Wednesday, May 13, 2015

SeenInSoulard #132: Soulard Budweiser Coasters

Here's a coaster I got with my beer recently. Word is the Anheuser-Busch made custom coasters for several other neighborhoods in St. Louis as well.

It's definitely cool having this special Soulard coaster and I'm thankful that A-B did this. (Note: I've decided to no longer give InBev any credit for anything positive because they are killing Anheuser-Busch.) I feel like it is worth noting how different the sign is in reality versus the coaster. Here's the sign in the real world.

I'm sure there were probably some logistics behind not using "Soulard Farmers Market" on the coaster, but I just found that change a bit off when I first saw it. The coasters are still pretty cool to see around, however.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Happy Opening Day Howards

When the clock strikes six this evening Judith Howard will likely breathe a sigh of relief. Those close to her will sigh in relief as well and probably shed a happy tear or two. Mom Howard will likely take up residency on her rocking chair wearing the proud smile of a Mother. USN Capt. Ronald C. Howard will give a proud nod from the heavens.

Other neighbors lined up outside Howard will probably lightly tap on the glass wondering when they can officially mosey on up to the bar or out to the patio. Howard In Soulard officially opens its doors to the public at 6 pm tonight, May 8 at 13th and Lynch. The space that previously housed the Hi-Way Bar has been beautifully restored into what will surely be a fantastic neighborhood gathering place.

For more on how Howards came to be, read my previous story.

I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Howards soft opening last weekend and got to take some pictures as well. I never had the opportunity to go into the Hi-Way Bar when it was open but I heard from neighbors who did go they that they can't believe Judith and her team did this with that. A bar area is somewhat set off from a larger seating area, which also features a television and stage. The outdoor area features a deck as well as a large patio area. Mom Howard's statue gives the patio area its own uniqueness.

Steve Reed and Ross Bell will open things up acoustically for Howards from 6 pm - 8 pm tonight. The Alley Mutts will then play from 8 pm - 10 pm. Zero Friction will play on Saturday from 2 pm -6 pm and The Darrells will play at the same time on Sunday.

For more information on Howards, check out their Facebook page.

Monday, May 4, 2015

2015 SRG Membership Party This Wednesday

The Soulard Restoration Group typically has a general membership meeting on the first Wednesday of each month. The group forgoes its typical meeting in May every year to have its annual SRG Membership Party. This year's event will take place this Wednesday, May 6 at The Great Grizzly Bear.

The Soulard Restoration Group is immensely important to Soulard as its neighborhood residents' association and has been since its inception in 1972. The organization has a lot of influence within the city and has earned it.

The annual membership fee is $20 for individuals, $30 for a household or business and $1 for those over the age of $65. By joining or renewing at the Membership Party you get to partake in complimentary appetizers and select beer, wine and cocktails during the event. The bar will be open from 6pm -9pm and the appetizer buffet will open at 7pm. There will also be a 50/50 drawing.

This is a must-do event in Soulard. Bill Stack, the Grizzly owner, always puts on an excellent spread for the event and his bar features what is probably the best patio in Soulard. With the Cards and Cubs playing at 7:15 on Wednesday, the event will also be a great game to watch the ball game as it will be projected on the patio screen.

Even if you aren't totally committed to being an active member of the SRG and attending the monthly meetings right now, you need to go to this event.

Check out the event's Facebook page for more information.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Clydesdales Deliver Budweiser To Soulard Bars

Soulard bars got their normal delivery of Budweiser last weekend but it didn't exactly come in the normal way. Sure, a man in a uniform brought the beer through the front door, but that's where the "normal" stopped. Rather than being dressed in their traditional uniforms, these delivery men donned green pants, white dress shirts, black ties and green hats. The deliveries came not from a truck but rather a wagon pulled by six Clydesdales. The delivery drivers and the horses were supervised by a dalmation.

While Islanders can typically see Clydesdales daily on the south end of the neighborhood, it definitely is not a daily event to see the wonderful, magnificent animals roaming the street of our great neighborhood. Here's a collection of some photos taken around the neighborhood during the deliveries.


Beer is fresh today!!
Posted by Joanie's Pizzeria Soulard on Saturday, April 11, 2015
Big Daddy's

Look who stopped by Big Daddy's to deliver Budweiser today!
Posted by Big Daddy's Soulard on Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Good Luck Bar & Grill
Some pics (taken by Ginny Sweeney, thanks much!) of the Clydesdales and folks this Saturday!!
Posted by The Good Luck Bar & Grill on Sunday, April 12, 2015


Day fresh Budweiser! Kickin' off the baseball season right!
Posted by Llywelyn's Pub Soulard on Friday, April 10, 2015

Thanks to a great neighbor, George, for many of these pics

Friday, April 10, 2015

2015 GO! Marathon Soulard Cheer Station This Sunday

Do you know someone who is running in the GO! St. Louis Marathon on Sunday, April 12? Do you just want to hang out with your awesome Soulard neighbors? Are you just really bored around 7:30 am on a Sunday? No matter what your reason is, come out to the corner of 9th and Victor this Sunday morning at 7:30 am to cheer on the runners.

For several years now, a group of islanders has been gathering on a corner of the neighborhood on a Sunday morning to cheer on those running in the Go! St. Louis Marathon. For the first couple of years the event organizers held a competition among neighborhoods along the route to see who could put on the best cheer station. There is no longer a competition after our Soulard group kept trouncing the competition. Event organizers still make a generous donation to the Soulard Restoration Group each year to thank the neighborhood for delighting runners with its antics.

The route for the 2015 Go! St. Louis marathon has changed a bit and will make its way through Soulard at a different point. The Cheer Station will be located at Mile 10.25 on the route. The theme of the Soulard Cheer Station will again be pajamas. Neighbors are asked to show up in their best bed attire to cheer on the runners. You're also asked to keep in mind that you will be in public for 1 and for 2, we don't want to scare the runners.

The event is traditionally a Breakfast Potluck, so feel free to bring a breakfast dish to share with the group. Don't have a dish? Don't fret, just bring yourself and maybe a noisemaker. Neighbors and other supporters are also asked to bring a canned good to donate to the Trinity Lutheran Church food pantry. Cans will be loaded into the bed of Dave Perry's truck for delivery to the church.

With the change of venue this year, the Cheer Station is now located in front of a business rather than on a random street corner. The Good Luck Bar & Grill has graciously agreed to open early for the event to provide bathrooms and server beverages.

Check out the 2015 Go! St. Louis Marathon Soulard Cheer Station on Facebook. We'll see you Sunday morning.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Howards in Soulard Set To Open May 8

Soulard is enjoying quite the boom as late with new businesses opening all across the neighborhood. Henry's recently opened in the renovated former home of The Shanti. Woodie's recently opened in the Soulard Library building. Twisted Ranch garnered an incredible amount of press when they announced their plans to open in the former Sassy Jac's space. Shelly's has been tirelessly working on the former Clementine's spot whille Fleur De Lilies is targeting a June opening. A Tropical Liquers franchise is also set to take the former Gladstone's space at the corner of Soulard and 10th.

While all of these are a labor of love, a project at the corner of 13th and Lynch carries a special story. Longtime Soulard resident Judith Howard is spearheading the renovation of the former Hi-Way Bar location into an establishment that's "for the neighbors, by the neighbors". Howards will feature live acoustic music 5 nights a week and has a Grand Opening planned for the weekend for May 8-10.

The discussions that eventually led to this project began in the home shared by Judith and her wife, Molly Jankowski. The beautiful home the pair share is just the latest home in the Soulard neighborhood that Judith has restored. Our beautiful island owes its existence to those that have rehabbed the homes in this neighborhood. Judith caught the rehab bug from her father, USN Capt. Ronald C. Howard. The teacher thought it was time he and his protegee took on a rehab project together in Soulard. Sadly, Capt. Howard passed before the project was able to take shape.

The fire that Capt. Howard lit in his daughter burned brighter than ever after his passing. It was stoked by the encouragement of those close to her. By the time her mother decided to join her daughter in Soulard, that fire was hotter than one of her guitar riffs. She set her sights on a vacant, run-down building originally built in 1888.

The building at the corner of 13th and Lynch most recently housed the Hi-Way Bar, although it was originally built as a pharmacy. In between, the building housed a shoe store, an income tax office and a whiskey bar. For a time the building was even home to a bail bonds business. The location was mighty convenient considering during the time the local police station was housed in what is now Mad Art Gallery.

2731 Lynch Street midway through renovations turning it into Howard's in Soulard
The Hi-Way Bar occupied the building for 40 years, closing in 2009 after winning the Best Place to Play Table Shuffleboard from the Riverfront Times in 2009. That award may be a bit misleading, however. The bar was described as "Soulard's most dive-y dive bar". That's not a bad thing by any means. Longtime residents still speak with fondness about the bar, it's camaraderie, cheap drinks and the cat that meandered around. The bar was mentioned several times in David Lester's book, The Lunatic of Soulard.

While the Hi-Way Bar served its purpose, Howards will be a welcome sight in Soulard. Judith and her team are completely renovating the building from "to the studs", as they say. Outside of the building, new utility lines are being run to handle the needs of the establishment, which will include a kitchen. The backyard will feature a full patio for plenty of seating as well as plenty of "golf cart parking".

Over the years the building at 2732 S 13th various levels of construction with each of its different uses. The entrance to the building that Howard wanted restored features a doorway that is quite a bit larger than normal. A door to fit those dimensions was found in a rather unlikely spot, Judith's own basement. Many of the rehabbers in Soulard have worked on multiple projects in the neighborhood throughout the years. It turns out that this particular door was likely taken off during a renovation of the building. The door somehow ended up in a pile on construction materials that is sitting in the basement of Judith's current home.

A focal point of the inside of Howards will be a stage large enough to fit a three-piece band. One instrument will be a permanent fixture in the room. Ruth Ann Howard, Judith's mother, is a retired piano teacher and soprano opera singer. The piano that moved with her when she came to Soulard, the acoustic piano that Judith and countless others have learned on, will get prime billing at the new establishment.

The piano won't be the only thing getting prime billing at Howards, of course. The logo that you see above, "The Captain", was actually designed by Capt. Howard in 1962 and used for years as his letterhead. Aside from Mom Howard's piano, an 8-foot fountain will be prominently featured in the backyard area in her honor. The front entrance to the restaurant will be completely catered to those folks in wheelchairs. Howard stressed in a neighborhood forum that this was an important point for her.

Another important point for Judith Howard at Howards will be the entertainment. If you've been in Soulard a Summer or two you've likely seen Judith playing her guitar for groups of neighbors on various patios throughout the neighborhood. While Judith won't have a regular gig on stage, many neighbors are hopeful that if enough people ask nicely enough, she will play from time to time. Howard has a full lineup of acts scheduled for May 8-10, including Zero Friction, Steve Reebs, The Alley Mutts and The Darrells. Her plan calls for the musical lineup to be set each month in advance. Howards shirts will be available for sale each month that feature the lineup on the back on the shirt. A portion of the proceeds each month will go to a local charity. Live music will be on the bill Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at Howards.
Judith Howard playing music on the patio at The Porch

Aside from the absence of smoke, Howards will feature another aspect the Hi-Way Bar never had, a food menu that includes more than just frozen pizzas. Howard's original plan called for a simple menu featuring mostly small plates to pair with its beer, wine and "classic cocktails reinvented" drink menu. That approach took a turn when the closing of the well-regarded Benton Park restaurant Luvy Duvy's Cafe closed in March. Howard's will serve from the Luvy Duvy's menu of mainstays for lunch and former owners Jackie Seal and Cassady Caldwell will consult in the kitchen. The simple menu was well-regarded among the patrons. Favorites included the cafe's takes on the classic rueben and cuban sandwiches. Howard's will also look to serve brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, although those might not be available when the restaurant first opens. A separate small plate menu will be available in the evenings.

Howards in Soulard will be an excellent addition to Soulard not just in its physical presence, but also in the story it is built on. Be sure to follow Howards in Soulard on Facebook to get a look at the construction progress as well as to stay up-to-date on the upcoming opening events.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Easter Bonnet Pub Crawl 2015 Saturday

Do you need something to do this Easter that doesn't involve church way far away and then an over-priced Easter Brunch that will leave you finding pizza to fill your stomach Sunday night?

Soulard, as always, has a solution for those looking to avoid traditional awkward family time on a religious holiday. The Easter Bonnet Bunny Buggy Brigade Pub Crawl Eggstravaganza will take place this Sunday (Easter) in Soulard beginning at Noon. The pubcrawl will feature six stops at Soulard establishments, an Bonnet and Buggy Decorating Contest and whatever other debauchery the lovely degenerates on this crawl come up with.

The pub crawl will begin at Noon at 1860s. It'll jump to Molly's at 1pm before hopping to Henry's at 2 pm. At 3 pm, folks will bounce their happy selves to Bastille before springing to Sonny's at 4 pm. The last official move of the day will be a bunny hop to Nadine's at 5 pm.

Nadine's will play host to the Bonnet and Buggy Decorating Contest as well as the announcement of the winners. According to a Facebook post that may have come from someone that had too much whiskey one day at Nadine'sand made shit up, the great Tulita Pepsi will be the MC for the contest at Nadine's. 1st place in the contest will receive a $75 Nadine's bar tab with second and third getting $50 and $25 tabs, respectively.

If you do that sort of thing, be sure to check out the Easter Bonnet Bunny Buggy Brigade Pub Crawl Eggstravaganza on Facebook.