18 January 2016
Closed For Business Downtown?
Harry's Restaurant downtown is closing. This comes hard on the heels of the closure of Mike Shannon's. The reason for my post today is to engage local St. Louis readers. I ask you to read the comments of the Owner of Harry's to STLToday, and consider them carefully. Is St. Louis in an irreversible decline, and if not what can be done?
[The owner] cited a familiar scenario: “It’s the economy, the highway closing, Ballpark Village. Downtown is just a dead area right now, unfortunately. Obviously, the sad part is nobody is talking about it. Iconic places are going out of business, and nobody cares.
“Ballpark Village was the nail in the coffin. It shut down Washington Avenue and took 70 percent of our business. We thought it would be more like 10 or 20 percent. It took the people left who were coming to downtown.”
He says the past closing of Highway 40 was a big factor because “St. Louisans are creatures of habit. When it was closed for 2½ years, they went elsewhere.”
Pieri believes there’s a downward swing that will continue until downtown books more conventions and brings crime under control. “People are afraid to come downtown,” he says.
Further to the point, I am going to favorably link to someone I never thought I'd link to here: Gene McNary, who in the aftermath of the Rams departure wrote this proposal in the P-D.
What thinketh ye?