Sunday, May 31, 2009

Magic Wand

If you are like me and you loath the appearance of drive through fast food restaurants and you could make one of these joints magically disappear and replace them with your ideal vision of a replacement what would it be? Here are a few of mine/ours:
  1. The Jack in the Box on Grand near Shaw/Compton Heights. With those cool new condos just to the south, wow what an improvement over the Shoney's that used to sit on that property. Look across the street at the beautiful Compton Heights gates. The Pelican Place, this place will be blooming once again. Now if I could make that Jack in the Box disappear and fill it in with some modern, slender, 3 story condos.....

  2. The Church's Fried Chicken at Skinker and Delmar in the Loop. This is such a high profile, high traffic area. Lots of potential here. The East Loop is my favorite stretch of Delmar, as it's in the city and the west side is the gateway to the suburbs. I'd like to see a library built hear. I realize there is a branch just south of hear on Skinker, but it's really small. I think this area deserves a bigger branch. And I like how libraries bring heavy foot traffic (see Schlafly, Carpenter branches). I think it would add diversity to the Loop. Check out a book, walk to an outdoor cafe....nice. There are lots of out of towners, tourists and musicians/artists passing through here. If they could just witness how incredibly top notch our libraries are, they may walk away even more impressed with the area. Heck, they might even want to move here. I like the idea of the east Loop becoming more of a neighborhood styled stretch vs. the more entertainment destination feel of the western Loop. I'd also like to see a drug store and/or grocery in the East Loop.

  3. My wife has fantasized about the Ponderosa, Long John Silver, Burger King, Pizza Hut (Indian Restaurant) on Hampton being razed and replace with an Ikea.
There are so many others. I could think of the shuttered Hardee's (florist?) on Broadway between Soulard and Choteau's landing. The crappy looking former Burger King just northeast of the Soulard Farmer's Market. The crappy looking former Burger King on South Grand in Dutchtown. The crappy looking Burger King on Jefferson/Gravois across from Trader Bob's Tatoos. The crappy looking former McDonalds at Chippewa/Grand. Man is it just me, or is it clear that these don't work very well in the city. Even reuse for these comes hard. You can't polish a turd. See the aforementioned Pizza Hut at Fyler/Hampton, the Captain D's (now Bosnian pizza joint on Gravois, so. of Bevo Mill), former Pizza Hut, now Bosna Gold restaurant so. of Bevo. They just don't fit in with their surroundings.

However, they may be one exception. All things considered, I like the remodel of the former Pizza World on Kinshighway. Granted, this was not your typical chain fast food joint with in store dining and drive through, but it was a chain nonetheless. Here's the kind of ??Mediterranean?? styled redo this building has recently gone through. There is a notice for a liquor license, maybe it will find new life as a Bosna/Croat dining establishment. Man, I could do without the Depot Door, but still, a net gain over the previous place.Are you aware of any fast food restaurants in the city that fit in well with their surroundings? How about a successful redux of a drive through fast food joint in the city?


  1. I dreaded the arrival of the Papa John's at Gravois and Loughborough and now that it has arrived it is even more irritating than I anticipated. Any type of family owned restaurant would be welcome to complement the one bright spot on that block - Apollonia.

  2. ^ I agree. It's a bummer the Papa John's up the street had to close. I would have liked to see the former 7-11/Citgo get razed for a new building.

    Apollonia is indeed a treasure, what are you saying Bo Fung isn't a bright spot :)

  3. I find it highly unlikely that an Ikea would be built where Ponderosa, Long johns, burger king and taste of india are. For one there are no other shopping centers within a short walk. Two the property that backs up to those restauarants is a post office. 3rd its not close to a highway. 4th hampton couldnt handle the traffic. Dont get me wrong, I would love to be able to walk 100 ft to Ikea and enjoy a wonderful Swedish meal or pick up a great new Scandinavian designed piece of furniture, but its not gona happen. I could see an Ikea going in Crestwood mall though. Its a huge piece of empty real estate with ample parking and other shopping in the area.

  4. If you get rid of the Church's at Skinker and Delmar where the heck would SCOTS get chicken for their show?

    Your loving Bro in Law

  5. ^ There is a Lee's fried chicken just north of Delmar on Skinker....or they could plan in advance and get some good fried chicken at Hodak's

  6. I thought of another one. The abandoned Church's-turned-Xpress Pizza on Morgan Ford behind Bevo Mill.

  7. I think the main point is that the designers of fast food chains get off their one size fits all philosophy. The brand can stand without the gaudy buildings that as Mark said are virtually unusable if the business fails. These franchises need to take some urban design classes and try to work with a community instead of simply taking from it.

  8. Regarding the Church's in the loop - there is a library on the other side of the loop, a county library, but still I don't think another one within walking distance would make much sense.
    I did speak to the owners of the building where blockbuster used to be the other day. I suggested they pursue a trader joes or drugstore or other small grocery and incidentals type place. There really isn't anything reasonably close where you can get food or prescriptions filled.