AC Hotel by Marriott

It’s wonderful to see lights on and action once again at the prominent corner of Euclid and Maryland now that Bluemercury, a high-end luxury beauty brand retailer, has opened.

The national chain, founded by D.C.-based Carla and Barry Beck in 1999 (the first store was located in Georgetown), was sold to Macy’s, Inc. in 2015. The Becks remain onboard as CEO and COO.

Learn more about what brands are available and which spa services are offered at Bluemercury, 2 Maryland Plaza, open Mon. – Sat. 10 to 7, Sun. 11 to 6.

Next door you may have noticed a For Lease sign on a space situated between Bluemercury and Busey Bank. Rumor has it that something is in the works. When the cat is officially out of the bag, I’ll let you know.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Tenderloin Room Kendra Scott Ian Froeb Bob Brazell Bluemercury AG Jeans AC Hotel by Marriott

And down the block, Kendra Scott, a boutique specializing in jewelry, beauty, and home decor items, will open its second St. Louis location soon in the  former Bissinger space at 32 Maryland Plaza. Kendra Scott also has a shop at Plaza Frontenac.

The Austin-based company was started in 2002 when Kendra Scott designed her 1st jewelry collection at home. The new shop will feature the Kendra Scott Color Bar, an interactive experience that allows customers to create custom jewelry in minutes and leave with it in-hand. The store will open with the goal of engaging philanthropically in the St. Louis community. The website states that the brand donates $5 million to charitable causes annually.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Tenderloin Room Kendra Scott Ian Froeb Bob Brazell Bluemercury AG Jeans AC Hotel by Marriott

photo courtesy of Kendra Scott

Regional Marketing and Philanthropic Manager Anna Keenan emailed that they are very excited about the new store, the 106th retail location across the country. The 2000 s.f. space will “be absolutely stunning. It will look nothing like the Plaza Frontenac store, and we can’t wait to bring the new concept store to the St. Louis market.”

Look for the grand opening on November 22, when 20% of  sales will go to St. Louis Children’s Hospital. On the 23rd there will be a special gift with purchase. More events and surprises are planned for the week following Thanksgiving.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Tenderloin Room Kendra Scott Ian Froeb Bob Brazell Bluemercury AG Jeans AC Hotel by Marriott

If you’ve heard how well AG Jeans fit but haven’t yet tried them on, you have until November 17 to check them out. AG Jeans has announced that it is closing its Maryland Plaza location.

According to an employee I spoke with, the decision on the part of the corporate office has nothing to do with sales at this location, which have been strong since the store opened. Instead, the business owner wants to concentrate on larger stores in Los Angeles and New York. St. Louis isn’t in the new plan.

On a more positive note, Sam Koplar emailed that they hope to be announcing a new restaurant for the former ‘Scape space by year end.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Tenderloin Room Kendra Scott Ian Froeb Bob Brazell Bluemercury AG Jeans AC Hotel by Marriott

The storied Tenderloin Room at The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel closed for renovations starting today, November 4, and will reopen under new ownership (Bob Brazell of Byrd & Barrell and Tamm Avenue Bar) in early December. Read more in Ian Froeb’s article in St. Louis Post-Dispatch here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  Tenderloin Room Kendra Scott Ian Froeb Bob Brazell Bluemercury AG Jeans AC Hotel by Marriott

And finally, demolition is nearly complete on the former KPLR studio building (on York Avenue between Lindell and Maryland) to make way for an AC Hotel by Marriott. Construction on the $40 million, 162-room structure will begin in January. Koplar Properties and HomeBase Partners are developers of the project.

Interestingly, this new hotel is not viewed as competition by management of The Chase Park Plaza Royal Sonesta Hotel. When plans were first presented, a Sonesta representative said they are delighted to have more hotel rooms next-door, which will enable them to attract larger conventions.

Andy Holloran, president of HomeBase Partners, said that “The Central West End is one of America’s great neighborhoods and we’re excited to bring a marquee property to a thriving neighborhood we love. Since we are proposing a limited service hotel, the Central West End’s walkable access to bars, restaurants, and shops makes it the ideal location for this type of property.”

Owners of Retreat Gastropub to open Yellowbelly in Citizen Park

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

photo courtesy of Post-Dispatch

Tim Wiggins and Travis Howard, above, proprietors of Retreat Gastropub, a popular restaurant located at Laclede & Sarah Avenues, plan to open a 2nd restaurant in the CWE the middle of this year. The seafood restaurant, Yellowbelly, will occupy a corner space in Citizen Park at Lindell Boulevard and Euclid Avenue.

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

In reporter Ian Froeb’s recent article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Travis Howard described Yellowbelly as having a “West Coast or California approach to seafood with an emphasis on vegetables, fruits and grains.”

Tim Wiggins, who is also the bar manager, plans to “push the envelope with rum drinks,” taking his inspiration from classic tiki drinks, though not “super tiki.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

Another business that opened recently in Citizen Park is Orangetheory Fitness. The photo above shows a patron crossing the cleverly-designed plaza as he heads in for an early morning workout.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News Urban Gardens  Yellowbelly Retreat Gastropub Orange theory Fitness CWE Ian Froeb Citizen Park Central West End

This photo of the plaza was taken last summer from Citizen Park’s 2nd floor pool deck. I love the new sidewalk area which offers a much prettier and more user-friendly access to the busy intersection of Lindell & Euclid.  As the plantings mature it will be even more attractive.

Some thoughts on Green Bean’s closing

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Sarah Hazelkorn Nick Guzman Ian Froeb Green Bean
I could take the easy way out reporting on Green Bean's closing last Friday and simply link you to restaurant critic Ian Froeb's excellent account in the Post-Dispatch's Off the Menu website.  But there is so much more to this story than a business closing its doors in the CWE. In my humble opinion, the lesson here is something you learn over the course of a long life: To try something and fail is one thing but to have a great idea and not act on it is just that – a great idea.

When Green Bean opened at 232 N. Euclid in 2011 the two partners, Nick Guzman and Sarah Hazelkorn, were barely in their twenties – Sarah was still an undergrad at Washington University! Nick, originally from D. C., began two businesses while a student at Amherst College (class of 2011), MAStorage (since sold) and Mass Drinks. After graduation he moved to St. Louis to open a sustainable, healthy restaurant in the CWE with his friend
Sarah. (Read more about Green Bean in an earlier post here.) The pair did all the renovation work themselves, recycling wood left behind by previous tenants to build seating and counters, and getting menu advice from a family friend and well-respected chef in Washington.

Green Bean was, at its opening, one of the first "green" restaurants in St. Louis. Though recycling is a small part of what gives a restaurant this designation, I joked that it took more brain power to figure out which recyclable item went into which bin at the end of a meal, than it took to choose which delicious wrap or salad to order.

As I understand it, Nick sold his interest to Sarah sometime last year and moved to Chicago. Sarah kept the business going until last week. Some of Sarah's comments as they appear in Ian Froeb's column follow:

"We worked hard to bounce back from tough
strains placed on the business back in our first year, but in the end,
it wasn't enough – too little too late. Sometimes in business, the best
thing to do is let something go. We are hopeful to bring the concept
back in some fashion, at some time, and continue building on a brand
that has become known locally for fresh, sustainable, healthy, delicious
salads and salad wraps.

"It has been a pleasure serving all
of you sustainable and healthy food for the past 2 years. We wouldn't be
where we are today without all of your support, encouragement, and
commitment to us. We are sad to be leaving the sustainable food
community, but excited to have been part of such an amazing movement in
St. Louis.

Stay fit, stay healthy, stay happy, and thanks for all of your support!"

It's with tremendous admiration for these young entrepreneurs that I wish Nick and Sarah the best of luck with whatever comes next! And of course, I'll miss Green Bean – a lot!