My experience in St. Louis as a business owner, employee, and long time community member has been mixed. Downtown St. Charles is very nice, quite safe, and fun on weekends. Unfortunately, St. Louis is another story.The racial tension in this town will take your breath away. My friend and I went to a little spot on Jungerman rd called Night Moves, and we were definately not welcome there. We got obvious glares when while parking our car. My friend insisted it was ok, so we walked in, ordered our drinks, and went to find seats. I was not comfortable, so we got out of there. As we went back to our car, we noticed that someone had put glass bottles behind the tires and keyed the door. That's St. Louis. The lines are drawn here. Black & white. Rich and poor. If trouble erupts and your white, black, or blue behind gets hurt, they'll tell you it's YOUR fault for being in the "wrong place". It's like we're in 1957 all over again. So much hatred and separation.. We moved from North County after my son was held up at gunpoint INFRONT OF OUR HOUSE. Crime is off the charts there. I cannot tell you the true height of my horror. Needless to say, We got the hell out of there.Every once in awhile, friends and I meet in Clayton, where we all work. It's the financial district, and has very little crime. There are also quite a few fun spots there - on Friday night mostly. You can have a quiet drink at Max's - if you don't mind drinking across the street from the county jail.We rarely go out anymore to enjoy the so called amenities this city offers because it's scary as hell. Segregation rules in St. Louis, and the attitudes reflect it. Things seemed to be getting better in the 90s but now hateful rhetoric can even be heard in sermons. This city lacks progression, growth and harmony. I believe St. Louis will shut down, just like the minds that run it, and it will be the fault of the top heavy administration(s) ignoring, incarcerating and exploiting massive populations of the underserved, undereducated, poverty strikken & enraged generations that are a large part of this city's culture.But there is a bright side. If you have a medium income and are white you can pretty much do anything and go anywhere and be welcomed with open arms. St. Louis takes itself very seriously. As gor me, the Gateway can't go away too soon. My husband and I are educated professionals who are frustrated by all the negative impulses here and we have had enough. It's time to leave the hell hole we unaffectionately call "Detroit Jr".
ON THE NIGHT OF JANUARY 9, 2016, MANAGEMENT AT THE AQUA BAR OF THE LUMIERE PLACE CASINO REMINDED ME THAT I WAS BLACK!!
After a paint night at Morgan Street Brewery, a group of us(all African American) headed over to a place called Wet Willies in the Lumiere Casino of St. Louis, MO. After we purchased our drinks, we walked around the casino to find seats. We came upon a bar called Aqua, which had a number of vacant seats. We decided to sit in this place called Aqua and converse amongst each other. After about 10 minutes, we were swarmed and surrounded by Lumiere security. Their words to us was that the management of Aqua did not want us there. I asked one of the security guards for more detail about why we had to leave. His response was that he was only doing his job, management wanted us to leave and therefore we had to get out!! Everyone complied. But after looking around and not seeing any policies posted about anything, I decided to speak with management. I told the drink manager that I wanted the contact information of whom to relay a complaint to. He told me the guys name was Bob P and he was supposed to obtain Bob's email address and contact information. Seconds later, a manager named Mary Ann appeared asking how she can help me(as if she didn't already know. After all, she is the head manager and made the decision to throw us all out). I informed Mary that the action she performed was unfair and unjust. I told her that her business didn't have any visible policies about anything. Assuming that we weren't patronizing the bar, I told her that we just might have purchased drinks from the bar after we finished the drinks we already had. I also told her that if she had a problem with us being there and not patronizing the bar, she could have come over and said anything along the lines of, "Ladies and gentleman, in order to sit here you all need to patronize the bar". Not what she did, which came across to us as get the f*** out because we don't want you black people here!! Her response was that in the past when they confront groups of people as such, it results in aggression and/or confrontation. So as a result of that, they now notify security. She claims that security should not have delivered the message as they did, but the fact is that they did. She went on explaining policies regarding patrons of Wet Willies that were quote on quote in effect, yet no such policies were visible. Legally if a policy is not documented, then it is not policy! So basically, the management at Aqua were intimidated by a group of blacks. Being afraid of speaking to us directly, they called about 15 or 20 Lumiere security personnel, who surrounded us and ultimately threw us out. I am asking every black greek affiliated person, every family member, friend etc., to send this account to everyone you know. This was unfair and unjust. If you are Black, please refrain from patronizing "Aqua", located in the Lumiere Place Casino of St. Louis, MO.
I was born and raised in St. Louis county and moved to St. Louis City in adult years. I love the free attractions, am spoiled to the low cost of living, and enjoy all the great restaurants. The crime is out of control, though. Living in South City, my husband's truck and my car have both been broken into and had everything inside stolen. The stories of break ins, theft, murders, & gun shots that I hear from almost everyone I know are very frightening.
I used to think I would never leave St. Louis and it saddens me that my hometown has lost its mind.
If you're thinking about moving here, I would definitely recommend asking locals where to live. One block of a neighborhood can be beautiful, huge houses and parks and the next block is sketchy. Kirkwood, webster groves, maplewood, Shrewsbury, South Hampton, & Dogtown would be on my list of good places. I live in South City and though I love Tower Grove Park and Shaw neighborhood, the crime is moving in to these areas and as a result, I'm looking to move out. Such a shame that people living in these beautiful neighborhoods can't stop stealing from and killing each other.
On the other hand, I know many wonderful, creative, artistic, and community involved people that are trying to do all they can to make STL thrive. The new arch grounds looks like it will be incredible! There are many neighborhoods to explore and find your favorite spots.
I have always loved this city, but am a traveler at heart and am ready to explore new cities, especially with a coast nearby!
I traveled to St. Louis MO in January of 2011, and found the city to be a very welcoming, and very great tourism city. Right upon arrival, the Gateway Arch greets visitors, and the mix of cultures from French, German, and Native American, makes for a very distinctive culture. The city offers a great night life for visitors, as well as excellent major league sports teams to watch. The hotel we stayed in was the Millennium Hotel, which is located in Downtown, and offers a distinctive view of the city. The dinning was also great. There are many famous bbq restaurants, a great place called Red Moon (pan-Asian dinining), and the Bristol Seafood Grill was also a great place to eat.
As far as attractions, we traveled historic Route 66, visited the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and went out on the riverboat casinos a couple nights while visiting. We also went to a couple jazz clubs while in the city, including Bottleneck Blues Bar, and Ozzie's Sports Bar. We also went to a Cardinals baseball game while visiting. Although we had a rental car, the traffic was not all that great, and the city was a bit spread out, especially for tourists who do not know where they are traveling. But, overall, we had a great experience. The city is beautiful, there is always something going on, the scenic view and night life are always jumping, and the great casino boats are some of the best that I have ever traveled to.
Other than spread out city, and the fact that things were hard to find since we were not aware of the spread of the city, I really enjoyed the trip, and would definately go back to St. Louis MO.
My family spent spring break in St. Louis, MO. We had been there several times in the past to visit family members. We decided to make this trip more of vacation by staying at a hotel in St. Louis and visiting various attractions.
To get the city feel, we stayed in the Sheraton in downtown St. Louis. We got a suite and were able to take our golden retriever (free of charge). The hotel had a pool and the suite was adequate for my husband and I and our three boys, ages 15, 12, and 9. We stayed for three nights.
Our first outing after checking into the hotel was Union Station. It was only a few blocks from the hotel, an easy walk. I was disappointed in Union Station. Many retail spaces were vacant. Lots of people were in the bars and restaurants, which I would partially attribute to the college basketball tournament that was being televised. We waited about 20 minutes for a table at Houlihan's and then decided to grab some food at the food court and eat in our suite.
We spent the next day at the St. Louis City Museum, an innovative museum for kids of all ages. My kids happily explored for four hours. My husband and I found a table and played Scrabble. It was perfect. Afterwards, we went to Ted Drewes, a restaurant known for its frozen yogurt. It was worth the trip.
The St. Louis Zoo and the St. Louis Science Center were our main destinations the following day. Both are located in Forest Park, an exquisite and vast park. You could spend the whole day at Forest Park. The art museum, the history museum, a boathouse, tennis courts, and bike rentals are among the many ways to spend the day at the park. The zoo and the science center were free. You could pay more for special exhibits or attractions.
After spending the day there, we went to Blueberry Hill, a famous St. Louis restaurant in the University City area. It was only a short drive from Forest Park. This was a great place to take the kids. The restaurant walls are covered with pictures of celebrities with the owner of the restaurant. Some rooms have themes, such as the darts room. The juke box and the pinball machines also help to keep the natives occupied until the food arrives. The food was really good too.
The last day we spent at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I made my family go to this, but they all enjoyed it. The Climatron, a dome housing a tropical forest, and the Japanese garden were big hits. The gardens also include a children's garden, but it was not open in March.
The trip to St. Louis was a success and fit our tight budget. St. Louis offers plenty to do for families of all ages.